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United had to settle for a hard-fought point in a goalless draw against Ebbsfleet United at Plainmoor.
Manager Gary Johnson opted to make no changes to the starting line-up that secured a 3-2 win at Fylde last Saturday, with the only alterations coming on the bench, as fit-again duo Kyle Cameron and Jared Lewington replaced Jean-Yves Koue Niate and Ruairi Keating, with the latter having joined Gateshead.
After a cagey opening, a United move broke down in the 12th minute, allowing Ebbsfleet to build up an attack inside the box. With a low ball centered towards the penalty spot, Josh Umera took aim and fired towards Covolan’s goal, however Gary Warren’s lunging block saw the ball diverted away to safety.
As the league standings would suggest, United were looking the more composed side in possession, however it wasn’t until the 25th minute that they threatened themselves, with Ben Whitfield’s low curling effort from just outside the box just clearing the far-post.
Whitfield went even closer six minutes before the break, as a delightful cross found him in space at the back post, however he could only send his header wide from point-blank range.
Fleet forward Gozie Ugwu did provide The Gulls with a reminder of their own threat just before the interval, however Covolan was alert enough to turn his low drive around the upright.
The introduction of Amari Little at half time added a new dimension to Torquay’s attack in the second period, however resolute defending from the visitors again kept chances at a premium.
Johnson’s men were equally stringent when defending themselves, however as the second half wore on, it was the home side that went in search of the winner with greater vigour.
No-one came closer than Reid twelve minutes from time.
Some excellent work from Longridge in the centre of midfield saw Reid pick up possession on the 18-yard line. Amid some close physical attention from Fleet defenders, Reid did amazingly well to wriggle into the box, with visiting ‘keeper David Gregory just doing enough to come out and smother the shot.
A couple efforts of during the closing stages, namely a Little free-kick and a Joe Lewis header, failed to hit the target, and soon after substitute Tomi Adeloye dragged a breakaway effort well wide of the target in injury time, the two sides were forced to settle for a point apiece.
Whether United look back on this as one point gained, or two points dropped, may well depend on the outcome of next weekend’s long trek north, as Gary Johnson’s side head to Holker Street to take on league leaders Barrow.
TUFC: 28. Lucas Covolan Cavagnari, 6. Joe Lewis, 8. Asa Hall (c) (29. Jared Lewington, 86′), 17. Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, 19. Jamie Reid, 20. Kalvin Lumbombo-Kalala (11. Jake Andrews, 76′), 22. Jackson Longbridge, 24. Gary Warren, 25. Robbie Cundy, 30. Aaron Nemane (10. Armani Little, HT), 34. Ben Whitfield. SUBS NOT USED: 1. Shaun MacDonald, 4. Kyle Cameron.
Ebbsfleet United: 23. David Gregory, 2. Jack King (c), 5. Ayo Obileye, 6. Lawrie Wilson, 9. Gozie Ugwu, 10. John Goddard, 12. Josh Umerah (18. Alfie Egan, 86′), 15. Jamie Grimes, 22. Marvel Ekpiteta, 26. Jermaine McGlashan (25. Tomi Adeloye, 76′), 27. Adam Mekki. SUBS NOT USED: 13. Harry Palmer, 16. Mathew Achuba.
Yellow Card: Goddard (44′), King (55′)
Attendance: 2,300 (71 away)