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Match Report


Posted Mon 28 Dec 15 at 18:08 PM


THE CURTAIN came down on 2015 with a trip to National League leaders, Cheltenham Town.

Having comfortably beaten second-placed Forest Green Rovers in our previous game, confidence was high as we stepped out at the World of Smile Stadium looking for more joy.

There was a quiet opening to proceedings on the pitch, but the travelling contingent were certainly making their voices heard to give United superb backing.

Some neat play between Waters and Wright saw the latter cross invitingly as former Cheltenham man, Durrell Berry did well to clear at the far post.

It was the home side who were starting to see more of the ball, but United were looking solid in defence to thwart them without getting things going in attacking situations.

A deft header from Tyrone Marsh looked to set Simon Heslop away but the home side were able to clear the danger.

On 31 minutes, a free-kick from Courtney Richards was only half-cleared and as Ben Gerring crossed the ball back in, Nathan Smith headed well over.

Some good play on the right by Tyrone Marsh sees him hold off a defender before making progress and getting in a strike from the angle which was well saved by Phillips in the home goal.

United were doing well to frustrate our high-flying hosts as the clock ticked down at the end of the first half.

In stoppage time at the end of the half, Munns looked to put the ball into a dangerous area, but Gerring was on hand to clear.

It was an evenly-matched opening period with United looking solid and well-organised.

There was a good chance for United early in the second half when Marsh did well to fashion an opening for Heslop but he fired over from a good position.

Just before the hour-mark United fell behind to a goal out of the blue when a cross-come-shot from Munns got caught in the wind and it deceived Dan Lavercombe as the ball found the net.

With Sean Finch on in place of Andre Wright, United pushed on in search of an equaliser but found the home defence in stubborn mood.

Cheltenham had a goal ruled out for offside after a free-kick delivered into the penalty area caused problems, before Marsh was replaced by Exodus Geohaghon, who is back from injury.

A corner for Torquay saw Geohaghon make his presence felt in the danger zone and as he went down, there were appeals for a penalty that were waved away.

There was a booking for Richards for a foul on Pell which sparked a melee that soon petered out as order was restored.

With both Gerring and Geohaghon pushed up front as we pushed for a leveller, an inviting ball into the area saw Gerring go close as the home side were able to scramble clear.

As the clock ticked down, there was a second yellow card for Richards for encroachment at a free-kick, leaving United with ten men for the final stages.

Late on there was some more good defending from Nathan Smith and a smart save from Lavercombe as our hosts looked to put the game to bed, but United refused to give up without a fight.

Right at the death, a trademark long throw-in from Geohaghon gave the home side cause for concern but they managed to clear their lines and in doing so grab a hard-earned three points.

It was another spirited and hard-working performance from United in a game which saw us deserve at least a share of the spoils against the League leaders.

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