Gary Johnson thinks Torquay United lost two points on Saturday rather than gained one after they drew 1-1 with Boreham Wood at Plainmoor.
The Gulls remain three points clear at the top of the National League table but could have gone back to five if they had managed to get a winning goal against their Hertfordshire visitors – but five wins and one draw from seven games so far is not to be sniffed at, and Johnson is still pleased with the way his team has started the season.
Torquay opened the scoring on 16 minutes when Sam Sherring got his head to a Connor Lemonheigh-Evans free kick into the box. It was a composed header for the defender’s second Torquay goal, but Boreham Wood rallied and played well, more than deserving their equaliser in first-half injury time when the brilliant Sorba Thomas ran into the box and his cross from the left was luckily deflected off the boot of Ben Wynter, high over MacDonald, and into the net at the far corner.
The wind and rain had been awful in the first half, but the conditions were better in the second when both teams worked hard – but there were no more goals, despite numerous chances.
Torquay were forced to play the last 18 minutes with ten men after Adam Randell picked up a second yellow card for a late challenge on Adam McDonnell. Both that challenge, and the one on the first half that led to his first card, might not have been deemed a yellow on another day.
Ben Wynter had a wonderful volley tipped over by the Boreham Wood Nathan Ashmore in the second half, while the same player might have done better with a chance very late on, but the right back’s strike was straight at the goalkeeper.
Shaun MacDonald, playing in goal for Torquay after Lucas Covolan picked up an injury in training during the week, made a key save in time-added-on to save the point.
Johnson said: “It was a competitive game, that’s for sure, but it was a bit too bitty for my liking. The opposition made that happen and the wind and the rain was not conducive to beautiful football.
“There weren’t enough chances created – normally I like my team to create a lot more chances and the ones we had were late on when Ben Wynter had a fantastic shot outside the box and he had a great chance right at the end.
“We could have come away as winners but we will see if it is a point gained. I think it is two points lost because if we are going to be the best team in the league and get promoted over 46 games you need to have enough about you that you are going to pick up enough points.”
With Tuesday night’s home game against Solihull Moors postponed because the visitors have a player who has tested positive for Coiv-19, United will next play at FC Halifax Town on Saturday. That gives them a second consecutive free midweek after such a busy start to the season.
Johnson also confirmed after the game that midfielder Armani Little will have a scan this week to determine how bad his pelvic injury is after he failed to make the bench.
On Covolan’s absence, Johnson said: “He slipped in training and put his back out a little bit. Obviously he was desperate to play but didn’t feel he could give us 100 per cent.
“But Shaun has always been ready and he has been part of the group, he didn’t spit his dummy out, or get upset – and he is a big character in our dressing room.”