National League: Wealdstone 0 Torquay United 3
PUBLISHED: 18:42 27 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:37 28 October 2018
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Torquay United scored either side of half time to take all three points at The Vale, cruising to a win that takes them to fifth place in the National League South.
With Freddie Grant’s injury last week ruling him out for 3-4 months, Stones included Rhys Tyler at left back as Matthew Lench replaced Wadah Ahmidi, who has left the club due to personal reasons.
But Torquay began the game showing the most initiative, although Stones dealt with the pressure well and were guided for the most part by Godfrey Poku’s instructions.
The central midfielder was encouraging and leading by example for the first 15 minutes, with nothing clear cut for either side.
A quick pace to Torquay’s football was tough to contain early on, but Stones calmed the game down, although there were a few too many long balls down the right side.
With Torquay captain Kyle Cameron a reliable asset at the back, spotting and stopping the danger, Stones required Jake Sheppard to create in an advanced right back role, in the absence of Grant.
The first sight of goal came for Torquay as Dickson collided heavily with Lench on the edge on the box, before Opanin Edwards saw his shot deflected into the hands of Jonathan North off Tyler.
The Stones left back then had a chance going forward but his poor cross prevented any goalbound chance.
North’s brilliance then kept the game level as Torquay’s Jamie Reid turned onto his favourite right side to get a shot away, but ran into Jerome Okimo.
The resulting corner fell to Kalvin Kalala who smashed a volley at Poku, whose raised arm handed Reid a chance to score from the spot.
But North got down expertly to his left and made a terrific second save from Edwards to keep it goalless.
Wealdstone struggled to create anything substantial in the first half and after a last-ditch tackle from Connor Stevens kept Torquay out once more, the away side went ahead.
It was a rapid counter attack, as a quick throw out from a Wealdstone corner found Edwards on the right and he skipped past Tyler, played a one-two with Saikou Janneh and slotted into the far corner.
Wealdstone were caught cold at the start of the second half as a simple floated ball into the penalty area from Connor Lemonheight Evans was met by a rising George Essuman who nodded the ball into the far corner to give Torquay a two-goal lead.
The goal shook Stones into action and they instantly had a great chance as Sheppard’s long throw into the box was headed narrowly wide by Connor Stevens.
The Wealdstone fans showed great encouragement behind the goal, despite the scoreline, but transitional play from defence to attack looked to be a difficulty for the hosts, with Fumnatya Shomotun unable to find his natural runs.
With Stones searching for inspiration, Bradley Hudson Odoi came on for Lench and instantly made an impact, volleying Sheppard’s throw-in at Torquay goalkeeper Shaun MacDonald.
Daniel Green made way for the debut of Simon Mensah and Hudson Odoi caused Torquay problems soon after his introduction.
But going into the last 20 minutes, manager Bobby Wilkinson opted for three at the back, with Tyler slotting into an unfamiliar position, enabling Elliott Charles to join in up front.
Torquay went close to sealing the game but Janneh’s tap in was ruled out for offside after a great run from Lemonheight Evans.
Bradley Bubb then had a shot straight at the goalkeeper, as the game opened up completely and Wealdstone committed men forward.
The visitors were dangerous on the counter, though, and scored a third when Lemonheight Evans sprung onto a loose ball and drove at the remaining Stones defenders, feeding Jamie Reid who cut inside and slammed the ball past North on his left foot.
Torquay should have made it 4-0 when Edwards brilliantly backheeled the ball into Reid’s path, but North stayed strong and substitute Brett Williams should have scrambled the ball in.
Wealdstone assistant manager Jamie Leacock said: “They were better than us physically. They outmuscled us all over the park, had more pace, more energy. That’s where the game was lost.
“To come out and after 30 seconds, concede from a soft free kick is a sucker blow, when your 2-0 down you give yourself too much to do.
“Rhys Tyler’s versatility allowed us to move it around when we were chasing the game. We were also disappointed after Jonathan’s [North] fantastic save on the rebound, that should give us a little lift. To go and concede just before half time as well, but we got outplayed and Torquay were well worth their win.”