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28 August 2021 Venue Meadow Lane Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Reports

Notts 1-1 Torquay

Frustration at the Lane as Gulls hold on

28 August 2021

Ten-man Torquay United withstood heavy second-half pressure to claim a point at Meadow Lane.

Despite seeing Ali Omar red-carded on 25 minutes, the Gulls took the lead when Danny Wright capitalised on confusion in our area to head the ball home in a first half which saw Ruben Rodrigues hit the post, Cal Roberts fire an effort inches wide and Connell Rawlinson nod a good chance over the bar.

Ian Burchnall made two changes at the break, sending Jim O'Brien and Aaron Nemane into the action, and a barrage of pressure told when Kyle Wootton headed home Adam Chicksen's cross on 69 minutes.

But, despite pressing intently for the winner and going close to finding it on several occasions, we had to settle for a point.

Burchnall had been forced into one change from the side that battered Barnet on opening day, with Joel Taylor only training towards the end of the week having picked up an illness.

Chicksen filled in for him at left wing back, with Alex Lacey making a welcome return to the bench.

Shortly seeing the visitors nod a good chance wide on eight minutes, we were cursing the woodwork when Ruben Rodrigues hit the post following a well-worked free-kick.

We came agonisingly close to scoring the opening goal again five minutes later when Roberts cut in from the right and sent a low shot just wide of the post.

It wasn't all one-way traffic, however, with the energetic visitors applying plenty of their own pressure and drawing an important block from Ed Francis in the area on 21 minutes.

But they were forced to reshuffle their plans moments later when we caught them out with a long ball over the top and Ali Omar brought down Wootton on the edge of the area, earning himself a straight-red card.

Rodrigues struck the wall with the subsequent free-kick and Gulls boss Gary Johnson made his first change shortly afterwards in an attempt to adapt his tactics to the suit game's new complexion.

And, after Roberts had done brilliantly to square the ball for Rodrigues only for the Portuguese's snapshot to be well saved by the keeper, Torquay had a surprise lead when a long ball forward caught us cold in the box and Wright capitalised with his head.

We could have gone into the break level when Roberts whipped a free-kick to the back post for Rawlinson, but he couldn't keep his header down at the back post.

Francis and Dion Kelly-Evans made way for O'Brien and Nemane at the break and a dominant second half was to follow, with Roberts having a big shout for a penalty turned down when the referee instead gave a free-kick after he was felled on the edge of the box. Rodrigues looped a header narrowly wide from the subequent set piece.

Frustration was beginning to build and, moments before Nemane had another strong claim for a penalty waved away, Roberts went into the book after arguing against a decision from one of the assistant referees.

But, after Brindley had sent a speculative effort over, we finally had the breakthrough when Wootton made a good run towards the near post and nodded Chicksen's cross home in front of a raucuous Kop.

A soft-looking free-kick on the edge of our area presented Torquay with a chance to re-take the lead almost immediately but Slocombe held on to Moxey's low effort, leaving us with 20 minutes to find a winner.

Chicksen had a chance to do just that but saw his shot blocked at the near post shortly before Kairo Mitchell replaced Rodrigues with six minutes to go.

Several stoppages followed as Gulls players went down with numerous injuries and Wright went into the book for tripping Slocombe as he tried to build a quick counter-attack.

And, despite six minutes being added on at the end of the game, we couldn't find our way through for a second goal.

STARTING XI: Slocombe; Cameron (C), Rawlinson, Brindley; Chicksen, Kelly-Evans (Nemane 46'); Francis (O'Brien 46'), Palmer, Roberts; Rodrigues (Mitchell 84'), Wootton

UNUSED SUBS: Lacey, Sam

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