THE Gulls were held to a 1-1 draw in a typical game of two halves at Tiverton Town on Tuesday night.
United dominated the first period and deservedly led through a terrific Nathan Craig strike but the home side made numerous changes at half-time, and their fresher legs grabbed a 1-1 draw when Sam Malsom struck.
The game was actually delayed by 10 minutes after the United squad arrived late following an accident on the A380.
When things did get underway on another steamy evening, the home side came to the fore with two early chances for Dan Smith, the first blazing over and then Conor Thompson producing a fine save to tip wide.
Alan Knill had selected a fairly young team for the encounter but the professional quality in Yellow ranks began to shine through with Daniel Sullivan firing just wide on 12 minutes after a good move between Tom Cruise and captain Lee Mansell.
The competitive edge to proceedings was perfectly highlighted when United’s skipper had a minor spat with Tivvy’s Marcus Martin in an incident that showed the desire to impress in home ranks.
Generally, however, the Gulls were in control, with Niall Thompson and Billy Bodin regular switching wings to unsettle the Tivvy defence. Thompson, in particular, was causing real problems and probably should have scored when he raced clear but the final shot was dragged wide.
The breakthrough came on 37 minutes and it was again down to good work from the busy Sullivan creating space for Craig to unleash a fizzing low drive from well outside the area.
It was a superb goal to end an interesting first period but while Tivvy virtually changed their whole side at the break, Knill for just three changes and the hard work of a taxing pre-season began to show in Yellow legs.
The home side actually spurned a couple of decent openings before Malsom notched the deserved equaliser but it was another positive exercise in the preparations for a long campaign in League 2.
United complete their pre-season programme with a trip to Hereford on Saturday and then we will be just one week away from the big opener at home to Wimbledon.
Gulls [4-4-2-]: 33 Conor Thompson; 32 Jake Hutchings, 30 Kirtys MacKenzie, 4 Aaron Downes, 21 Thomas Cruise; 15 Niall Thompson [12 Jordan Chapell H-T], 7 Lee Mansell [8 Ben Harding H-T], 20 Nathan Craig, 10 Billy Bodin [11 Courtney Cameron H-T]; 14 Ashley Yeoman, 31 Daniel Sullivan.