Date: 21st July 2015 at 7:51pm
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Torquay hosted Newport County in the first home friendly of the summer on Saturday and we also took part in Weymouth Football Clubs’ 125th Anniversary celebrations.

Starting with the visit of former England centre half Terry Butchers’ Newport, the visitors took the early lead in the game and we were denied a penalty after that as Ashley Yeoman was upended in the box but the referee wasn’t impressed.

With Exodus Geohaghon playing for the first time since signing his new deal with us, his long throw ins certainly proved an interesting asset ahead of the new campaign as he did cause them a number of problems on that front.

Our equaliser finally came after Hurst and Briscoe had wasted chances, as Angus MacDonald’s saw his effort fly in after a slight deflection.

Newport regained the lead though as we headed into the half time break and our League Two opponents definitely ended the half more brightly.

Going into the restart one nil down, we did have an effort cleared off the line though in the first period, but it was the visitors who scored in the second half to take a three one victory.

Manager Paul Cox would’ve been pleased with the work out the game provided for us though.

Torquay:

Luke Simpson (Lavercombe 45), Hurst (Arlando Lewis 45), Butler, Jamie Richards (Murombedzi 45), MacDonald, Briscoe (Uranugu 60+), Young (c) (Sam Chaney 60+), Marsh (Jide Moake 45), Yeoman (Fairhurst 45), Courtney Richards (James Ball 60?), Geohaghon.

Goal – MacDonald (21).

Newport goals – Barrow (4), Boden (38, 49).

The game obviously featured a number of trialists.

Whilst the first team entertained Newport though, Director of Football Dean Edwards took a team made up of trailists and youngsters to a four team tournament at Weymouth FC. Torquay, along with AFC Totten, AFC Bournemouth Under 21s and the host club were in attendance to celebrate their 125th Anniversary.

We took on Totten in the first game and conceded a first minute penalty which was the only goal of the game. In the next match we took on the hosts and goes from Ollie Pearce and Tevin Summerfield gave us the two nil victory.

Our final game saw us face Bournemouth’s under 21 side and they are a quality outfit but our boys did themselves no harm at all – running out once more two nil winners.

We ended the mini tournament with six points from a possible nine and were victors.

Edwards commented.

‘There were some impressive performances and a couple of the lads will be invited for first team trials so that manager Paul Cox can cast his eye over them.’

Going back to the Newport encounter though, Cox told the Official Site following the game that he had been pleased with some elements of our play, but it was disappointing that we couldn’t maintain the levels we showed in the first half an hour of the game.

But of course that’s what pre season is about – working in that fitness to aide consistency.

‘For half-an-hour we were excellent. Human error was to blame for the first goal, but we played some good stuff and did all the things that we wanted. We were a constant threat for that opening 30 minutes but were unable to maintain the levels that we had set ourselves. This is our first major test of the pre-season and I am glad this has happened now because we will learn from it and it brings us down to earth.’

Cox went on to say that having focused on fitness and physical work so far, now is the time to move more to tactics, shape and the mental elements required to be successful.

‘I know the areas that need strengthening and I will be working hard to do that in these weeks ahead. It`s about having competition as we shape the players into a ‘Paul Cox team`. Everything that we do is geared towards August 8th. The focus is on being ready for the start of the season.’

He ended by saying that naturally he wants everything done ‘yesterday’ but he knows this is a long term project and patience is required, but having found our standards for that half an hour it’s about building on them now.

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