Starting XI (1-3-4-3) - Gosling,
Farrell (C), Mace, Strong, Anderson, Shaw, Dymond, Evans, Dickson, Swaine &
Subs - Brown, Allen, Hawthorne & Kotlinska.
Torquay United Ladies lined
up with a 3-4-3 formation. They welcomed back captain
Niamh Farrell from injury, with Gemma Anderson making her debut in right
midfield. Kasey Dickson and Lauren Swaine supported Dani Harper as the focal
point in attack.
The home side won the toss
and changed ends, playing with a strong wind behind their backs for the first
half. Torquay began well and kept the visitors pegged back into their half.
Harper broke the deadlock after around ten minutes (her fourth goal of the
season) hitting a bouncing shot that flew over the head of the Portishead
keeper and into the net, 1-0.
This added to the home team's confidence, who
continued to press high and create chances. We unfortunately lost Megan
Strong to injury shortly after going ahead, this was a huge blow as Strong has
played every minute of every game so far this season. With half an hour
played, a rare break away attack from the away side got them the equaliser, as
a long ball found the Portishead striker, who finished well from the right hand
side of the box, 1-1. Portishead grew in confidence and began to control the
midfield battle, on a very sticky pitch. Torquay withstood this pressure, and
we delighted to go ahead once more just before the break; a pass down the right
side finding Dickson in space, who finished superbly into the bottom left hand
corner from a tight angle. Half time score - 2-1.
Torquay made a slight change in
shape for the second half, changing to a five at the back and three in the
middle, to try and counter the strong wind which they would now be facing.
Portishead pushed hard from the
whistle to try and get back in the game. Torquay were struggling to get out of
their own half, but defended well, restricting the away side to long shots that
didn't really trouble Gosling in goal. The pattern of the game continued,
with Harper working hard to try and get the home side up the pitch. Torquay
begun to sit deeper and deeper, inviting Portishead forward. The pressure from
the away side eventually told, as they finished a chance that wasn't cleared by
the Torquay defence, 2-2. The game was very stop-start from this point onwards,
with neither side able to find a winner. Final score, 2-2.
Player of the match - There were a number of strong performances this
afternoon, but today's accolade goes to debutant Gemma Anderson. She played
very well in her first game at this level, performing admirably in both
right midfield and in a less familiar central midfield role. A very
promising first game!
After the game, manager Jamie McInnes commented: "I'm delighted
with the valuable point we gained today. The girls continued our run
of impressive performances, demonstrating real grit and determination in
extremely tough conditions and on a very soft pitch.
"We have been loading
them with an awful lot of tactical information lately, and I'm really pleased
they are starting to put into practice lots of the things we have been working
on. The side we are putting out each week is finally beginning to have a
familiar look to it, which can only bode well for the future. A lot of the
girls were disappointed not to have won the game today, and I think that
shows how far we have come. As I keep saying, there is a long way to go and
lots to learn, but we are getting there and developing at a good pace. We know
we are in a relegation battle, but I am confident that with the fighting spirit
we are now displaying on a consistent basis, we will have more
than enough to stay in this division. We look forward to continuing our
work in training this week and then taking on Callington next weekend."