No Christmas joy for Beavers
By Rob Overfield
The Beavers go down to defeat against table topping Gulls
Torquay cemented their position at the top of the National League South for Christmas with a clinical 3-0 victory over the faltering Beavers, who had shown signs of a recovery in recent weeks.
After a scrappy start to the game, Torquay took the lead in the 16th minute as Kalvin Kalala capped off a fine counter attack with a powerful shot from 20 yards, leaving keeper Tom Lovelock grasping at air.
Torquay throughout the first half showed how much of a transformation Johnson has made to the Gulls following their poor start to the season, as they kept catching Hampton on the break, with clean, incisive passing, across the full width of the pitch,
The Gulls continued to make the better chances, Lovelock having to make a brave double save just after the half hour but the best of them came some 10 minutes before the break after Lovelock had unthinkingly caught a back pass from Simon Downer, but Jamie Reid’s shot from the indirect free kick was blocked by the onrushing wall of red and blue.
Saikou Jannah almost created a second for the Gulls second before the break, as he picked the ball off Oli Sprague and fed in Kalala; the forward’s shot was parried by Lovelock, Koue Niate could only send the rebound wide of the post.
Early in the second half, Hampton nearly equalised as Chis Dickson managed to get to a through ball before Gulls keeper Shaun MacDonald but his chip over the keeper could only hit the post.
Torquay extended the lead soon after as Kalala took advantage of a Jack Connors mistake in midfield, driving into the box to bury a shot past Lovelock into the corner of the net.
It took until after the hour mark for Hampton to create another clear chance as Craig Dundas’ ball over the top of the defence fell to substitute Karl Oliyide, but the striker couldn’t get the direction on his shot and it went wide.
Torquay made it three with 20 minutes to go as Saikou Janneh took advantage of Luke Ruddick’s missed clearance to slip the ball into the bottom corner past Lovelock and seal the points for the Gulls.
In his post-match interview, Beavers manager Gary McCann felt his team could have done better. “We could’ve defended all the goals better as they were all avoidable, but we weren’t embarrassed, although the scoreline would suggest otherwise."
Gulls manager Gary Johnson was more than happy with his team’s performance, “We showed our quality with the goals in our passing, I was very pleased about that, and we looked comfortable for a fair amount of the game.”
Originally for the Non League Paper
Photo courtesy of Ben Harrison-Hyde