Report by Lewis Blackmore
United were held to a 2-2 draw at home against Billericay Town. Goals from Jean-Yves Koue Niate (20’) and Saikou Janneh (44’) set United up in a first half performance that promised much but United failed to deliver in the second half. Billericay hit back with two goals from Adam Cunnington to clinch a point at Plainmoor.
United lined up in a 4-4-2 formation, MacDonald in goal, a back line of Wynter, Niate, Cameron and Davis. Lemonheigh-Evans and Dickson in the centre with with Lumbombo-Kalala and Keating on the wings. Janneh and Reid lead the United line.
United were on the front foot for all of the first half and were unlucky not to add more goals. Billericay had goalkeeper Alan Julian to thank for that.
United took the lead in the 21st minute when Jean-Yves Koue Niate was first to react to a knockdown inside the box. United were unlucky not to score again immediately after kick off, a Ben Wynter cross from the right was poked just wide by Keating.
Torquay got their second of the afternoon when Saikou Janneh was positioned perfectly to get on the end of a Lemonheigh-Evans free kic. Janneh dispatched the ball showing some athleticism.
Kicking towards their own supporters in the second half, Billericay received the encouaragement they needed to get back into the game. United failed to deal with a long ball and MacDonald’s punch clear found Cunnington whose lob found the back of the net.
Billericay got their second, again through Cunnington, when they failed convinclingly to deal with a set-piece. It was 2-2 and Billericay looked the most likely to push on.
After a break-up in the play in the 63rd minute, Gary Johnson called all of the United players over for a brief team talk, and whatever he said clearly had the desired effect as it spurred both players and supporters to push on for an all-important winner.
It was abundantly clear that the match was not going to be a tidy affair and this came to head when Adam Coombes’ afternoon ended prematurely when he received a second yellow card in the 71st minute. Billericay were down to ten men, but it was United who were unable to push on.
Despite being a man to the good, and a brief moment when United forced some balls into the box from set-plays, it was a disappointing end to the match. United failed to really test Alan Julian in Billericay’s goal after Coombes’ sending off.
Torquay United: Shaun MacDonald (GK), 2. Ben Wynter, 3. Liam Davis, 7. Ruari Keating, 10. Saikou Janneh, 11. Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, 15. Jean-Yves Koue Niate, 16. Ryan Dickson, 17. Kyle Cameron (c), 19. Jamie Reid, 20. Kalvin Lumbombo-Kalala [9. Brett Williams 75’]. SUBS NOT USED: Jacub Sokolik, 13. George Burton (GK), 14. Samir Nabi, 18. Olaf Koszela
Yellow Card: Jamie Reid (17’), Connor Lemonheigh-Evans (81’)
Billericay Town: Alan Julian (GK), 2. Joseph Kizzi, 3. Callum Kennedy, 4. Scott Doe, 5. Rickie Hayles, 6. Sam Deering (c) (15. Danny Waldren 87’), 7. Ademola Shokunbi (Adam Cunnington 34’), 8. Jamie O’Hara, 9. Moses Emmanuel, 10. Adam Coombes, 11. Jake Howells (17. Calaum Jahraldo-Martin) SUBS NOT USED: 12. Dean Inman, 16. Jake Robinson
Yellow Card: Rickie Hayles (18’), Adam Coombes (57’), Sam Deering (86’), Moses Emmanuel (90’), Alan Julian (90’)
Red Card: Adam Coombes (71’)
Referee: Scott Jackson
Attendance: 2046 (61 away)