Torquay United Ladies kicked off their 2018/19 season with a single goal defeat at home to Weston Super-Mare Women in this afternoon’s SSE Women’s FA Cup 1st Round Qualifier at Plainmoor.
Off the back of last weekend’s friendly defeat to Port Talbot, manager Jamie McInnes decided to line up in a more familiar 1-4-4-2 formation.
The game started and immediately Weston Super-Mare got on the front foot, with a couple of their attacking players causing United some problems early on. The early pressure from the visitors resulted in a handful of corners, which were successfully defended by the Gulls.
Unfortunately for United, Weston were rewarded for their bright start with a goal. A direct free kick from the left side dropped into the net, with the help of the inside of the far post, and the visitors had the lead their play deserved.
The Gulls began to stamp a bit more authority on the game as the first half drew to a close, getting the ball down and playing some good football at points. Chances, however, remained few and far between. Weston still remained a threat to the United backline, and not long before the break they doubled their advantage. A through ball set their striker away, and she calmly rounded Neave Gosling in the Torquay goal before slotting home.
United responded with their best chance of the half as Daisy Self headed just over from a Rhi Bailey set piece, in what was the final moment before the break.
HALF TIME: Torquay United Ladies 0-2 Weston Super-Mare Women
There was a noticeable change in the second half. Torquay came out looking sharper, having moved to a 1-4-3-3 formation. The change helped, and United were forcing Weston onto the back foot in the early stages.
The positive start to the second half was further helped by the introduction of substitutes Dani Harper and Kasey Dickson, on for Sam Kotlinska and Charlotte Dymond. Both made immediate impacts on the game, giving United further fresh impetus and work rate.
The Gulls kept striving to find the goal that would open the game up again, but to their credit, Weston managed to defend very well to keep the two-goal advantage.
As the clock ticked down, United made their final change as Amber Evans entered for Niamh Farrell. This saw a further change in shape with Torquay pushing more bodies forward to try and force extra time. Both sides had chances to find the net, but could not find a third goal.
In the final stages, United did claw one back as Evans found the bottom corner. Time was sparse now, but the Yellows did come extremely close to what would have been a superb comeback, as Self’s effort from just inside the box was tipped over. From the resulting corner, Weston managed to scramble the ball clear, and that, unfortunately, was that.
FULL TIME: Torquay United Ladies 1-2 Weston Super-Mare Women
Team: Gosling, Farrell, Mace, Strong, McJury, Kotlinska, Bailey, Self, Williams, Dymond, Wyatt (C). Subs: Phillips (GK), Shaw, Evans, Dickson & Harper.
Player of the match: Neave Gosling for some outstanding shot stopping throughout the game.