Torquay United 3 Chippenham Town 0

Keelan O'Connell of Torquay United challenges for the ball with Luke Russe of Chippenham Town during

Keelan O'Connell of Torquay United challenges for the ball with Luke Russe of Chippenham Town during the pre season match between Torquay United and Chippenham Town at Plainmoor Torquay, Devon on Saturday 7th August 2021 - PHOTO: Dave Crawford/PPAUK - Credit: Dave Crawford/PPAUK

With new signings Dan Holman and Chiori Johnson on board, Torquay United cruised to an emphatic pre-season win over Chippenham Town with goals by Danny Wright, Holman and a 35-yard show-stopper by new trialist Gabriel Rogers. 

Gary Johnson's men completely outclassed their National League South visitors and could have won by several more, but there was lots to like about the way they dismantled the opposition. 

The Gulls announced the permanent signings of striker Holman and former Arsenal and Bolton midfielder Johnson just before kick-off, and they are taking a first-hand look at ex-Plainmoor youth team player and Yeovil Town winger Rogers, who had scored against them for Tiverton Town in another friendly on Tuesday night.  

United had also sent young striker Olaf Koszela out on loan to Tiverton on Friday. 

Johnson started with Holman alongside Danny Wright up front, but named Johnson on the subs' bench. 

Ali Omar returned at centre-back in a strong starting XI, but Connor Lemonheigh-Evans was sidelined by a training injury. 

With a strong wind behind them, United turned the first half into one-way traffic. 

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Chippenham barely had an attack worth the mention, and Gulls goalie Mark Halstead was a virtual spectator. 

United, with Klaidi Lolos switching from striker to a right-wing role, completely dominated and should have been well ahead by half-time. 

Town, hard-pressed in defence, presented some of the chances to them, but Torquay created plenty more and the fact that it was 0-0 at half-time was more down to bad luck than bad judgment. 

They were guilty of a couple of proper misses - Holman failed to cash in on one early mistake and Tom Lapslie later fired across the face of goal when he should have hit the target. 

But there wasn't much wrong with a series of fierce shots which just failed to force a breakthrough. 

Holman hit the bar with a right-foot shot on the turn, set up by Lolos. Holman also forced a fine tip-over save by Chippenham's trialist keeper, and he and Armani Little were also inches over with shots from the edge of the area and beyond. 

United might not have been able to score in 45 minutes with the wind, but they wasted little time hitting the mark against it. 

In the 45th minute Holman set O'Connell away down the left, the former AFC Bournemouth winger beat his man, crossed invitingly and Wright was there with a trademark far-post header…1-0. 

Seven minutes later it was 2-0. 

Holman had been quick to spot any mistake in the Chippenham defence and, after seizing on a mix-up to the left of the Ellacombe End goal, he produced a delicate angled chip over the goalie from 15 yards…2-0. 

It was no more than Torquay or Holman deserved and moments later Johnson took the opportunity for his first change - Rogers for Holman. 

Rogers was soon displaying his talents on the ball, and Johnson followed that switch by sending on Dan Martin for O'Connell, who had just taken a ball full in the face. 

Joe Lewis and Omar continued to give the Chippenham attack not a sniff of a chance down the middle, and it became only a matter of how many United might score. 

It took another good save to deny Rogers with an angled shot from the left, and he started to monopolise play, not out wide but in an attacking midfield role with Little and Andrews, on for Lapslie, just behind him. 

With Johnson and Martin on the wing, it looked a promising set-up. 

Sure enough, in the 78th minute Rogers latched onto a loose-ball some 40 yards out, dropped his shoulder, switched the ball onto his left foot and unleashed a shot which screamed into the top left-hand corner of the net…3-0. 

It was even better than the 'special' he had hit for Tiverton against Torquay in midweek. 

Chippenham did manage to force one save from Halstead, a regulation one low to his right to deny substitute Harry Warwick, but United finished the game as they had played all of it - firmly on the front foot and looking for more goals. 

Torquay United (4-4-2): Halstead; Wynter, Lewis, Omar, Moxey (Slough 82); Lolos (66), Little, Lapslie (Andrews 60), O'Connell (Martin 63); Holman (Rogers 57), Wright; subs not used - Brzozowski, Piper, Moyse. 

Chippenham Town (4-3-3): Trialist; Bray (Gunner 57), Richards, Hamilton, Parselle; Russe, Hanks (Mann 46), Bunker; Griffiths (Myrie-Williams 46), Jackson (Warwick 76), Santos (Stearn 57); subs not used - Leach. 

Referee: Marc Whaley (Plymouth). 

Attendance: 621.