Torquay Ladies returned to winning ways with a convincing 4-1 victory over Forest Green Rovers on Sunday.
With an injury hit and tired squad from Friday night’s Devon Cup final (see here), the ladies were without captain Alex Sheppard, influential midfielder Steph Beck, utility player Emma Mingo and goalkeeper Beth Marshall. This meant opportunities for Jodie Randall at left back, Amy Evans at right back and Danni Wyatt up top. Jessie Boston and Ellie Hellyer returned to the starting line-up after being cup tied for Friday’s final. Manager Vicki Fannon sported the gloves in goal in the absence of keeper Marshall.
Despite the long journey TULFC started the game brightly, the back four of Randall, Rogers, Wakely and Evans were commanding the back line well and keeping FGR at bay. TULFC were playing some dominating football, neat short passes between Hellyer, Smith and Randall down the left side, and Boston out on the right was finding space and time to run at the full-back. Hannah Eglon and Hellyer in the middle were able to win possession on a number of occasions.
TULFC’s first goal came from corner. Boston was first to the ball and her strike hit the cross bar but then Wakely who wasted no time on smashing the ball into the back of the net.
The second goal of the game came around 5 minutes later. Smith again delivered the ball, it fell to the feet of Chapman who slotted the ball into the back of the net which gave TULFC a 2-0 lead at half-time.
The second half started brightly for TULFC. The back four were in imposing form and showing incredible team work to prevent FGR from getting shots on target. In the 60th minute, Hellyer received the ball wide on the left and picked out an inch-perfect pass to the feet of Wakely who made it 3-0.
Manager Craig Kendall made two changes, Smith and Chapman made way for Inkeri Usvasalo and Kasey Dickson who took positions on either wing with Jessie Boston moving up front. Dickson made an instant impact, showing fearless play and determination. She skipped past two defenders and found the ball into the back of the net from a very tight angle. It was Kasey’s first goal for TULFC in her first few months in ladies football. Dani Garland came into the game to replace Eglon and continued with the dominating and linking up in the middle. Wyatt and Boston were working hard up front, holding the ball up well and allowing the team to join in.
“A truly awesome response from the girls after Friday night’s defeat. A lot of tired bodies and players missing today. The girls stepped up to the plate and gave Vic [Vicki Fannon] and I the perfect comeback – we couldn’t be more proud. We now look forward to a few days rest to allow the bodies to recover,” said joint-manager, Craig Kendall.
Subs used: Usvaslo, Dickson and Garland.
Next Sunday we face Buckland Athletic Ladies at home with a 2pm kick off.
Report by Vicki Fannon.