ON occasions at a blustery and wet Home Park this Boxing Day, emotional responses all over the ground were likely as tumultuous as the climactic conditions.The wind and rain wreaked havoc with each team’s attempts to win a Devon derby for the first time this season, while late goals and major decisions would have caused palpitations to exacerbate the effect of any gluttonous Christmas Day activities.
Argyle full debutant Tyler Harvey equalised in the dying moments of the game to level after Torquay centre-half Aaron Downes put the visitors ahead from a corner twelve minutes from time.
Pilgrims boss Carl Fletcher, as cool at yule as he is the rest of the year, accepted that the wild weather played a part in affecting the game, but heralded his side’s aggressive performance, and suggested that the eventual point that he side earned was the minimum they warranted against local rivals that have caused Argyle problems in recent times.
“The conditions were terrible today,” said Fletch, “Windy, rainy, everything. I thought we played really well; pretty much dominated the game.
“To fall behind was disappointing, but our reaction once we a goal behind was good. And we had a few chances after they scored where we could have equalised. I felt that was the least we deserved today.
“We know Torquay, over the last couple of years, have been play-offs, there or thereabouts. They are a good side with some real good players. They have some match-winners, and we know they are dangerous
“I thought today we coped with almost every they threw at us. At the corner it just fell to the guy and he put it away.
“We were on the front foot and took the game to Torquay. We created numerous chances and could have had a few more goals. But from where we were – a goal down and not long left – we were pleased to get the equaliser.
“Even in the first half, we had a shot and the defender cleared it off the line, he was running the wrong way, flicked and didn’t go anywhere near the goal. Lots of half chances were getting blocked and not falling to us.
“But all you can do is plug away, keep doing the right things, and eventually it will turn for you. We did that today.
Argyle felt they could have had a penalty kick before their late equaliser, when Conor Hourihane went down under a challenge from Gulls defender Joe Oastler, but referee Graham Salisbury opted instead to caution the Pilgrims midfielder for simulation.
“I thought it was a penalty,” said Carl, “But I think it’s the way it’s going at the minute. Everyone’s talking about diving all the time so referees feel like they have to do something about it.”