Missed chances cost Notts dear

By Rob Davies
Last updated : 27 November 2005
Notts had already twice-taken the lead through Mike Edwards and debutant Mark DeBolla, before Torquay's second-equaliser of the game gave the visitors a point that they scarcely deserved.

Leroy Rosenior's team arrived in Nottingham at the bottom of the Football League and with an away record that had seen them lose 8 of their 10 games on their travels.

But, somehow, the Seagulls - whose display did little to support their case that they are in a false position - were able to scoop a rare away-day result, with the Magpies cursing their own terrible finishing.

Edwards: Fourth of the season
After Edwards' seventh-minute opener, Notts had countless openings to extend their advantage, after carving through the woeful Torquay rearguard on numerous occasions. For a team who are beginning to gain a reputation as one who grinds-out unpretty victories, it made a pleasing change to see the Magpies pepper shots towards Andy Marriott's goal throughout the fixture.

However, the downside of this was the obvious frustration of the home support at their team's inability to put them away. Notts, for all their dominance, were largely unable to trouble Marriott.

The outstanding David Pipe produced one of the moments of the match with a blistering 35-yarder that fizzed narrowly over the bar, but other off-target efforts were less-memorable.

Andy White's neat-footwork was not matched by his finishing, as he fired a 59th minute effort over whilst, shortly before, Glynn Hurst failed to get any form of contact on Pipe's centre. The Welsh midfielder had already seen another of his crosses wasted, with Rob Ullathorne this time the culprit - volleying wide.

But the wasteful finishing was to cost Thordarson's team. Notts had seen this as the ideal oppurtunity to end their 5-game winless home record and, though this had proved to be the case, the Magpies have only themselves to blame that - instead of propelling themselves up to ninth in the League Two table - their are now 6 games without success on home soil.

Adam Lockwood's 70th-minute equaliser was tinged with an air of inevitability, but DeBolla's debut goal had given the home faithful hope for the second time that they were to see their team win on home soil for the first time since August.

The on-loan Chesterfield striker - who only met his new team-mates prior to kick-off - had only appeared as a substitute in-place of White four minutes earlier, before he cooly restored the Magpies' advantage, dinking over the onrushing Marriott with confidence that suggests he will be a welcome addition to Thordarson's squad.

That goal had came-about after a delightful slide-rule pass from that-man Pipe. It was a typical of the contribution from the 22-year-old, who produced easily his best display in a Notts County shirt.

Pipe: Marvellous
Pipe excelled in his new role at the heart of the midfield and gave a performance that was easily the best individual showing from any Notts player this season.

Which must mean that - for all the obvious anger of the alarmingly-quiet home support - the Welshman must have been the most frustrated figure in the ground when Kuffour scrambled home his last-gasp leveller.

DeBolla's intervention had looked to be the game's turning point, but this instead proved to come seven minutes before Torquay equalled the score for the second time.

As well as Pipe, Adam Tann had benefitted from the change of position that was forced upon him by Brian O'Callaghan's presence in the starting line-up. The non-contract player had impressed as a right wing-back, but spoilt his performance by getting himself sent-off for two identical fouls on Kuffour within a minute.

Even with the Magpies forced to play the final few minutes with 10-men, though, Torquay's second equaliser could easily have been avoided. The usually-reliable Ullathorne was enduring a torrid time as the second half unfolded, with visiting subsitute Martin Phillips easily getting the better of the veteran on frequent occasions after springing from the bench.

And the winger was again able to turn the struggling full-back inside-out before delivering the cross that would, ultimately, mean that his team were able to return home to Torquay with more than their overall performance deserved.

The final whistle was greeted by a chorus of boos from the home support, though this is likely to have stemmed more from annoyance at being unable to win the fixture, rather than their team's performance.

Whilst former Forest goalkeeper Marriott chose to greet the whistle in a very different manner, celebrating as if he had just won the World Cup in-front of an irate Jimmy Sirrel Stand.

Those supporters, not to mention Thordarson, will be hoping that justice can be done when the two team's meet again - this time in the FA Cup - next weekend.

Full Time: Notts County 2-2 Torquay Utd

Match Ratings to follow.

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