Karl Standeven – @karlstandeven
An unchanged Torquay XI for the fourth consecutive game, came up against a Tranmere side who are on a good run of form themselves.
Torquay matched their opponents for large parts of the game, playing some nice football but came undone by three crosses that were not dealt with, the first two coming rather against the run of play.
A lack of noticeable efforts on target again cost us, with Keating and Reid wasting a good chance each from first half corners. Both men blazed over, when anything on target would have surely ended up in the back of the net.
Efete 5 Davey 5 McGinty 6
Barnum-Bobb 5 Lathrope 5 Young 5 Davis 6
Reid 5 Keating 5
Subs: Andresson 5 Gnabouyou 5 Pittman 5
Man of the Match:
Sean gets the nod for me purely for his three goal-line clearances that prevented the score line becoming a lot worse for United. He is looking more like the player he was at the back end of last season since he got the captaincy.
Alex Davey for hobbling on one leg for the last 25 minutes, although Tranmere may have taken advantage of his lack of mobility for the second and third goals. Liam Davis also caused a nuisance down the left hand side, especially in the second half.
3-5-2 – 5-3-2. Seems to be the tactics Owers has settled on and in most parts the team look better for it, supporting the attacks especially down the left from the full/wing backs. Meanwhile Lathrope can do what he does best, allowing Luke the freedom to pick his passes from midfield.
We did seem to revert to a 4-4-2,with Davis pushed up after the second goal trying to chase the game which left us a little light at the back – especially with Davey suffering after his knock.
Tranmere were more like the side I expected to see when they came to Plainmoor on the first game of the season – well organised, strong and did the basics well. That said, we matched them for a large part of the game until it came to the final third. I still think they will be up there competing in the playoffs by the end of the season.
Tranmere’s second goal for me. We had started the second half brightly looking the better side, Gnabouyou and Pittman came on to run at the Tranmere defence and had managed a few half chances when we were caught on the counter. It was the moment when the game was settled.
The ref seemed to give Tranmere a few early decisions which I thought were soft, but in the end I thought he did alright, certainly better than some this season. A mention also for the assistant referee by us who twice didn’t flag when the ball clearly went out for a throw and gave a few dubious corners in the first half, much to the annoyance of Sean McGinty.
Ruairi Keating and Jamie Reid
I love the work rate and effort that both guys showed. You certainly can’t say either of them don’t put a shift in, but for me neither are the goal threat we desperately need, if we are to stay up this season. One starting whilst the other can come off the bench to make an impact later on, is the way I would use them.
When you scan the fixture list at the start of the season, Tranmere away is not a game you would pick out as a 3 pointer, but after our mini revival in the last few games I arrived with a little hope that we could get something from the game.
3-0 is a flattering score-line for Tranmere, but for me we didn’t do enough in the final third to begrudge them of the three points.
A special shout out to the 116 (117 if you include our baby who didn’t require a ticket!) who braved the weather to support the lads.