Friday, 16 December 2011

Torquay 3-1 Argyle; Derby Day!!

Today was the day in which most fans have been waiting for a very long time. United haven’t beaten Argyle in the year for over 40 years so surely it was time to turn the tables.

Like always, me and dad met all the others in our home gulls nest bar for a drink and to talk about general chit chat and of course the match ahead. Views we’re mixed feelings as majority of thoughts including myself was that the bad luck was going to be on our side. I mean we all knew that Argyle were hanging on at the bottom of the table but that doesn’t mean it was going to be a walk over for us. We’ve seen it all happen before where the bottom of the table have turned over even teams at the top! So noone really knew what to expect or to predict. As soon as you stepped into the ground, the atmosphere from both sets of fans was absolutely electric. There was no doubt about it that both sides we're determined to get one over on one another. As everyone had predicted, it was going to be frantic and hectic. 

The lineup for the game ahead was as followed;
United; Olejnik, Oastler, Ellis, Saah, Nicholson, Mansell, Lathrope, O’Kane, Bodin, Howe, Stevens. Subs; Morris, Robertson, Mcphee, Rice, Atieno
Argyle; Larrieu, Bignot, Nelson, Gibson, Bhasera, Daley, Walton, Young, Atkinson, Sutherland, Feeney. Subs; Lecointe, Cole, Berry, Blanchard, Bassell.

There was just one change in the United squad as Billy Bodin was bow back from international duty with Wales U'21's. That meant that his temporary replacement Ian Morris was placed onto the bench. On the other side, Argyle manager Carl Fletcher was forced into four changes with a suspension of Robbie Williams, Conor Hourihane, Fletcher himself and Matt Lecointe dropped to the bench.

Kick off and both teams seemed to be struggling and connecting together a passing rhythm. The first opportunity on goal was from the United side as the players put together a string of passed together which gave Nicholson the chance to fed the ball to Bodin but the cross was far too deep. Within moments, United was awarded a corner which was taken by Nicholson who this time was far more accurate with his cross but the header from Saah was blocked from the team in green to prevent a threat on Larrieu. Argyle was next up with an opportunity on goal when Sutherland introduced himself with a superb from through three of the United players but the last man to get through before goal was Mark Ellis who was luckily positioned perfectly to execute a tackle and clear the ball from danger.

Things soon took a change when after just 25 minutes, Martin Ling had to make a change to the United squad when Brian Saah was taken off injured which what appeared to be a groin injury. This meant that Robertson was able to step up and gain his rightful position back! Seconds after the change, Argyle had a quick brief of attack where they threatened the United midfield with Atkinson racing down the left win and passing in a low shot but was stopped by Nicholson and blocked the effort before it even worried Gulls keeper Olejnik. However, it wasn't easy all game for Olejnik who was called into action moments later when a splendid fire of pace from Sutherland released Daley as he scooted past Nicholson before taking a shot on target but was unfortunately the right height for Uniteds number one. We had now reached half time!

It was a matter of at least two minutes from the restart when Rene Howe made a surging run down the right to then fed the ball over to O'Kane on the edge of the box who made a first touch before smashing an unstoppable strike past Larrieu into the bottom left hand corner. It was a fabulous goal which was well deserved. 1-0 United. 

United we're now in front but they weren't just going to stop there. United had more to deliver when just two minutes from his last goal, O'Kane received the ball in the area and instantly noticed that Argyle keeper Larrieu was standing a way from his line, this gave him the perfect chance unleash an extraordinary strike from 35 yards which sailed past the keeper and to the back of the net. 2-0 United.

A hatrick looked on the cards but this time it was in hands of Stevens who made a superb run down the left hand side who then confirmed that the Yellow's were certainly giving this match there all by dominating and striking a 68th minute goal. That still didn't stop Torquay from wanting more and was determined not to give up and end it here. But it was enough for Ling to have to reconsider his options and replace a fatigued Bodin for Morris but the fresh legs had only just came on before the ball was run down the left channel by Sutherland who ended Argyles misery with a shot past Olejnik. 3-1
The final whistle was blown and it was without a doubt an excellent second half performance from United. But credit to Argyle, they didn't give up and gave it there all but on the day it has to be said the best team won and got three points well deserved!