Under 18s held at Torquay
United's under 18s were denied at the death as they drew 1-1 with Torquay at Cullompton this morning. Midfielder Duran Martin's superb free kick half way through the second half, scoring with his first touch of the game, looked to have earned Chris Allen's under 18s all three points before a last minute equaliser from the Gulls left United frustrated.
The first half started at a frenetic pace but once the game settled down The U’s, in their new purple second kit, started to press their hosts back. Striker Jamie Calvin went close twice, his strike partner James Roberts tested the home keeper with two efforts and defender Robbie Cubdy’s aeriel threat at set-pieces caused plenty of problems. There was an effort smuggled away from right on the line, but no breakthrough before the break.
Torquay had caused problems of their own in that half but with Josh Ashby and AJ George excellent in the centre of midfield United had been the better side in the opening period, and that pattern continued after the break, although Torquay raised their game and tested United all the way.
Calvin’s downward header on 52 was well saved after Greg Hackett’s header across goal had set up another opening, and the striker had another 57th minute header caught by the home keeper after another good cross from the excellent Aidan Hawtin, United’s skipper.
A glaring miss on 60 minutes when a Torquay striker rounded United keeper George Legg but then struck his shot against the outside of the post with the goal at his mercy reminded the young U’s of their defensive duties, and that missed proved costly as United found the goal they had been threatening.
The breakthrough came on 71 as sub Martin curled a splendid free kick into the top right corner from 20 yards, a goal that looked to have won the game for the U's.
Unfortunately a last minute free kick slipped through keeper George Legg's hands, perhaps unlucky in the driving rain, and bounced out as far as a Torquay player who stabbed home from three yards to make it 1-1.
A good performance nonetheless and a decent curtain raiser ahead of the first team's game at Torquay this afternoon.
Legg, Humphreys, Bosher, Cundy, Grant, Hawtin (c) (Conte 79), George (Martin 70), Ashby (Clarke 65), Hackett, Roberts, Calvin