CHRIS Hargreaves says this afternoon’s 1-1 draw against Aldershot Town was a learning curve for his young Gulls – and that fans should not expect overnight success.
It was a youthful Torquay United side that lined up against the visitors from Hampshire with 17-year-old Levi Ives making his first-team debut at left back.
Courtney Cameron scored in the third minute with a free-kick that crept through Aldershot’s defence and past their goalkeeper – but Ives was held off the ball by Dan Fitchett for substitute Joseph N’Guessan to equalise in the second half.
Late on Cameron went close and Jordan Chapell missed a great chance.
It was the third draw in a row following those nil-nils against Southport last weekend and Dartford on Saturday.
“With all the travelling and the game two days ago I thought it was a magnificent effort,” said Hargreaves.
“We have just got to put teams out of sight when we have those chances. I think we had ten or 11 shots on target and you have got to score two or three and win – someone needs to be the hero.
“I have told the lads that and they were magnificent – absolutely magnificent – and with Elliot Benyon out, Ashley Yeoman out and Ryan Bowman Suspended, it’s incredible really that they have put on such a vigorous performance.
“Both teams were deal on their heels in the second half, to be honest – perhaps that extra day of rest they had might have told in the last half an hour.
“I think we played the right shape, we looked solid defensively and I was really happy with the performance … I just don’t think we had that killer instinct and maybe that’s tired minds and tired legs.
“The goal was avoidable but it’s a foul on Levi and it’s a big learning curve for him, that one. I thought he was great today though; at 17 years of age – what talent.”
United go to Lincoln City for their next game in the Conference next Saturday. There will be some patching up to do ahead of that one. But Hargreaves is sure of one thing. “In the long term, the lads will deliver – of that I have got no doubt,” he said.