Torquay United 3
Stobbs 13
Jude-Boyd 15, 83

Weston-super-Mare 3
Bastin 27
Kempster 51
Reid 87

Weston-super-Mare fought back bravely to enjoy a share of the spoils in an Easter Monday cracker against Torquay United at Plainmoor.

The Gulls enjoyed a dream start, Jack Stobbs and Arkell Jude-Boyd giving the hosts a cushion inside 15 minutes, but Jordan Bastin restored some Weston hope on the half-hour. The visitors then levelled through Bailey Kempster early in the second period.

Jude-Boyd restored the United lead with seven minutes left on the clock but there was enough time for Reuben Reid to break home hearts with a dramatic equaliser.

Weston trounced Somerset rivals Taunton Town 4-0 to kick-off their holiday weekend but found themselves under early pressure at Plainmoor, as a deflected cross deceived goalkeeper Max Harris and very nearly fell into the path of a lurking Ethon Archer.

Weston responded with a sweeping attack that saw Robbie Willmott whip over a cross for Kempster, who did enough to divert his shot beyond goalkeeper Mark Halstead but not Dean Moxey, perfectly placed to clear off the line.

United immediately capitalised on the reprieve to grab a crucial lead. Archer, who had made a fine start to the game, picked out a deep cross for Stobbs to fire past an exposed Harris, and the Yellow Army barely had a minute to clear the throats before a second wave of cheering.

Jude-Boyd continued his impressive loan spell from QPR to double the advantage and United were taking a huge step toward securing National League South football for next season.

Weston, however, had different ideas, and they pulled one back with a neat finish from a tricky angle by Bastin. The goal came after a decent period of possession for the visitors and tension levels inside Plainmoor made a rapid rise.

Moxey executed another vital block to thwart Weston captain Dayle Grubb before Halstead denied Willmott with a smart save at his near post. Weston continued to pile forward and former Plymouth Argyle forward Reid forced Moxey into yet another goal-saving clearance.

The Gulls finally broke free from the siege with Brad Ash cutting into the penalty for a strike saved at the near post by Harris. Back to Weston, and James Dodd should have done better than a shot screwed wide from a good position.

United finished the half with successive corners but still a lot of work to be done after the break.

Unfortunately, the painful pattern of defensive frailty came back to haunt the Gulls within six minutes of the restart, Kempster prodding the ball past Halstead and United’s two-goal lead had evaporated.

Downes sought to re-energise his troops with the introduction of Lewis Collins for Brett McGavin and the stage was set for a thrilling conclusion to the game. Halstead first pulled off a top save to thwart Grubb and then United replied with Ash flicking the ball against the bar after Marshall had headed the ball goalwards.

Duane Ofori-Acheampong replaced Ash for the final 12 minutes and the game took another huge twist in favour of the Gulls when Jude-Boyd, who had just recovered from a heavy knock, powered into the box for a shot that squirmed over the line for a 3-2 lead.

United were three minutes away from a massive win when Reid demonstrated all his Football League pedigree with a super low finish into the corner. Honours even in a terrific local derby but United needed more ahead of four away games in succession.

United: 1 Mark Halstead; 2 Arkell Jude-Boyd, 4 Tom Lapslie, 6 Ross Marshall, 8 Asa Hall (capt), 11 Brad Ash (19 Duane Ofori-Acheampong 78), 14 Brett McGavin (10 Lewis Collins 61), 18 Will Jenkins Davies, 21 Dean Moxey (capt), 27 Jack Stobbs, 30 Ethon Archer. Substitutes (not used): 5 Austen Booth, 22 Rhys Lovett (GK), 23 Ollie Tomlinson.


Weston: Max Harris; Jason Pope, Keiran Thomas, Raphal Araoye, James Dodd, Lloyd Humphries, Robbie Willmott, Bailey Kempster, Jordan Bastin, Reuben Reid, Dayle Grubb (capt). Substitutes (not used): Jacob Cane, Jamie Soule, Marlon Jackson, Freddie Butchers (GK), Rex Mannings.

Booked: Humphries 66

Attendance: 3,094 (138 away)