26th December 2022

By Jacob Jones

A game of two halves saw Yeovil Town pick up a point against struggling Torquay United.

Substitute Malachi Linton fired in his fourth goal of the season, to cancel out Mark Ellis’ opener, following a spirited second half

After a penalty defeat to Dorking Wanderers, Mark Cooper opted for a number of changes. Grant Smith returned in goal, whilst Charlie Wakefield would play up front instead of Alex Fisher, but the big news was the return of injured Ben Richards-Everton for Owen Bevan, who was injured.

Chiori Johnson would also return to Plainmoor for the first time since departing for Yeovil in the summer.

It was a scrappy start to proceedings as both sides looked to get their foot on the ball and gain a hold of the game.

With Wakefield moved up top it was evident that Yeovil’s game plan was to look for an early ball over the top to the striker where his pace could trouble the defenders of Torquay.

The first chance of the game fell to Worthington, who after finding himself in space on the edge of the box could only fire wide.

The midfielder would cause more trouble just a few minutes later. After a good run down the left channel, his pass found its way to Josh Staunton, and although his effort squirmed under Mark Halstead, he managed to claw it back before it crossed the line.

The game had now livened up and it was Torquay’s turn to create. A free-kick from the right found Ellis and the man on loan from Barrow planted his header against the inside of the post and into the back of the net to give the home side the lead.

Buoyed by the goal, Torquay almost added a second. After a loose ball found Stephen Wearne, he would cut onto his right foot before firing an effort which Smith would turn around the post.

The Glovers goal continued to come under pressure with Kieron Evans seeing his effort blocked after a nice run before Aaron Jarvis sliced his effort wide after bringing the ball down nicely.

Yeovil began to improve towards the end of the half, after a period of pressure on the edge of the box the ball would loop up in the air. Jordan Maguire-Drew was quickest to react and attempted a bicycle kick, which was tipped away by Halstead. 

With Mark Cooper looking for a reaction, Linton and Fisher would be brought on for Johnson and Wakefield as the second half began.

Yeovil started the second half how they finished the first, and following good work down the left from Maguire-Drew, Linton’s deflected effort would go inches wide for a corner. The resulting corner would be fired in by the new signing and Halstead would just tip it away before it ended up in the back of his own net.

After a sustained period of pressure from Yeovil, the home side would get a foothold back in the game and would have made it two had it not been for Smith, who made a strong save from Jarvis.

Mark Cooper’s men would hit back though, and after a quick break, Maguire-Drew’s pinpoint pass found Linton who took his time before drilling his finish into the near post to make it 1-1. 

Yeovil were now on top, and it was that pair once again who caused trouble, Maguire-Drew fed the substitute and his side-footed effort was well saved by Halstead.

Torquay were beginning to show signs of tiredness, with plenty of yellow cards coming in a short space of time following late challenges.

Linton, who had been a brilliant outlet in the second half, picked up the ball in the right channel before firing a strong left-footed effort which Halstead pushed away.

As we approached the end of the 90, a huge chance fell to Fisher. A long ball was collected by Fisher who found himself 1 on 1 against Halstead but his volley was fired straight at the keeper who palmed it away from danger.

Late drama in the game saw Dylan Crowe receive a second yellow card after the ever-present Maguire-Drew escaped him on the halfway line.

That was to be the last action of the game as both teams went away with a point in a hotly-contested game

Next up is the reverse fixture back at Huish Park on New Year’s Day.

Yeovil Town: Smith; Williams, Hunt, Richards-Eve’; Reckord, Johnson (Linton); Andrews, Staunton, Worthington, Maguire-Drew; Wakefield (Fisher)

Bookings: Staunton, Williams

Subs not used; Buse, D’Ath, Oluwabori