Noah Dougherty
Tuesday 10 July 2018

Goals from Carl Winchester, Theo Archibald and Recce Brown, as well as an own goal, wrapped up a comfortable second pre-season victory for Forest Green as they saw off Torquay United 4-1.

Winchester opened the scoring after just five minutes with a tidy finish and although FGR were pegged back on the half hour mark by Samir Nabi, three second half strikes were more than enough to claim a second pre-season victory.

Mark Cooper’s side remained almost the same for the second pre-season game with the only change being the experienced Lloyd James coming into the side for his debut.

With the sun beating down at Plainmoor, it was Forest Green who started brightly and with just five minutes on the clock they had the lead thanks to a goal straight off the training ground.

Just hours after finishing another tough training session on their pre-season trip, Rovers will have been delighted to see one of their moves come off as George Williams found Liam Shephard down the right-hand side before his low ball across the area was gratefully slotted home by Winchester in the middle.

Reuben Reid had a chance to double FGR’s lead with a quarter of an hour on the clock as, after a clever one-two with Winchester, he raced through on goal but couldn’t generate enough power on his shot to trouble Alex Bass in the Torquay goal.

Forest Green continued to be the dominant force in the opening encounters and 10 minutes later Brown was next to try and force an opening. His effort from range though, not trouble the keeper who would have been pleased to see the shot skip wide.

Despite being on the back foot early on, the hosts were trying to force a route back into the game and on the half-hour mark they found it. Jamie Reid did well to force an opening down the right before squaring the ball to Nabi who found the far corner with a powerful drive.

Winchester looked in good form and with 40 minutes on the clock he almost scored his and FGR’s second of the evening. The move started with an exquisite ball from Gavin Gunning who found Joseph Mills down the left and the latter was able to float a well-aimed pass into the middle before Winchester was unlucky to see his header tipped over.

Formerly the provider, Mills almost the back of the net himself moments later as he battled well to win the ball in the Torquay penalty area before firing straight at Bass from close range.

Forest Green started the second half in the same prolific fashion as they started the first and with just 48 minutes on the clock they doubled their tally for the match.

Both of Cooper’s half-time outfield subs were involved in the goal as, after Williams drilled a low ball into the box, Tahvon Campbell saw his shot blocked by the Torquay stopper before Archibald was on hand to slot home the rebound.

As it turned out, a second goal was what FGR needed to really spark them into life, and they soon found themselves with the ball in the back of the net once again. This time however, it was off a Torquay foot as the Gull’s triallist defender was unlucky to see Shepard’s low cross fly in off his left boot.

Backed by several more attacking additions from the bench, FGR continued to push forward and with 64 minutes on the clock, Brown notched his side’s fourth and final goal of the encounter. After picking the ball up on the edge of area, the young midfielder took one touch to set himself before firing low into the bottom corner via a slight deflection.

Brown was again amongst the action six minutes later but this time his effort didn’t quite squeeze in and instead thundered back off the base of the post, another reminder to the Torquay defence of his long-range ability.

It was the hosts who had the final attempt of the day though as Ben Wynter was able to find space outside the area before his effort from 19 yards out was well blocked by a sliding Farrend Rawson.

Pictures: Shane Healey / Pro Sport Images