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Wealdstone FC 0
Torquay United 3
Edwards 45’, Essuman 47’, Reid 82’
United secured another three points on the road after goals from Opi Edwards, George Essuman, and Jamie Reid earned a 3-0 win against promotion-chasing Wealdstone.
Gary Johnson retained his unbeaten run of results since taking charge with United moving up to 5th place in the National League South, five points off top placed Welling United.
Despite losing midfielder Asa Hall to injury, United welcomed back Ryan Dickson and Samir Nabi to the squad. Dickson made the starting XI and anchored the midfield with Connor Lemonheigh-Evans joining him as United adopted a 4-4-2 formation.
United and Wealdstone were toe to toe for the first half an hour. Neither team was giving much away, but United soon started to turn the game their way and in the 33rd minute they earned a penalty. Saikou Janneh’s shot from just outside the box was handled and the referee pointed to the spot. Up stepped Jamie Reid, but his low shot to the ‘keeper’s left was saved by Jonathan North.
The back four dealt with almost everything that came their way, and when the odd ball did get through, Shaun MacDonald was vigilant to sweep up anything else. It’s important to note United’s ability to regain possession, especially in midfield. It epitomised United’s relentless hunger to overwhelm their opposition.
Then, just before half time break United struck. Goalkeeper Shaun MacDonald started the move with a terrific throw to find Opi Edwards. He immediately pushed United on the front foot. His ball to Saikou Janneh was returned in kind inside the box. Edwards poked the ball past North to score his first goal in a Torquay shirt.
United were straight back at Wealdstone after the break. Connor Lemonheigh-Evans’ free kick was perfect for George Essuman to head past North, and he too scored his first goal for United. The Yellow Army was smelling a well-earned victory.
Shortly after, in the 76th minute, United thought they had their third after Janneh put the ball in the back of the net after a rebounded shot fell to his feet, but he was flagged offside.
United did then get their third goal in the 82nd minute after a brilliant counter attack started by Keating who found Lemonheigh-Evans. United had men over, Lemonheigh-Evans found Reid who turned back onto his left foot inside the box and stroked the ball past North. It was Reid’s tenth goal of the season. An excellent attack that summed up United’s slick attacking play.
In the latter stages of the game, United threw everything they had at Wealdstone, with players lining up for their opportunity, Brett Williams put an opportunity wide in the 86th minute after a goalmouth scramble.
Torquay United: 1 MacDonald (GK), 3 Liam Davis, 4 George Essuman, 10 Saikou Janneh [9 Brett Williams 82], 11 Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, 12 Opi Edwards, Jean Yves-Koue Niate, 16 Ryan Dickson [14 Samir Nabi 79’], 17 Kyle Cameron (C), 19, Jamie Reid, Kalvin Kalala [7 Ruairi Keating 72’] SUBS NOT USED: 2 Ben Wynter, 13 George Burton
Bookings: Edwards 60’
Wealdstone FC: 1 Jonathan North, 2 Jake Sheppard [14 Elliott Charles 72’], 3 Rhys Tyler, 4 Connor Stevens, 5 Jerome Okimo (C), 6 Godfrey Poku, 7 Fumnaya Shomoton, 8 Matthew Lench [16 Bradley Hudson-Odoi 63’], 9 David Pratt, 10 Daniel Green [15 Simon Mensah 63’], 11 Bradley Bubb SUBS NOT USED: 12 Glenn Wilson, 17 James Clark
Referee: Philip Staynings
Report: James Clements