United came away from Ladysmead with much to think about after being beaten 3-1 by a Tiverton Town side that spared them little quarter.
Tiverton struck quickly to more or less wrap the game up within the first 21 minutes. Two goals from striker Owen Howe and one from Jordan Rogers left United with a mountain to climb and they failed to find a way back. Tiverton closed the game down so effectively that ex-Gull, Martin Rice, had little to do until he had to pick the ball out of his own net after trialist James Gray scored in the final minute of ordinary time.
Player-manager, Kevin Nicholson made two changes to the side that beat Bristol City 2-0 at Plainmoor on Saturday. Goalkeeper Ryan Clarke and Jon-Paul Pittman made way for Neal Osborn and trialist Yemi Odubade. Midfielder Sam Chaney continued to cover at left-back in a 4-3-1-2 formation that had Jake Gosling working behind striker Ruairi Keating and trialist Yemi Odubade.
Chances were hard to come by apart from the four goals that were scored. United, especially, found it difficult to create shots on target, and even shots off target. A few promising moments in the first half were snuffed out before United could capitalize. Sean McGinty seemed to have scored from a corner but the goal was ruled out for pushing. With United three goals down, and eager to give everyone in the match day squad minutes on the pitch, the second half did not produce a stirring comeback.
Tiverton’s first and third goals came from low balls into the box from the right wing. The middle goal was as a result of sharp play by Howe, who struck after Osborn had saved a shot from distance down to his right.
United had to thank development goalkeeper Adam Seedhouse-Evans for pulling off another acrobatic save to stop Tiverton scoring a fourth. This one might be even better than the one he managed against Stoke Gabriel.
Player-manager Kevin Nicholson must have been eager to get his players in at the final whistle, but just before he could, substitute and trialist James Gray scored a stunning header that he had to right to score. The power achieved on a fine backward header was something the Yellow Army could appreciate on the night.
We would like to thank Tiverton Town for their hospitality.
Tiverton Town Starting XI: Martin Rice, Jamie Price, Liam Gregory, Ben Mammola, Tom Gardner, Jamie Short, Ben Carter, Ollie Knowles, Callum Hall, Jordan Rogers, Owen Howe
Torquay United: Osborn [Seedhouse-Evans 76′], Higgins [Harry Bell TA 76′], Chaney, McGinty, Gowling [Austen Booth 65′], Young, Klukowski [Tallan Mitchell 76′], Lathrope [Reid 55′], Gosling [Hancox 69′], Yemi Odubade [Nathan Hebbes TA 76′], Keating [Gray 65′]