THE opening game of a new season ended in a 0-0 draw for United in the blazing sunshine at Chelmsford City.

In a match of chances, the Gulls defended with excellent discipline and Shaun MacDonald did very well in goal, one of eight debutants in a very new United outfit.

The young goalkeeper signed from Blyth Spartans was called into action on nine minutes, palming clear a dangerous cross from the home side and United responded with a snapshot wide from Brett Williams.

MacDonald was fast off his line on 17 minutes to thwart the Clarets and the scorching conditions then prompted the officials to call for a sensible drinks break.

Ryan Dickson was having a fine game in midfield and his delivery from a set-piece very nearly picked out Jean-Yves Koue Niate at the back post. At the other end, MacDonald handled superbly from a dangerous free-kick.

Dickson was back in the action immediately after the restart and came within inches of picking out Jamie Reid, but the general pattern of the second period was United in stubborn defensive mode.

MacDonald made two late saves to deny Chelmsford and there was a late chance for Kyle Cameron from a corner, but a very tight game ended in a fair result.

Chelmsford City: Ross Worner (GK), Elliot Omozusi. Robert Swaine, Anthony Church (c), Scott Fenwick [Matthew Foy 83′], Jai Reason [Taylor Miles 64′], Tom Wraight, Joe Anderson, Amos Nasha [Max Porter 73′], Matthew Young, Rhys Murphy Substitutes Not Used: Patrick Ohman, Mark Haines

Torquay United: Shaun MacDonald (GK), Ben Wynter, Liam Davis, George Essuman, Asa Hall, Brett Williams, Jean-Yves Koue Niate, Ryan Dickson, Kyle Cameron, Jamie Reid [Ruairi Keating 60′], Chris Regis [Bobson Bawling 75′] Substitutes Not Used: George Burton (GK), Jakub Sokolik, Andre Wright

Attendance: 1,058 (unsegregated)

Referee: Alex Blake