(Little 9′, Reid 15′, Lumbombo-Kalala 73′)
Plymouth Argyle 1
United’s pre-season preparations moved up a gear as they produced a stylish performance in the summer sun to defeat The Pilgrims at Plainmoor.
After falling behind to a Klaidi Lolos goal early on, The Gulls responded emphatically with a quick double from Armani Little and Jamie Reid, before a second-half clincher from Kalvin Lumbombo-Kalala sealed an impressive result for Gary Johnson’s men.
There was only four minutes on the clock when Lolos won a challenge in the midfield and ran at the United defence, before driving home from 20 yards to give the visitors the lead.
Torquay, who had started well, remained positive despite the setback and were presented with an inviting free-kick five minutes later. As Little stood over the ball 25 yards out, defenders, attackers and fans alike, all prepared themselves for a deep cross into the Argyle box. Nudging that thought to one side, Little stepped up and unleashed an amazing, bending effort that slammed into the net via the underside of the bar.
The Yellow Army rose in unison to celebrate an absolute worldie.
On 15 minutes, things got even better, as a lovely move saw Ben Wynter feed Lumbombo-Kalala, and the Frenchman’s inch-perfect low cross was enough to see Reid fire home from eight-yards out – 2-1.
Both sets on fans continued to be entertained following the early goals, as the Devon rivals produced some delightful attacking football.
United were giving an excellent account of themselves against Ryan Lowe’s League Two side, and they felt aggrieved not to have been awarded a penalty on 35 minutes.
Manny Duku, who was a constant menace to the Argyle backline all evening, was about to pull the trigger when a desperate lunge from Plymouth skipper Gary Sawyer saw the Dutchman hit the deck with just the ‘keeper to beat. Referee Marc Whaley though, waved away the appeals and play resumed.
Following the interval, both sides made a number of changes, but this appeared to disrupt Argyle more than United, as they continued to test the visiting backline at various intervals.
Six minutes into the second half, The Yellow Army again felt hard done by, as substitute Ruairi Keating fed Reid to fire home emphatically from close range, only for the goal to ruled out for offside.
The Pilgrims continued to prove a danger in possession, however it was from a foray into the United box that The Gulls sealed the match.
An excellent clearing header from Jean-Yves Koue Niate saw United break from a Plymouth corner. Duku took the ball forward into the Argyle half, and after drawing the last defender in, he slipped Lumbombo-Kalala into space. United’s flamboyant winger, who was outstanding throughout, calming slipped the ball past Alex Palmer and into the net to seal the match.
It’s true that nothing is ever won or lost in pre-season, but there were a lot of smiles tonight in an excellent crowd of 3,382 (1,394 away).
Next up for United is a trip to the Ian Moorcroft Stadium, as Johnson’s men take on Martyn Rogers’ Tiverton Town on Saturday.
Torquay United (4-4-2): 1 Shaun MacDonald; 2 Ben Wynter, 5 Jean-Yves Koue Niate (23 Louie Slough 86), 4 Kyle Cameron, 14 Frankie Vincent; 20 Kalvin Lumbombo-Kalala, 8 Asa Hall (capt, 30 Matt Buse half-time), 10 Armani Little, 11 Jake Andrews (7 Ruairi Keating half-time); 9 Manny Duku (18 Olaf Koszela 77), 19 Jamie Reid (22 Jacob Evans 90). Substitutes (not used): 21 Andy Collins, 24 Josh Baxter, 25 Owen Price, (gk), 28 Lucas Cavagnari (gk).
Booked: Hall 39
Argyle (3-5-2): 13 Alex Palmer; 28 Mike Peck (25 Scott Wootton 52), 14 Niall Canavan, 3 Gary Sawyer (capt, 26 Cameron Sangster 77); 2 Joe Riley (22 Tafari Moore 54), 7 Antoni Sarcevic (30 Tom Purrington 77), 8 Joe Edwards (20 Adam Randell 61), 16 Joel Grant, 23 Ashley Smith-Brown (17 Callum McFadzean 57); 19 Klaidi Lolos (24 Luke Jephcott 64), 29 Alex Fletcher (15 Conor Grant half-time). Substitute (not used): 31 Mike Cooper (gk).
- Pre-Season Friendly Vs Tiverton Town (Away) | Saturday, July 20th (3pm KO)
- 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)