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Torquay United 3 Dorking Wanderers 3 Vanarama National League November 9th 2022 Just over a fortnight on from the thrilling six goal Surrey derby with Woking, Dorking were again denied all three points under the midweek lights as Torquay United fought back from two goals down to rescue a point at Plainmoor. Dillon De Silva's early goal was cancelled out by Nicky Wheeler's brilliant long range strike just before the interval, and Wanderers quickly added two well worked goals after the restart through James McShane and Jimmy Muitt. Gary Johnson's side rallied through the course of the second half though, reducing the deficit via De Silva's second goal of the night before a looping header from centre back Mark Ellis ensured the spoils were shared. Marc White made five changes to the side which started against Aldershot Town last time out, also changing formation by opting for a 4-5-1. Joe Cook, signed last week on loan from Chesterfield, came in for his debut alongside the returning Sami El-Abd and Dan Gallagher, who was deployed at right back. Josh Taylor also returned to the starting line up from suspension and Nicky Wheeler would come in for the injured Seb Bowerman out wide. Whilst Isaac Philpot and Harry Ottaway were ruled out through injury, Ed Harris would be named on the bench alongside Archie Procter, named in the matchday squad for the first time since signing from Accrington Stanley last week. The defender would come off the bench very late in the game to make his Wanderers debut as well. A rendition of 'The Last Post' and a minute's silence was observed just before kick off ahead of Remembrance Sunday. The impact of the damp pitch and high wind conditions had a clear bearing on the game from early on, and the combination of Torquay's recent two matches in the space of a week with Wanderers lack of recent game time also likely contributed to a first-half that was cagey and often scrappy. The direct approach of Torquay not sticking enough in the top end of the field, Wanderers enjoying more possession but succumbing to loose play as both sides struggled to retain the ball. Seager and attacking counterpart Will Goodwin were denied with close range half-chances in the opening exchanges, but on 11 minutes Torquay would open the scoring and from the Wanderers perspective it was a poor goal to concede. Lincoln's pass into McManus was not the easiest to control at the edge of the box, and the lively Dillon De Silva was quick to dispossess the Wanderers midfielder. The on loan QPR man would quickly advance into the box before slamming home a strike which nestled into the bottom corner despite Lincoln getting a hand to it. Wheeler would sting the palms of keeper Halstead shortly after and Wanderers had a penalty appeal waved away after Muitt was curtailed around the midway point of the half, but in the lead up to half-time the hosts went very close to doubling their advantage. Good work from Goodwin and De Silva down the right proceeded a cross finding Stephen Wearne, his effort at point blank range brilliantly palmed away by Lincoln down to his left. Into stoppage time at the end of the first half Wanderers managed to find an equaliser; Wheeler picking up the ball at least 30 yards out as the ball was cleared and taking on a strike at goal, the well-stuck effort flying spectacularly into the top right corner. Half-Time: Torquay United 1 Dorking Wanderers 1 Buoyed on by the goal and getting back on terms, Marc White's men carried that momentum into the restart, and within ten minutes put themselves two goals to the good. Much of Wanderers play through the night getting forward had gone through Josh Taylor, and the midfielder turned inside brilliantly to buy space and advance forward in the middle of the park, finding Seager on the right side of the box. The Wanderers No9 then put the ball across goal for the arriving McShane, who managed to keep his composure and dink the ball over Halstead from close range to net his 12th of the campaign. Then, just two minutes later, Muitt made it three. Wheeler's searching cross from the left managed to find his wide man colleague at the back post, and he made no mistake guiding the ball home with an outstretched leg. Cook and Bobby-Joe Taylor would play dangerous balls in behind as Wanderers kept up the momentum after getting in front ahead of Muitt spurning an excellent chance to get his second of the night. Seager accelerated down the attacking left and whipped in a ball across the box, the Wanderers winger not able to fashion a strong enough contact as he arrived onto it, directing the ball wide of target. Just beyond the hour mark though, De Silva would double his tally and reduce the lead. The Torquay man of the match would latch on to a diagonal ball played in behind the Wanderers left back area, stride forward before firing a fierce low effort straight through Lincoln at an angle. Substitutions from both sides and a delay in play after Muitt, Josh Taylor and Dylan Crowe all collided on the far side of the field disrupted the pace as we approached the final quarter of an hour, but in the late stages it was Gary Johnson's side showing greater energy, and they found an equaliser in the 80th minute. Goodwin's high cross in from the right came down and was met by Ellis up from the back, with Lincoln having committed himself the central defender's backwards looping header got up and over the keeper before landing into the back of the net. McManus did bring Halstead into action with a save up the other end, but in the late stages the Gulls front-men were causing difficulties and nearly landed a decisive winner; Goodwin somehow heading Aaron Jarvis cross wide at the back post before Jarvis himself would come perilously close to getting a foot on De Silva's dangerous ball across the face of goal. Goodwin couldn't get over the ball as Tom Lapsie this time delivered another good ball from the right channel, but Wanderers ultimately held out through five minutes of stoppage time to retain the point. The result lifts Torquay off the bottom of the table, whilst Wanderers remain in 13th spot despite just picking up one win in the last six league games. Marc White's side are back on the road this Saturday, travelling to Southend United for a 3pm kick off.

Dan Stobbart

Torquay United (4-4-2): 1 Mark Halstead, 16 Shaun Donnellan (7 Ryan Hanson 71'), 26 Luca Ness, 35 Mark Ellis, 2 Dylan Crowe; 27 Dillon De Silva, 4 Tom Lapslie, 8 Asa Hall (c) (14 Brett McGavin 71'), 12 Stephen Wearne; 9 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Will Goodwin

Unused Subs: 5 Ali Omar, 6 Ross Marshall, 22 Rhys Lovett Goals: De Silva 11', 65' Ellis 80' Yellow Card: Ness 75' Dorking Wanderers (4-5-1): 1 Dan Lincoln; 20 Dan Gallagher, 4 Sami El-Abd, 33 Joe Cook, 3 Bobby-Joe Taylor (35 Archie Procter 85'); 7 Jimmy Muitt (18 Luke Moore 79'), 6 Niall McManus, 17 Josh Taylor, 10 James McShane, 16 Nicky Wheeler; 9 Ryan Seager Unused Subs: 5 Ed Harris, 23 Jack Jebb, 29 Alfie Egan Goals: Wheeler 45'+1, McShane 51', Muitt 52'

Yellow Card: Lincoln 90+4 Referee: Aji Ajibola Attendance: 1805 (49 Wanderers Supporters) Man Of The Match: Dillon De Silva (Official Home Selection)

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