Summary and TU Goals
After a week of turbulence and turmoil, I went into this game secretly optimistic that Kev’s dismissal would give The Gulls the sharp shock they needed. A quarter of an hour later and all that hope had more or less gone, Guiseley’s attack repeatedly carving through our defence like a hot knife through butter. Last-gasp tackles and more heroics from Clarke kept them out until 12 minutes, when a heavy back pass from Klukowski gave a needless corner away. Purver rose to head the ball onto the bar, which fell to an unmarked Lawler to head in from 3 yards out.
United replied well, and the game was end to end with both teams having chances. The equaliser came from some good pressing from Reid down the left – despite the Guiseley full back’s protestations, a corner was given; Luke Young served the ball which McGinty rose to, nodding home for 1-1. A couple of minutes later and we took the lead; Reid down the wing played in Keating who slotted the ball past the helpless Guiseley keeper. The pressure payed off with two quick fire goals in the 36th and 38th minute, and almost another from Ruairi in the 37th. Belief restored, United came to life with the front two linking well with Gosling and Reid, causing the Guiseley defence considerable problems.
The second half was a wave of yellow attacks with Guiseley rarely getting out of their own half, Reid and Keating linking up well down the left side time and time again. It looked like that all important buffer of a 3rd goal would come at any moment, but in true Torquay fashion it wasn’t to be. Wasted chances and some good saves kept us out; with our defence looking like they could concede at any moment (or add to our impressive own goal stats), it felt like a race against time to see who could score next. The inevitable happened – 2-2 (Hurst, 88’). Guiseley score and yellow heads dropped. Despite some of the players trying to calm the situation and provide a fightback, there was only one outcome from that point. The fourth official signalled 5 minutes added time… the writing was on the wall.
The Guiseley winner was the biggest goal mouth scramble you will likely see, and I am still none the wiser who scored it! 43 minutes of total domination undone in a few moments of madness was a hard one to take at full time. Emotions boiled over after the whistle when McGinty and Reid exchanged words; Sean being held back by Anderson.
Higgins 5 Klukowski 4 McGinty 4 Chaney 5
Gosling 6 Lathrope 6 Young 6 Reid 8
Pittman 6 Keating 8
Subs: Gray and Haworth (Too late to rate!)
Man of the Match
Jamie Reid: I can’t believe I am writing this…I am probably one of Reid’s biggest critics! However he proved his worth for me today. Constantly weaving between the opposition and finding space to feed the ball through for Keating, he was a key part of both goals and gave the potential for more, which just weren’t converted. His positive attitude during the game didn’t go unnoticed either.
Ruairi Keating: Fired his goal home, and linked well with Reid in the second half. Worked well defensively as well today, coming back for corners and knocking the ball from danger. Also deserves a mention for being credited with an own goal despite being subbed off 5 minutes earlier!
Robbie went for 4-4-2 formation – moving Klukowski to the back, dropping Anderson and bringing Reid in on the left. A game Torquay bossed for large periods, but the defence looked like it would concede at any moment, which is unnerving. Hopefully Gowling is back soon; we need his authority and experience in the back line badly.
On a side note, it was Gowling that was stood in the technical area shouting the orders out during the match. An authoritative and self-assured character who we need back to stem the non-stop orders and nit-picking being shouted by the other ‘kids’ on the pitch, as Clarke dubbed them.
Guiseley were there for the beating today – a completely forgettable performance. Defensively on par with us, their front two of Odejayi and Thompson caused our defence a few problems early on. All three subs were used early in the second half, which didn’t seem to add much to their cause except maybe some fresh legs and an attempt to push in attack. A team who I am confident will be scrapping it out in the bottom third at the end of the season.
Matthew Donohue – Probably one of the better refs I have seen since returning to the National League. He let the game flow and wasn’t card happy – a yellow card for either team, definitely deserved in the second half.
The subs. Gray on for Keating (85’), quickly followed by Hawarth for Reid (90’). The two biggest threats withdrawn while we were still well on top seemed to knock us off our stride. Both subs had no time to make an impact on the match and it seemed to just waste what little time we had to try and get a point. The attacking force that was Reid and Keating were removed, and we had no opportunities to try and sneak one in from this point onwards.
Yan Klukowski: Maybe I’m being harsh singling Yan out (he was playing out of position), but his pairing with Sean just didn’t work today. He gave away a needless corner with which Guiseley scored their first goal, with a well over-hit back pass. That, plus a few more nearby moments in and around the box which any other opposition would have relished, made him appear to be the weakness in today’s formation. McGinty had a few harsh words to say to Yan at times regarding his defensive choices.
Away Day Overview
There was no segregation as always at Nethermoor, which meant the yellow army were sporadically positioned throughout the ground and made it difficult to build much atmosphere or support behind the Gulls. Having been to Guiseley away for the past three seasons, we have had the opportunity to frequent the pleasant White Cross Hotel where we met a number of Torquay fans grabbing a pre-match refreshment.
There was a very handy subway where we met the ‘Guiseley massive’ – two overweight teenagers who spent their time discussing burgers, nachos and the penknife one of them had brought with them in case it “kicked off” at the game! Suffice to say I didn’t feel in any immediate danger. I was particularly impressed with the improvements Guiseley had made to their facilities and club shop – adding an extra port-a-cabin and renaming it the ‘1909 suite’. Kudos!
Summed up perfectly by a Guiseley fan after the game – “You have been robbed today”. I can’t remember a more one-sided game of football than the second half of this match. We had chance after chance to bury goals and instead we left it open for a sucker punch, and Guiseley gave us just that. We need a new experienced and assertive manager in place before Saturday’s game and Gowling back in the ranks, otherwise we will continue to struggle towards the bottom of the National League table.
Solihull Moors at Plainmoor Saturday 26th August 17
Karl Standeven – TT Contributor