FULL REPORT: Torquay United 0-0 Mansfield Town
TORQUAY slipped a little further into foot-of-the-table trouble after dropping two priceless home points in a scrappy game against Mansfield.
They also has centre-back Krystian Pearce sent off as they failed to capitalise on first-half superiority once again.
Torquay gave a first start to midfielder Jak McCourt, on loan from Leicester, in place of the injured Ben Harding.
For Mansfield, Anthony Howell, Colin Daniel and Calvin Andrew dropped to the bench following last week’s 1-1 draw against Bristol Rovers, with Jamie McGuire, James Jennings and Matt Rhead coming in.
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The visitors were ready to start the game in Torquay's away shirts after their own kit was left behind, but their blue shirts arrived in tome for kick-off.
There was little to cheer the fans in a scrappy first half. Neither side could find a man to put his foot on the ball and control the game, and there were too many long and aimless passes from both teams.
Torquay just about had the better of the half and almost took the lead with a rare moment of magic after 20 minutes. Billy Bodin received the ball on the edge of the box and jinked his way through the Stags defence before driving a low left-foot shot against the inside of Alan Marriott’s left post.
The ball ricocheted across the goal and behind for a goal kick.
Moments later it was Karl Hawley’s turn in front of goal, but his half-volley from a Jordan Chapell cross went over the bar.
Early in the second half only a terrific one-handed save by Martin Rice kept a clever header by Mansfield’s Matt Rhead out of the Torquay net, while at the other end Torquay had a couple of half-hearted penalty appeals turned down.
Torquay brought on midfielder Nathan Craig with half an hour to go and changed to a 4-3-3. But they were forced into another change almost immediately when Krystian Pearce was sent off for a second yellow card after pulling back Sam Clucas.
The Gulls also brought on striker Elliot Benyon in the closing stages in an effort to win the game, but he and his team-mates were left frustrated.
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