Dom Roman – @DomRoman
On a cold night at Plainmoor when the wind swirled, the rain came down and anger and frustration poured out from the terraces at last, TUFC produced a gutless and pathetic performance against 10-men relegated Guiseley AFC to reach a new low in a season filled with them.
Guiseley had ten men from only 3 minutes in, as Romain was fouled from behind in the penalty area. It was a definite red card, what wasn’t definite was the resulting spot kick from Elliott – handily saved by Joe Green. It was just the start of another torturous evening for the Yellow Army.
GAFC scored two minutes later. McGinty and Gowling had drifted into summer holiday mode already and Dayle Southwell took advantage. United managed a response with Davis cutting a ball back perfectly for Rhys Healey to finish, and Joe Green made some solid stops to keep the away team level. Then Vincent Dorel joined the summer holiday brigade, shouting for a through ball he couldn’t get to – the result, Will Hatfield nipping in and restoring their lead. In Bristow’s we do not know whether to laugh or cry, what a useless bunch.
The second sees more pressure on the GAFC goal, which means only one thing – another goal for Guiseley. Another set piece, defended with up most incompetence and headed by sub Rowan Liburd into the far corner. At this point the Yellow Army have completely turned on their team and the 5 year plan banner is unfurled in the Popside. It’s a welcome sight. After that Healey bags a hat-trick but it’s not enough, as Liburd has already notched a fourth with ease past the woeful defence.
Owers is jeered in Bristow’s as the match reaches its conclusion and is confronted by a fan before disappearing into the tunnel at full-time, whilst McGinty’s every touch of the ball cops boos from the Pop. It was a night when the social media frustration of the Yellow Army finally found its way into the stands, as the players and management team again proved they weren’t nearly good enough for this fight.
Dorel – 1
Barnes – 2 Balatoni – 2 Gowling – 1 McGinty – 1 Davis – 4
Young – 3 Lemonheigh-Evans – 2
Healey – 8
Reid – 2 Romain – 4
Subs: Williams – 2 Dowling – 2 Keating – 2
Man of The Match: Rhys Healey
Who else could it be! Rhys was energetic from the start and a class above his team-mates – not difficult I know. Three smart finishes where he showed composure with his head as well as his foot, a league player in the making and the sort of striker we desperately needed around Septemberish! Contrast that to Williams who came on at HT and did nothing for the team, just wanting to shoot from range every chance he got.
I’ll mention Elliott Romain in this category. He did miss the pen, but tries so hard for the team at all times. There’s not many I would keep in the NLS, he would be one of them – a player you can count on to put in a shift and I’d like to think he’d score 20 in that division. We probably won’t get the chance to find out. Oh and the Popside for that banner, it didn’t say much, but it spoke volumes for how the club is currently being run.
3-5-2 for the first half, becomes 4-3-3 in the second as the lame Balatoni limps off for Dowling, who is fairly anonymous on arrival. The formation matters little when the players are not responding to the manager and have already given up for the summer. Owers shouts his frustration as usual in the dug-out, nobody listens and he cuts a lonely figure without Kuhl to rant alongside him.
Respect to the players of Guiseley who battle hard with ten men and even bigger respect to the 20 fans who travel the huge distance to support their already relegated team. The team certainly isn’t without merits and sub striker Rowan Liburd is very lively on arrival. Bristow’s gives them a warm round of applause as they leave the pitch, which they find quite amusing I think! At least they have heart and spirit to take with them into the post-season, we have nothing.
The pen and red card are correct calls, Romain could easily have another pen soon after but in consultation with the linesman it’s not given. One of Healey’s goals looks a clear push and there’s the usual boring resistance to playing on. Typical NL standard officiating then, what will the NLS refs be like I shudder to think…
The fourth Guiseley goal finishes the game off and any chance we have of sharing the points. Liburd expertly loops the ball past our defence, speeds through on goal and sidefoots past the helpless Dorel. He even celebrates in front of the Family Stand, who respond with a cheer for his efforts.
Player Spotlight: Sean McGinty
The last time we were relegated, skipper Lee Mansell took much for the derision from the Pop and this time Sean McGinty bears the brunt. His every touch is booed for a time in the second half and he comes very close to making a response. It’s a little harsh to single him out, there is numerous others who have come in and shown much less commitment for the cause this season. The centre back has a terrible match, but then so does partner Josh Gowling. Slow and hesitant, I’ll be surprised if either are here next season.
How did it come to this? We have an owner who is obsessed with new stadium matters rather than football ones, a silent general manager who knows nothing about his bosses plans and the most unpopular manager in our history safe in his job. If Owers can keep his place in the dug-out after this shambles, then when will he ever be shown the door?
The summer clear-out will begin soon. What proper progressive players can we attract to our club at the moment, and will fans return to a place where it seems like failure on the pitch is accepted without repercussion? We’ll soon find out as the National League South awaits. Meanwhile, you’ve seen the banner – where is this owner taking us, do you fear for our future? Join the Trust.