MATCH REPORT: Torquay United 4 Aldershot Town 0 (A)

Aldershot Town were defeated 4-0 away to Torquay United in the Vanarama National League.

The Shots made five changes to the side that suffered defeat against King’s Lynn Town last Saturday.

Giles Phillips, Alfie Saunders, Tommy Willard, Alfy Whittingham and Brad Webb all returned to the starting line-up with Kevin Lokko, Ryan Glover, Jayden Harris, Colin Daniel and Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong all dropping out.

Both Lokko and Glover took their places on the bench alongside the returning Mo Bettamer following his loan spell away, with Berkeley-Agyepong away on international duty with Grenada as Harris missed out on this particular match-day.

A small positional change was also brought in by manager Mark Molesley with Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain pushed further forward with defender Saunders brought in to play right wing-back instead.

An early opportunity came for The Shots with Willard causing problems just a minute in as he drove forward and won a free-kick 20 yards from goal that saw Torquay’s Ben Wynter booked.

Fortunately for the home side, Willard’s resulting free-kick was drilled straight at Shaun MacDonald as Aldershot Town looked to cause an early problem.

Despite this, Torquay responded with a succession of corners that Aldershot Town initially cleared before the experienced Dean Moxey opened the scoring from the final corner in the 13th minute. The set-piece was taken from the home side’s right side before finding Moxey who found the far corner with a header.

The Gulls would soon find their second of the game just three minutes later, after good work from Connor Lemonheigh-Evans picked out Stephen Wearne who tapped home from just a few yards and gave Torquay a two-goal lead.

It would soon be three for Torquay as a run down the left-hand side by Lemonheigh-Evans caused problems before a mis-hit clearance by Webb found the back of his own net as Torquay made it 3-0 with 25 minutes played.

Aldershot Town were able to create an opportunity to score as good build-up play from the left saw Sylla able to find Panayiotou, who teed up Oxlade-Chamberlain just inside the Torquay penalty area, but his curling effort could only found the outside of the far post with 34 minutes gone.

Torquay followed this opportunity for The Shots up with a corner that was well-dealt with by Aldershot Town, before Willard again tried his luck from distance in the 42nd minute but it was blocked by a Torquay defender.

A late chance almost came off for Aldershot Town with Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross looking for Panayiotou but a deflection on it’s way to the forward saw Torquay able to eventually clear with the referee blowing for half-time not too long later.

It left The Shots with plenty to do in the second-half as they looked to overcome a three-goal deficit going into break.

However, it would be Torquay who would open the scoring next and find their fourth goal of the night, with a slick move allowing Evans to be found free at the back post and score from close-range in the 47th minute.

The home side continued to threaten early on in the second-half, with Shots’ manager Mark Molesley bringing on two fresh faces at half-time with Sam Matthews and Ryan Glover introduced in place of both full-backs Alfie Saunders and Brad Webb, both of whom were on yellow cards already.

Aldershot Town started to find a bit of rhythm just after the hour mark, with a neat move allowing Willard to cut inside from the left inside the Torquay penalty area, but could only guide his effort wide of the far post.

The game started to quieten down after this opportunity, with The Shots’ next chance to score coming in the 76th minute when Mo Sylla’s effort from distance could only find the outside of the near post.

Late corners came in for both sides but neither were able to create anything from them before a late counter-attack from Aldershot Town allowed Willard to shoot in the 86th minute. However, after being played through by Matthews, Willard’s strike could only find the gloves of MacDonald.

This was to be the last chance for another goal in the game, with Aldershot Town looking ahead to their next game for a much-needed response in the Vanarama National League.

Aldershot Town are next in action on Saturday when they travel to Altrincham FC for their second away game in a week.

Torquay United: 37 S MacDonald (G/K), 2 B Wynter, 4 T Lapslie (Holman 66′), 7 C Lemonheigh-Evans, 9 D Wright (Martin 66′), 10 A Little (C), 12 S Wearne, 15 S Duke-McKenna, 21 D Moxey (Omar 82′), 27 O Edwards, 31 J Lewis

Unused Subs: 1 M Halstead (G/K), 14 C Johnson

Aldershot Town FC: 24 E Ross (G/K), 6 K Lyons-Foster (C), 7 A Whittingham, 11 H Panayiotou (Bettamer 70′), 12 C Oxlade-Chamberlain, 16 C Jordan, 18 M Sylla, 22 G Phillips, 26 A Saunders (Glover 45′), 27 T Willard 32 B Webb (Matthews 45′)

Unused Subs: 1 M Walker (G/K), 5 K Lokko