NATHAN Blissett scored his first goals of the season to help the Gulls seal all three points against York City at Plainmoor.
Blissett struck in the 6th and 28th minute, the first a header from a Dan Sparkes cross and the second saw him lashing home from close range.
Player-manager Kevin Nicholson kept faith with the team that narrowly lost to Lincoln seven days ago and was rewarded with a performance full of attacking vigour and a team that was ready from the opening whistle.
Luke Young started things with a free-kick that narrowly went over the bar. Courtney Richards found space inside York’s penalty box a moment later and nearly teed Blissett up for his opener in the opening minutes.
It was winger Dan Sparkes that found Blissett with a quality ball that the striker met just a few yards out from goal. His header was too much for York City ‘keeper Letheren and Bliss’ had the goal he had been searching for.
United’s bright start was to continue into an impressive half for the Gulls.
United had a claim for a penalty soon after they had opened the scoring. Sean McGinty seemingly got to the ball first inside York’s penalty box from a Luke Young free-kick. The Yellow Army howled their disapproval after claims that he had been tugged back were ignored.
York had the ball in United’s net a mere moment later. Richard Brodie curled a delightful ball to try and find the far corner. It came off the inside the post and Connelly finished but was flagged offside.
Striker Jamie Reid was at the centre of everything United were doing right. Full of running, and stretching York’s back line, the forward nearly score a second for United in the 20th minute after a typical high through ball from Joe Ward. A touch of luck was required, but York closed the Exeter loanee down and the chance was gone.
Goalkeeper Brendan Moore made an uncustomary mistake soon after when he wayward throw hit a York player. York was unable to capitalize but United had another warning that it wasn’t all going to go their way.
Courtney Richards has backed himself to score more goals this season and he has always had the knack of of scoring spectacular goals. He watched a Dan Sparkes cross come his way and opted to strike the ball first time. Unfortunately the ball went over the bar and over a few more things too…
Aman Verma spread the ball to the far post. Dan Sparkes out-jumped his man to send the ball back towards Nathan Blissett. Bliss’ launched the ball past Letheren to seal his double and put United firmly on the road to three points.
Striker Nathan Blissett scores his second goal of the game
The striker was on the hunt for a hat-trick and it nearly happened in the 40th minute after a perfectly weighted ball from Joe Ward found left-back Lathaniel Rowe-Turner. His low cross required some last-ditch defending and some luck not to be collected by Blissett and converted.
United should have had a third in the 48th minute when Dan Sparkes broke free. The time he took to get the ball ready for his left-foot robbed him of the chance to take a serious shot on goal. However, his shot was spilled by Letheren and the ‘keeper was lucky that the ball didn’t have enough momentum to carry over the line.
United were full of the same endeavour in the second half as they were in the first but whether consciously or subconsciously they sat a little deeper and encouraged York to have a little more of the ball. However, York striker Richard Brodie was being well marshalled by Sean McGinty and on occasions Lathaniel Rowe-Turner.
Brendan Moore was called into action in the 74th minute when York’s Higgins headed on goal from a corner. Moore acrobatically tipped the ball over the bar to keep United two goals to the good.
Both sides were threatening on the break but United were caught out in the 83rd minute. From their own corner, United found themselves short at the back and had to rely on a heavy cross just missing forward Scott Fenwick.
United were nearly home and dry with three points and a clean sheet but had to survive a scare in the 89th minute. Former Gull Simon Heslop’s ball into the box was headed down to Dixon who had time to place his shot. It struck the bar and the Gulls were left counting their blessings.
So it was the day that Nathan Blissett was rewarded for the fantastic effort he has put into the season so far.
Kevin Nicholson will be looking for more of the same, and a better second half performance when the Gulls head to Woking on Tuesday for a 7:45pm kick-off.
Visit http://www.torquayunited.com/tickets/awaytickets/ for details from the Torquay United Travel Club on Tuesday’s fixture.