Tiverton Town 0
(Little pen 33′)
United maintained their 100% pre-season record with a single-goal victory over a typically determined Tiverton Town side at the Ian Moorcroft Stadium on Saturday.
Armani Little’s first-half penalty was enough to separate the two sides, as Gary Johnson’s side took another step forward in the pre-season preparations.
The first real chance of the game came on 13 minutes. Olaf Koszela’s run on goal was checked by the home defence, but the ball fell kindly to Trialist A, whose snap-shot was well saved by Tiverton goalkeeper Lewis Williams.
As expected, Martyn Rogers’ side provided United with a real physical test, with chances at a premium during the early stages.
Just past the half hour, the game burst into life.
First, Town frontman Levi Landricombe broke through United’s defence. Shaun MacDonald though, was alert to the danger, and came out to smother the shot.
Then, with the ball up the end, Koszela picked up on a defensive mistake, drove towards goal and forced the home ‘keeper into a fine parry. Just as the United youngster was about to pick up the rebound, Bentley brought him down, leaving the referee with no choice but to signal for a penalty.
From the resultant spot-kick, Armani Little stepped up and fired the ball into the roof of the net to give United the lead a 33rd minute lead.
Following the goal, Johnson’s men bossed the remainder of the first half, with Ben Wynter coming close in the 43rd minute, as his drive forced Williams to tip the ball around the post.
After the interval, Torquay continued to press, with Jacob Evans going close ten minutes in. Once again the hosts had Williams to thank for keeping the deficit to a single goal, as he produced another excellent save.
That warning sparked Tiverton into action, with both post and bar preventing the scores being levelled over the next fifteen minutes.
Jared Lewington found himself well placed and in space on 57 minutes, but having fired the ball past MacDonald, the post intervened and United’s lead remained intact.
On 72 minutes, the woodwork again came to United’s rescue, with Tyler Elliott rattling the crossbar, with fellow substitute Andy Collings the relieved goalkeeper on this occasion.
The introduction of Jamie Reid and Manny Duku from the bench visibly lifted Torquay’s attacking options, with the latter going close to extending the lead with eight minutes remaining. After showing a good turn of pace to break into the box, the Dutchman fired his effort just wide of the far post.
The final chance of the game fell the way of the ever-willing Ruairi Keating went in the last minute, as the Irishman sent in a dangerous header that just dipped off the target, with the final whistle sounding soon after.
Johnson’s side will now complete their pre-season schedule at Plainmoor, with Swansea City’s U23 side providing the opposition on Tuesday (23/07/19 3pm KO), before Exeter City visit next Saturday (27/07/19 3pm KO). Tickets are available here.
TUFC: 1. Shaun MacDonald (21. Andy Collings, 72′), 2. Ben Wynter (24. Josh Baxter, HT), 23. Louie Slough, 4. Kyle Cameron (8. Asa Hall, HT), 14. Frank Vincent (25. Owen Price, HT), 7. Ruairi Keating, 10. Armani Little (20. Kalvin Lumbombo-Kalala, HT), 30. Matt Buse, 22. Jacob Evans (9. Manny Duku, 74′) 15. Trialist A (19. Jamie Reid, 74′), 18. Olaf Koszela.
- Pre-Season Friendly Vs Swansea City U23s (Home) | Tuesday, July 23rd (7:30pm KO)
- Pre-Season Friendly Vs Exeter City (Home) | Saturday, July 27th (3pm KO)
National League Season Commences on Saturday 3rd August v Boreham Wood (Home, 3pm KO)