The TT Match Verdict: Chester FC 0-2 #TUFC 30th Mar 18

Karl Standeven – @karlstandeven

Match Summary:

A bank holiday Friday trip to Chester, for which would ordinarily be a short trip from my Staffordshire base, proved not to be so… Numerous re-routes and endless traffic jams meant we got through the turnstiles with 5 mins to spare. The lure of free easter eggs couldn’t convince 3 out of 4 children to join us on the trip.

The game got off to the best possible start for us in the 3rd minute – a long ball from Balatoni beat the Chester back line and Healey peeled away to finish from a near impossible angle. Chester had their moments in the game but Dorel looked cool and composed, claiming everything coming his way.

The second came from some good work from Davis (who was really unlucky not to score himself) but the resulting corner was met by Romain. Two minutes later and Chester were down to ten when Dawson received his second yellow in quick succession – game over you would think, but this is Torquay we are talking about and Chester soon hit the post to remind us that the game was still alive.

The extra man soon showed with some good passing moves and Romain in particular chasing everything down to see the game out and give us northern based gulls a first win north of London this season.

Woking2

Player Ratings:

Dorel 8
Balatoni 7  Gowling 7  McGinty 7
Barnes 7  Lemonheigh-Evans 7  Young 7  Davis 8
Healey 8
Romain 8.5  Williams 7
Subs Reid 6  Keating 6

Man of Match:

Elliot Romain

Tough choice as I had a few different players picked throughout the game but Romain pipped it for me for his never say die attitude, he chases down everything and deserved his goal. A good solid all round performance again.

Honourable Mentions:

Rhys Healey

Rhys looks a good couple of leagues above this level and will be key over the remaining games, took his goal really well and has a bullet of a throw on him. Faded a little in the second but can be forgiven with the lack of game time he has had. It’s a shame we couldn’t have got him a month sooner.

Tactics Board:

Owers playing the 3 up top worked well from an attacking point of view. Setting up with a 5-2-1-2 with Healey playing behind the other two. For large parts of the game, and especially when Chester were a man down, it played more like 3-4-3. Nice to see Owers going for it now we have nothing to lose.

The Opposition:

The early goal wouldn’t have helped but Chester looked like a team that had accepted their fate. The fans were deathly quiet. The atmosphere in the ground from the home end was a shadow of last season when I was here.
They did create a couple of good chances, with Dorel pulling off a great save from White just before half-time and Archer hitting the post in the second half.

The Ref:

Paul Marsden. No complaints from me, I thought he got the decisions correct, one of the better performances in the national league.

Key Moment:

The early goal knocked the stuffing out of Chester and their fans. But for me the Dorel save (well worth a watch) just before half time to keep the score at 0-1 – it could have been a different game going in level at half time.

Player Spotlight:

The midfield of Young and Lemonheigh-Evans are a joy to watch when setting up attacking play but on numerous occasions were bullied off the ball way too easily, putting the defence under pressure. We got away with it against a team low on confidence but this could prove costly over the next few games.

Conclusion:

All we can do now is win our games and from that point of view it was job done, 3 points in the bag, attacking threat easily the best I’ve seen this season. Although Chester made us look more like play-off contenders than a team battling for our life.

I’m not going to dwell on negatives but enjoy the first Torquay win I’ve seen for 11 months and just hope I don’t have to wait another 11 for the next one. Well done Gary and Martin you got it right today.

See you at Plainmoor on Monday (weather permitting).

Next Up:

Woking1

Woking FC – 2nd April @ Plainmoor

 


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