Saturday 26th December, 3pm kick-off
Conditions: Cold but dry
Pitch: was green, looked fine to be honest (David Coates 2022)
Attendance: 3805 (486)
Scorers: Mark Ellis 20, Malachi Linton 64
Yeovil Town: Josh Staunton 28, Morgan Williams 58
Torquay United: De Silva 51, Evans 60, Crowe 67, Wyatt 74
Sending offs: Crowe 90+6
Referee: James Durkin
Substitutes: Fisher (for Wakefield 46), Linton (for Johnson 46) Not Used: Buse, D’Ath, Oluwabori
Torquay United: Halstead, Crowe, Jarvis, Evans, Wearne, McGavin, Wyatt (Omar 83), Donnellan, Goodwin (Andrews 84), Da Silva (Lapslie 75), Ellis
Substitutes not used: Hanson, Lovett
Yeovil Town finished off 2022 with a draw at Plainmoor against Torquay United. A first half goal from Mark Ellis was cancelled out by substitute Malachi Linton’s second half strike.
Here’s how Coatesie saw it from the away end in the English Riviera…
Without a recognised striker in the starting XI, it is perhaps no surprise that efforts going forwards were limited for Yeovil whilst Torquay attacks seemed to run out of steam for the opening quarter of an hour.
On 15 minutes, an overhit free-kick by Jordan Maguire-Drew seemed to be going nowhere before it broke to Matt Worthington inside the box, but his effort went harmlessly wide.
Moments later, good link up play between Charlie Wakefield and Worthington saw the ball drop to Josh Staunton on the edge of the box. Torquay keeper Mark Halstead needed two chances to stop it going over the line. Any goal line technology on that stream?
But, on 20 minutes, the first meaningful opportunity for the home side led to their opening goal. A free kick in from the right was not cleared and then all dropped in the box to the head of Mark ELLIS – who played under Yeovil boss Mark Cooper at Barrow – and despite Grant Smith getting a fingertip to the ball it crept in at the far post. 1-0
That gave Torquay some impetus and as they continued to press a Yeovil defence looking far from its usual impregnable self. Just after 30 minutes, on loan Cardiff City midfielder Kieron Evans dragged a shot just wide of Smith’s goal.
At the other end, a series of long balls forward seemed to be the only thing Yeovil had to offer going the other way. Despite a forward line filled with wide players, getting the ball wide was the one thing that did not occur.
Five minutes from the interval, the home side and a great chance to make it two when Max Hunt tumbled under a weak challenge, Evans broke through and it took a fantastic last ditch interception from Ben Richards-Everton to deny him.
On 42 minutes, Aaron Jarvis dragged a shot wide and it two minutes in to first half injury time, Yeovil forced Halstead in to action. A scramble inside the box ended with Maguire-Drew trying an acrobatic overhead kick which the keeper clawed around the post.
Half time: Torquay United 1 Yeovil Town 0
Unsurprisingly, half-time saw recognised strikers enter the fray with Alex Fisher and Malachi Linton replacing Wakefield and Johnson.
Within a minute of the restart, the change paid dividends as Jamie Andrews got in on the near post and laid it back to Linton whose effort deflected wide. From the resulting corner, Maguire-Drew corner clipped the crossbar but no-one was on hand to turn it home.
Shortly after, Jarvis got clear of his man at the other end and Smith did well to smother the effort.
On 64 minutes, Maguire-Drew broke forward and perfect pass through to LINTON, who had been everywhere since coming on, and the striker coolly slotted home the equaliser. 1-1
The pair almost found almost found another as they combined but Linton was denied by Halstead.
The difference from the first half was night and day with a Maguire-Drew’s guile backing up Linton and Fisher to put pressure on Torquay’s defence which looked as shaky as their goals against tally suggests.
With 15 minutes gone, Maguire-Drew had a free-kick deflected wide and Josh Staunton’s header from the corner that followed came off the top of the crossbar.
On 77 minutes, Linton had an effort and well saved by Halstead as the pressure continued from the visitors, but it was Fisher who has a golden chance to get the winner in the 89th minute.
The striker found himself clean through on goal but seemed to think too much on the chance and his effort was turned away by a fine stop from Halstead.
In injury time, a quick clearance from Smith out to Maguire Drew saw the play-maker pulled to the floor by Dylan Crowe who saw red, but there was not enough time for the advantage to be put to full effect.
Full time: Torquay United 1 Yeovil Town 1
Several readers are saying Gary Johnson was sent off after the final whistle.