Gulls shot down by late goal

Torbay Weekly

Aldershot Town 1 Torquay United 0

Failing to make the most of improved play, especially in the first half, Torquay United lost on the road for the second time in three days when Aldershot Town captain Lewis Kinsella's 85th minute free-kick settled an increasingly scrappy game at the Recreation Ground.

The Gulls had more than enough possession to have taken the lead before the interval, but they were worryingly lightweight in front of goal and fell away in the second half.

This result followed Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Barnet, both games which United fans had expected would produce points and Gary Johnson's men have come away with nothing.

They had the struggling Shots hanging on at times, but the hosts roused themselves in the closing stages and there was no coming back from Kinsella's quality set-piece.

On-loan defender Harry Perritt had recovered from the stomach bug which prompted his withdrawal at half-time at Barnet, but Johnson still made three changes.

In came Dan Martin on the left of midfield, Jake Andrews for his first start of the season - he took up a new role on the right - and Lemonheigh-Evans also returned after injury to support Sinclair Armstrong in attack.

Marcin Brzozoski replaced Mark Halstead as the reserve goalkeeper.

Once again it took the Gulls, in their black-and-white striped third strip, a while to get into their stride as Aldershot, urged on by animated manager Mark Molesley, set off at a high tempo.

Shaun MacDonald, in confident form, had to make one fine save early on from young Shots striker Tom Willard.

Armstrong did well recover from a heavy knock, but when he had a 'goal' disallowed, for the second successive game, for a push on Corey Jordan as the home defender collided with keeper Laurie Walker in the 22nd minute, it seemed to help shift Torquay into a higher gear.

Little, who supplied the pass for that opening, was on song in midfield, Martin lively on the left and Dean Moxey's long throws to Joe Lewis were a regular threat.

Tom Lapslie was warned but not cautioned by referee Swallow after a series of fouls, but it was a sign that United were not in the mood to sit back.

Although MacDonald made another smart save after a good move between Mo Sylla and Ryan Glover, it was Torquay who looked the likelier side to score.

Little was unlucky not to break through just before half-time, after quality work between Lemonheigh-Evans and Armstrong.

Molesley must have got into his men during the interval, for they again came out fast - Lewis was booked for a foul just outside the area and Perritt did well to block Lewis Kinsella's free-kick behind for a corner.

United could not quite regain the control they had started to exert in the first half, but Armstrong remained a threat with his pace and he nearly opened the scoring with a firm volley deflected wide in the 65th minute.

Andrews had done well on his return, but Johnson took the chance to save his legs in the 73rd minute - Byron Moore replaced him.

Moxey, Little and Lapslie were all booked as the game became scrappier, United anxious not to give anything away as Aldershot sensed that all three points were still on offer.

Then, Lapslie's latest foul on lively sub Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong was punished even more when it produced a goal.

Kinsella had threatened to hit a good one with his left foot and this one was perfect…1-0 to the Shots.

Johnson threw on Dan Holman and Ali Omar for Lapslie and Perritt, but the game was up for United.

Aldershot Town (4-4-2): Walker; Saunders, Lyons-Foster (Berkeley-Agyepong 68), Jordan, Kinsella; Sylla, Glover, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Andrews; Willard, Whittingham (Vennings 61); subs not used - Walker (GK),, Ndjoli, Gorman.

Booked: Whittingham 20, Saunders 63.

Torquay United (4-4-2): MacDonald; Wynter, Perritt (Omar 88), Lewis, Moxey; Andrews (Moore 74), Little, Lapslie (Holman 86), Martin; Lemonheigh-Evans, Armstrong; subs not used - Brzozowski (GK), Lolos.

Booked: Lewis 48, Moxey 67, Little 75, Lapslie 83.

Referee: Elliot Swallow (Lancs).

Attendance: 1,582 (242 Gulls fans).