Torquay United skipper Lee Mansell hails 'unbelievable block'
Torquay United captain Lee Mansell credited Robbie Williams’ blunt end for earning the 0-0 draw which saw honours even in Saturday’s first Devon derby of the npower League Two season at Plainmoor.
Midway through a first half which saw the Gulls on top without making it count, Mansell followed up Jake Cole’s fine save from Ian Morris with a shot from eight yards which seemed certain to give United the lead.
Mansell said: “I struck it true and thought ‘That’s in’, but Robbie Williams’ backside saved the day. It was an unbelievable block from Robbie.”
Mansell admitted it was a frustrating afternoon for Torquay, but he added: “Sometimes we have to realise that we have quite a few young lads in the team. We were trying things that we didn’t need to do, when the simple ball was on, but they will learn.
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“Young Nathan Craig got on the ball in midfield and allowed me and Ian Morris to get in the box, Danny Stevens did really well considering that was his first game for more than a month and I thought Joe Oastler did really well against a tricky opponent.”
Mansell declined to comment on the performance of Wiltshire referee Roger East, saying only: “I will keep my thoughts to myself.”
United manager Martin Ling was much more forthcoming. “The game wasn’t helped by the referee blowing his whistle every few minutes,” Ling said. “There’s a difference between physical contact and a foul.
“He refereed in the Premier League last week, and I don’t think he had the best of times, and it was as if he wanted to make sure, with the assessor in the stand today, that he was going to cover himself on every situation.”
As for the result, Ling said: “I thought that Plymouth came and played for the draw and got it. They came to stifle us, and the referee helped them to do that with the way he handled the game. They got what they worked for.
“Plymouth will enjoy the point more than us. There were some pleasing points as well, especially in the first half, but the game went scrappy in the second half and we never really got at their goalkeeper enough.
“It’s a good point from a derby game. We’re still unbeaten, but we’ve had four draws now. We need to turn more of those into wins.”