Hull City 4 Burton Albion 1

ou forget, don’t you, that a gulf in class between City and an opponent can work in our favour too. For all of its gaudy glitz, a season in the Premier League can be demoralising as the weekly assignments against the significantly wealthier continue without cessation. Back in the calmer waters of the Championship, with fish smaller as well as larger, the scope for dishing it out instead of being a permanent punchbag does possess a certain appeal. And as City pummelled an adventurous but pretty hopeless Burton, we left in a brighter mood than so often last season.

Not that Hull City AFC is a club wreathed in smiles at present. The sight of the whole Upper West Stand closed is a testament to the damage being done by the Allam family, and made for a sorry pre-match spectacle.

Luckily, one man for whom the next beaming grin is rarely too far away is the new City manager, Leonid Slutsky. On his home debut as the Tigers’ manager, he named the same XI that started and improved to draw at Aston Villa a week earlier:

McGregor;
Clark, Dawson, Hector, Aina
Grosicki, Clucas, Henriksen, Bowen
Campbell, Hernández

On the bench was new signing Seb Larsson, and City began the afternoon attacking the South Stand (hooray!).

It was open start, with Kamil Grosicki pinching the ball in the third minute and ill-advisedly opting to conclude his burst down the wing with a shot from an acute angle with unmarked teammates in the middle. Meanwhile, Stephen Warnock – who’d been struggling since a first minute knock – failed to last beyond 3.07pm, limping off to be replaced by Lloyd Dyer.

With the first anti-Allam chants of the afternoon only just subsiding, City took a gratifyingly early lead when a loose ball fell to Markus Henriksen. His fabulous volley hit the crossbar and came back out, where the alert Abel Hernández’s superior anticipation gave him a free header at goal. In it went, via a strong but vain attempted deflection from the exposed Burton keeper.

That began a spell of near total domination, as Burton Albion Brewers – as our own club cretinously renamed them in the build-up – looked close to being totally overwhelmed. Grosicki had a shot blocked after neat play by Fraizer Campbell, but the besieged visitors nearly (and should have) found themselves level soon after. Aina dithered naively on the ball, was dispossessed and Akins’ low shot went past McGregor but was ruled out for offside, erroneously it seemed.

That wasn’t unique, with a disagreeable vein of complacency running throughout City’s otherwise strong work. It became a madly end-to-end affair as Burton grew in attacking intent. McGregor smartly saved from Akins, Hernández fluffed a chance tougher than the one he’d earlier taken, Sordell sent one curling inches wide and Grosicki then wrapped up the 2017/18 miss of the season when rounding Bywater after being released on the right only to then miss the open goal. A crazy match.

It got crazier. More defensive faffing saw City fail to clear their lines repeatedly, and eventually Jackson Irvine was able to bend a superb shot past McGregor into the top right of the goal.

A great finish, and while parity flattered the visitors, they’d probably been worth a goal – City’s mucking around in defence and profligacy up front had badly undone them. Meanwhile, the 473 Burton fans crowed about this sudden and unexpected improvement in their fortunes.

But City weren’t to be the only ones capable of substantial self-harm. With eight minutes remaining before half-time and Slutsky’s charges yet to properly recollect themselves following their concession, Irvine rashly upended Bowen for the second time in the game. He’d seen yellow the first time, and although the City youngster was fully 80 yards from the Brewers’ goal, it looked a promising enough break to warrant a second caution. The Australian international forlornly departed, and the game very much felt City’s to lose.

Save for Grosicki directing a free kick well over, that was it for the half, with both sides appearing content to get to the interval and assess how best to approach the numerical disparity that Jackson’s foolishness had engendered.

Burton’s response wasn’t too unexpected. Nigel Clough deployed his depleted yellows in a 4-4-1 formation, while Leonid Slutsky took the opportunity to capitalise upon Burton’s likely lack of attacking ambition by urging his fullbacks further forward. It was to work splendidly.

On 50, City again began a half with an early goal. It came from the flanks, with the impressive Ola Aina fleet-footedly bewitching his marker before sending in a cute cross with his presumably weaker left. Grosicki determinedly attacked it at the near post, and sent a header bouncing into the far post to make it 2-1. Relief! Even if Burton were unlikely to win with ten, holding on for a point wouldn’t have been impossible, but now they had to chase.

Soon after, their stiff task began to appear impossible. A long ball was partially cleared straight to the unattended Hernández, who instantly crashed a low shot at Bywater. He may have done better with it, though its instant nature and sweet connection made it a challenging effort. Either way, he couldn’t keep it out, and on 53 it was 3-1. Game over, right?

Right. Flanagan replaced Sordell for the ailing visitors, who looked completely winded by their disastrous start to the second half. Campbell missed a chance to get his first City goal in 3,395 days when sending a header wide, but spurned opportunities no longer felt as though they’d materially affect the outcome.

On 68, any remaining doubts were dispelled. Clucas obtained possession in midfield, lost it and then quickly regained it, before threading a perfectly weighted ball to Hernández. The Uruguayan had cleverly found himself a yard of space and his control was perfect, allowing him to hare free of the beleaguered Burton defence. It never felt as though he’d miss, and he didn’t, coolly steering the ball past late-90s City loanee Bywater for his hat-trick and an emphatic 4-1 lead.

That left a quarter of the game remaining, and with the result assured, what to do? Push on for more goals and really put the distressed visitors to the sword, or relax a little with successive midweek fixtures approaching? Pragmatism won the day, with Slutsky swiftly withdrawing Clucas, Hernández and Grosicki for Meyler, Diomande and Larsson. Either way, it was a pleasant situation for the new boss to have.

14,882 was the official gate, incidentally. It felt approximately right, though tellingly it wasn’t announced over the PA system. It was displayed on the big screens though, and precipitated further calls for the Allams to bugger off.

City could and perhaps should have scored more as the cowed Albion prayed for an end to their torment – chances fell to (in no particular order) Clark, Henriksen, Dawson, Larsson, Hector, Diomande and Meyler, and if there are any frustrations to be gleaned from a comprehensive 4-1 win, it’s that City missed a boatload of opportunities throughout the game.

But hey, a 4-1 win! That didn’t happen much last season. Behind the affable exterior, Leonid Slutsky won’t have become a national manager without knowing his stuff, and he’ll know there are things to improve upon. Occasionally lackadaisical stuff in defence, too many chances being frittered away at the other end, coupled with the odd piece of bad decision making.

There’ll be tougher tests than a Burton side who played with ten men for over half the match. They don’t look like a side who’ll be seriously contesting for anything other survival this season. Wolves have won all three this season, beating two fancied Championship sides on the way – they’ll provide a much stouter examination on Tuesday. For now, four points and five goals. That’ll do nicely.

Andy

Hull City 4 Kidderminster 1

City finish their home season in style with a comprehensive victory led by hattrick hero Ben Burgess.  Ian Thomson enjoys sun, goals and dodgy defending.
For the second time in two consecutive visits to the Circle, the pleasure of seeing an, on the whole, convincing Tiger performance and victory was followed by a slightly disconcerting encounter with Radio Humberside, in the guise of the Taylor post-match interview followed by the fans’ phone in. On each occasion, we heard from both the City manager and a succession of City fans who had reached home so quickly that they clearly hadn’t parked in the Walton Street car park that the Tiger win we had all just witnessed was a promising sign of a more successful campaign next season. I’m sorry, but, certainly in the case of the fans, these are lazy, complacent and groundless observations. Both were end-of-season games in which the City players had been freed, for what remained of the season, from the pressures of trying to fulfil the huge expectations of the City support, against opposition which – certainly in the case of Kiddy, but even Bournemouth also to an extent, their play-off spot looking reasonably safe while Wrecsam’s fine run was busy building a bridge too far for the Cherries in terms of an automatic spot – might probably not have been pursuing victory with the same fervour as if the fixture had taken place when there was more to play for. I can understand, and condone, Taylor’s stance on this, as it’s part of his job to put the right spin on things, especially now we are into the season-ticket sale season which, like the season proper, seems to start earlier every year, but please tell me that we’re not, after another season of on-the field disappointment, in for another happy-clappy close season, with half the Tiger nation predicting promotion next year on the strength of the last couple of home games of this season, some grand words from the Chairman and a draw against Grimsby in Manny’s testimonial. Why should yesterday’s result be any more telling a sign of things to come than the one at Darlington? OK, rant over. I felt it needed saying, but, taking yesterday’s Circle offering at face value, let not a word of my diatribe detract from what was, from the Tiger perspective, an overall highly entertaining and enjoyable afternoon. Although a bit patchy in the endeavour stakes, especially when the score got back to 2 ?1, and the sometimes questionable resolve of the opposition notwithstanding, City dominated probably three-quarters of the game, played some absolutely stirring football at times and, in the end, were good value for the magnitude of a victory which provided a couple of firsts, namely the first four-goal haul for the Tigers, and the first Tiger hat-trick, at the Circle. To those of you who would gladly eschew such delights in favour of going on holiday, I say Ha! Performing for our delectation were the following:-

Fettis Otsemobor Whittle Joseph Delaney Regan Melton Keates Elliott Walters Burgess

Big talking point on the selection front was the absence from the team and the bench of John Anderson. Humberside-fuelled rumours of an impending move back north of the Border were purportedly dispelled by Taylor post-match, when he cited nothing more alarming than that, as part of his planning for next season, he wanted to see how Joseph and Justin worked together as the middle two. Be that as it may, the Tigers, attacking the North Stand end after their ritual and pointless pre-match huddle, started brightly and it was a mere four minutes before the Circle scoreboard operator was called upon to earn his corn. An astute Keates ball put Regan in space in the inside-right channel. For what would not be the first time that afternoon, the City no 29’s second touch was terrible, allowing a Kiddy defender in to make what looked to be a good tackle. However, as Regan went sprawling over the defender’s trailing boot, and the East Stand voiced indignation more out of mischief than conviction, referee Crossley pointed to the spot. Definitely a dodgy one. Surprisingly, Keates, after his miss three weeks earlier, seemed to have been relieved of his spot-kicking duties, and it was Ben Burgess who stepped up to place the ball in the corner, low to the keeper’s right. A text-book penalty. As the Circle relaxed in the sunshine, City continued to play some adventurous and attractive, if not particularly incisive football, with lots of crisp, accurate passing, some sensible running and, it appeared, a greater level of understanding among the players, with the Kiddsters only getting forward sporadically. Just as the control being exercised by the Tigers seemed to be waning a bit around the 20-minute mark, it was emphatically re-imposed as City began to put the visiting keeper Brock under some real pressure. On 20 minutes a curling Keates free kick from out wide was headed just wide by Burgess when he might perhaps have done better, ignorant as we were that he would fully atone before the afternoon was over. A couple of minutes later Elliott hit the side netting after some tenacious work by Walters out on the left had set the Ulsterman up, and then a couple of minutes after that it was the turn of Delaney (who, I’m pleased to say, had a more or less error free afternoon but gave his all as usual) to terrorise the right side of the Kiddy defence as he outstripped his man and turned in a low cross which unfortunately was deflected just behind the three (yes, three!) inrushing Tigers. After a few minutes sitting back, relatively speaking, from the Tigers, Kiddy finally mustered a threat on 31 minutes, when a shot from the edge of the box clipped a stray Tiger boot and looped goalwards, but thankfully the Fett was alert to the danger and did well to tip the ball over. The fragility of the City lead was emphasised yet further two minutes on when a right wing cross was headed in by Kiddy centre-forward Broughton, but luckily the referee had spotted an infringement. The Tigers were stung by this and the response was swingeing. Seven minutes before the break an innocuous-looking ball was knocked in from the right, but the Kiddy defender who should have dealt with it faffed and fannied about, in a manner reminiscent of Mr Grainger in Are You Being Served agonising over whether to bite into a crusty cheese roll without his dentures, which allowed Burgess to hook a long leg round the prevaricator and steer the ball into precisely the same spot within the onion bag as his earlier penalty. Rampant wasn’t the word for it now. Kiddy didn’t get a kick of the ball for the next five minutes. First Walters, then Keates forced fine saves from the visiting custodian, and scarcely had we gathered our breath before Elliott headed just over after Otsemebor and Walters had set up the position. Before the half-time whistle shrilled, though, we had to endure another scare as, in the very last play of the half, everyone missed a bouncing ball in the City box which was eventually pouched by the grateful Fettis. The second half got under way, and guess what? Situation normal, as the ball was sent soaring into touch on the right from the kick-off. But it was soon clear that, for the time being at least, the ascendancy remained with City, and a third notch should have been carved on the Kiddy goalpost five minutes in, when, after some fine defensive work from Delaney, Elliott weighted a marvellous through ball into the path of Walters who, with only the keeper to beat, completely lost any sense of ball control, perhaps out of over-excitement, and allowed Brock to collect. As if to remind us, though, of the continuing fragility of our advantage, Kiddy had a second effort ruled out within seconds, Fettis having been blatantly and uncompromisingly flattened as he went to claim the cross. But City continued to play some good football, and were not deterred by things continuing not quite to come off. On 52 Elliott unfortunately miscued his lob after beating the keeper to the ball on the edge of the box, and then a minute later Walters stormed down the right with Melton (the translucency of whose ears in the sun provided another talking point to add to the once-again justified complaints about his general indolence and ineffectuality) and Burgess in support. The cross found the former Brighton attacking midfield powerhouse who blazed the ball first time over the angle of post and bar. But then we were punished for our profligacy. From a Kiddy break down the right, a cross came in, was punched out by the Fett, under pressure, but was then rifled into the net, first time, by the number 8 Parrish. There were claims that Joseph had been fouled in the build up, and indeed the City no 39 hobbled from the field with a back injury five minutes later, but in truth City had by then spurned enough chances to put the game beyond reach a couple of times over. And now our guests were looking interested. And we, in our worst spell by far of the match, were sitting back. And the crowd were getting restless. Were we to throw away yet another win, to add to the growing list? Not this time. After surviving a couple of edge of the box free kicks and a rasping volley into the side netting, City rediscovered their first for Worcestershire blood and came out fighting. Elliott was desperately unlucky on 75 when his far-post header from a Regan cross was headed off the line with the goalie spectating, and so was Walters when he fired the rebound just wide, but the City number 9 got his own personal reward for a tireless display with just over ten minutes to go. Elliott hooked a loose ball down the left side and Walters, the only City player up, managed to hassle the defender to the point where the latter slipped leaving the keeper, who had ventured from his line expecting the back-pass hopelessly exposed, and the Bolton-based loanee finished coolly, directing his shot just inside the near post from the corner of the box. As the East Stand tried repeatedly and thankfully unsuccessfully to break into a chorus of the Great Escape (can someone please tell me what City are supposed to have escaped from, apart from the queues for the Kempton loos?) and City fielded debutant Simon Russell, things were rendered finite two minutes from the end of normal time. Otsemobor put in a raking cross from the right and Burgess, getting in front of the Kiddy defender despite looking a clear second favourite, directed a looping header over Brock, who had inexplicably strayed from his line, and just under the bar. A goal which Kiddy, on more than one front, should have taken steps to prevent, but no detracting from a marvellous performance from our hat trick hero. The three minutes’ injury time passed without incident, and the ovation at the end from another amazing Circle attendance of 14 544 was deservedly fullsome, as indeed it was, allegedly, when the players returned to the field for an end-of-season lap of honour, but I’d buggered off by then to listen to Humberside in the scramble to evacuate the car park. And do you know what some silly sods were saying in the phone-in????.. ?

HULL CITY: Fettis, Otsemobor, Joseph, Whittle, Delaney, Regan, Melton, Keates, Elliott, Walters, Burgess.  Subs: Burton (for Joseph, 64), Russell (for Walters, 83), Weeb (for Elliott, 87), Reeves, Musselwhite. Goals: Burgess 6 (pen), 38, 88; Walters 80 Booked: Regan Sent Off: None   KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS: Brock, Scott, Hinton, Stamps, Bennett, Flynn, Parrish, Williams, Shilton, Broughton, Henriksen.  Subs: McAuley (for Scott, 45), Bishop (for Parrish 78), Foster (for Shilton, 78), Danby, Ayres. Goals: Parrish 60 Booked: Hinton Sent Off: None   ATTENDANCE: 14,544

Torquay United 1 Hull City 4

The Taylor revival continues as the Tigers rout Torquay in distant Devon.  Steve Weatherill waxes lyrical.
Shiver with excitement this bright morning! Two consecutive victories, fresh hope and optimism, players dulled with despair suddenly revealed as glitteringly talented diamonds. The deep plunge of long-term failure replaced by golden sunlight. But that’s enough about Scotland. Hull City, yes, right! Them too! Ooo! We’re good! I mean, we’re really good: promotion-winning, title-chasing, get on the bandwagon NOW or you’ll be missing out good. We flayed Torquay and, with exultant terrace talk turning to available odds on two successive promotions, nothing and no one’s going to stop us now. “Err, Steve … aren’t you getting a little carried away here?” Well, yes. But that’s what football’s for, isn’t it? Hull City gets sand kicked in its face all too often, mainly by puny wimps who shouldn’t even dare to try, so all the more reason to large it when it’s us doing the bullying. And this was a terrific victory. In the catalogue of searing away performances, file it below the awesome 4-1 evisceration of Wimbledon in the mid-80s, but on a par with the Bobby Doyle-inspired New Year massacre of Barnsley and well ahead of the more recent 4-0 win at hapless Carlisle. Torquay came into this game in second place in the table and you could see why; they are a well-organised, hard-working side and, until deep inside stoppage time at the end of the first half, there was nothing to choose between the two teams. Then Ian Ashbee crashed an astonishing 25-yard volley into the top corner of their net. No, really. If you missed this, set your video, buy a video – whatever. A jaw-dropping goal. At 2-1 down during the second period Torquay remained dangerous opponents, but we quelled them with a splendidly worked third goal, and thereafter we revelled in the rare sight of City looking elegantly capable of scoring at will. An exquisite fourth goal, scored by Stuart Green, rounded off a vibrant afternoon’s demolition. And yes, promotion is a word that should be on our lips this morning. We played an ambitious formation:

Musselwhite Regan Whittle Anderson Delaney Keates Ashbee Green Branch Jevons Elliott

Keates secured an early yellow from referee Ross for a robust challenge, but the game settled into a lively pattern, with both teams bringing the ball forward confidently though without offering any serious penalty-box threat. Torquay took advantage of the linesman’s failure to spot an obvious offside to set up a shooting chance which was belted well wide of the near post guarded by the Muss. Then a chipped cross from Regan seemed to be looping on to the Jevons forehead, only for a defensive intervention to rescue the home side. Next up, a low cross-shot from Torquay which the Muss fingertipped away at the expense of a harmless corner. There are good reasons why 4-3-3 formations are uncommon. They leave the opposition plenty of space in which to play, and our 4-3-3 was now being placed under increasing strain. Torquay had rapidly decided to test debutant Delaney, and though the rangy new boy looks a very competent and appealingly mobile footballer, I doubt he is a natural left-back, and even Stuart Pearce himself would have been alarmed at the lack of support from team-mates available in that part of the field. Elliott was tempted to drop deeper to offer defensive assistance, but each time he did this he was rightly howled forward by an animated Peter Taylor. Why play 4-3-3 if you’re going to sacrifice your winger? A compromise was struck in the shape of a temporary switch of Elliott and Jevons, with the latter helping out defensively when Torquay tried their luck down our left. So, 4-3-3: a high-risk strategy, but one that promises excitingly unbalanced games. Torquay thumped a free-kick from outside the box just past the post and then proceeded to waste an inviting opportunity when Delaney lost possession inside his own half after receiving a poorly struck pass from Keates. Three Torqs confronted two backpedalling City defenders, but one of the home side’s trio foolishly strayed offside, and we escaped. Into 3 minutes of added time at the end of the half, and a game that had been pretty even took a decisive lurch in favour of the amber-and-black cause. Jevons crossed long to Elliott, who headed the ball back into the danger area, where Jevons, arriving at pace, was just unable to get a toe on the ball. And then .. Ian Ashbee. My word. The ball dropped to him, 25 yards out, and he smashed it, on the volley, straight into the top corner. Keeper Dearden, feet rooted to the turf, could move only his head, watching aghast as the ball flew past him at the speed of light, or at least a Serena Williams serve. Ashbee hurtled around the pitch whirling dervishly, his mouth agape, as team-mates and fans cavorted in astonished glee. In its execution the strike was as perfectly achieved as Zidane’s goal in last season’s European Cup Final, though, given that I doubt we’ll witness anything similar ever again from the dogged but limited Ashbee, perhaps the better comparison is with the freak televised goal-of-the-season scored from long range for Fulham in the mid-70s by talentless workhorse Alan Mullery. In City terms, think of the audacity and breathtaking magnificence of Deano’s goal in the 2-2 game at Wycombe a few years ago, though Ashbee yesterday shot from a shorter distance. 1-0 City, and time enough before half-time for Green to slip a shot past rattled Torquay’s post. And this was one of those rare occasions on which the break did not interrupt the flow. We came out for the second half bursting with self-belief and the momentum delivered prompt reward. Jevons struck a low shot, but it had little power and looked a simple save for ex-Tiger Kevin “Billy” Dearden. But, in a feeble flop reminiscent of the risible efforts in the Torq goal of his recent predecessor Neville “used to be good in the 1880s” Southall, Dearden went lumpenly to ground and missed the ball, pure and simple. It rolled apologetically into the ropework: 2-0. Any team would have been floored by the devastation visited on them either side of half-time, and poor old Torquay were reeling. A Green cross was floated to Jevons and, with Dearden standing stock-still and glum on his line, a powerful header seemed to be on its way into the net for a third goal, only for the left-back to effect a game goal-line clearance. But this Torquay side is near the top of the table for good reason, and they began to gather some composure, and started to take the fight back to us. First possession, then glimpses of chances. Muss punched a dangerous cross away for a corner. Whittle raced to intervene with a perfectly-judged tackle as Regan hesitated. There was rather too much positional dithering from Mr Regan yesterday afternoon. The game was stretched now and though we had our moments, notably when Dearden came out of his box to head the ball away from the advancing Elliott only for Branch to waste the open goal by chipping an awkwardly bouncing ball well wide, Torquay were penetrating with increasing regularity, with David Graham a particularly tricky opponent. And the Torqs scored. One of theirs was permitted too much time down the left, near the by-line, and his cross was shoved into the net from about 8 yards out. An immediate double substitution revealed Mr Taylor’s anxiety. Jevons came off, and was joined on the bench by Elliott, who tucked himself up in a tartan blanket, swigged some Irn Bru and buried his nose in a handsomely-bound copy of “Ivanhoe”. On came Alexander and Williams. And Ryan immediately played a major role in extending our lead to 3-1. He took up possession down our left, tripped himself up, but righted himself with urgency and from having apparently lost the ball he fought back vigorously and contrived to win a corner. This sailed on to the forehead of Justin Whittle, towards the back of the penalty box stramash, and his header, down into the tangle of bodies on the edge of the six-yard box, was gleefully thumped into the back of the net by Anderson’s weighty right boot. Crumple! That’s what Torquay did. They thought they were right back in it. Weren’t. And now we preened ourselves with disgusting self-satisfaction, like the bronzed, ripplingly-muscled Adonis who strolls the beach confident of his sharply-defined six-pack and well-filled Speedos. Envy and admiration is our due,and the team justified such presumption. Green’s natural role is a central midfielder. He has skill and vision on the ball, and is wasted if played out wide. And he was now conducting play with relaxed grace. But he could do this only courtesy of terrier-like aggression from Keates, who teetered on the brink of a second yellow card all game long but did plenty to stop Torquay seizing control of midfield, and the ebullient Ashbee, who concentrated with care on the unglamorous holding midfield role. Branch limped off, on came Burton, we re-shuffled and Delaney pushed forward, but nothing now would disturb our command. Keates chipped over the bar from 25 yards. Williams crossed to Alexander, whose forceful header was directed straight at Dearden. And our eager frontman came close again when he muscled a hapless Torq defender off the ball, before turning and shooting, but again only to lodge his effort firmly in Dearden’s gloves. Mr Taylor must be wondering just why such an impressive collection of players has been turning in such gruesome under-performances over these last ten months; I know I am. A fourth goal was lurking, but what a gem it was once finally revealed. Green to Alexander, back to Green, the defence is split wide open, Green is racing away, five yards clear of the despairing cover, only Dearden to beat … and the ball is whisked confidently past the keeper’s left hand and just inside the post. 4-1, a delightful digestif. And so we won, and we won well. The game finished with a reminder that we had thrashed a decent side, as Regan was again harried into surrendering possession only for the Muss to block the shooting opportunity crafted by Torquay. And up the Football League we go. I suppose this six-point week is mainly a demonstration of the players’ relief at the termination of the Molby reign rather than proof of Peter Taylor’s managerial genius, but right now Adam Pearson must be congratulating himself on a big and brave decision that so far he seems to have got dead right. The Taylor era. So far, so very good.

HULL CITY: Musselwhite, Regan, Whittle, Anderson, Delaney, Green, Ashbee, Keates, Branch, Jevons, Elliott.  Subs: Williams (for Elliott, 66), Alexander (for Jevons, 66), Burton (for Branch, 74), Peat, Holt. Goals: Ashbee 45, Jevons 47, Anderson 68, Green 85 Booked: Burton, Delaney, Keates Sent Off: None   TORQUAY UNITED: Dearden, Canoville, Hazell, Woozley, Holmes, Brown, Russell, Fowler, Hill, Graham, Gritton.  Subs: Osei-Kuffour (for Brown, 51), Prince (for Holmes, 73), Hockley (for Fowler, 78), Attwell, Douglin. Goals: Hill 65 Booked: Canoville, Fowler Sent Off: None   ATTENDANCE: 3,607