Elliot Milner – @EJMOfficial1
Very much a game of two halves. With a club that is divided straight through the middle.
Hemel Hempstead looked energetic in the first half with over 70 supporters down from North London, very respectful from a struggling National League South Club. The Tudors created many a chance in the first half. Launching through ball after through ball to their dangerous number 10 (Herschel Sanchez Watt). It was dire from Torquay seeing an ex-football league side getting played off the park by a semi-pro side. They were unlucky not to score in the first 10 minutes with a chipped effort which took keeper Alex Bass by surprise, Alex tremendously tipped the ball over the bar. Opi Edwards was the only real hope for Torquay in the first 20 minutes, showing his blistering pace to win back a lost ball on the flank.
In the later stages of the half the Tudors created more chances and number 9 (Steve Cawley) scuffed a shot wide, which really Thea Bristow could have finished. Further more, a back post header hit the post just before half-time. Certainly a lack of desire in the first half. Jake Andrews looked like the only threat for Torquay, making a couple of shots from outside the box. Chris Regis didn’t look like he even knew where he was and I am not sure he even completed a successful pass the whole afternoon. We looked lethargic going forward, and maybe needed to concede a goal to wake us up. Hemel had most of the possession and used it wisely with successful through balls which Torquay embarrassingly tried to recreate. The two teams went into the break, and the Hemel team must have been kicking themselves knowing they could have been two or three up after a dismal Torquay showing.
The second half was a slow starter for both teams, with both making mistakes left, right and centre. Reid looked energetic waltzing on the pitch, knowing that neither of the front two had scored a goal, and Ruairi Keating was looking on at the pitch thinking ‘what a mess’. Opi Edwards again showed his pace, nearly capitalizing on a chance Jamie Reid had created. Soon after Williams dramatically dived over, knowing that may be his only chance in the game to do something useful. Consequently he is booked and soon after in the 59th minute replaced by Ruairi Keating. As soon as Keating came on we looked like a different side going forward. His passion and desire was unmatched by anyone on the pitch.
Andrews technical ability came in handy when he crossed in an excellent ball to Keating, which was directed straight to the keeper. George Essuman did well to make a excellent tackle to deny a Hemel counter attack, and overall him and Kyle Cameron looked solid in the second half. Andrews had a couple more efforts which looked promising, one being a free kick from the edge of the Tudors box. Then for the sore eyed supporters the treasure had finally come. Jamie Reid calmly finessed a loose ball into the bottom right corner. A lovely ball through from Andrews and a sweet right foot finish from Reid. The Popside were screaming “Reidy, Reidy, Reidy…” which gave him a boost of confidence going into the last 10 minutes. Then with his new-found self, Reid cruyff-turned Hemel’s left back and whipped in a dangerous ball for Keating, who’s shot was tipped over the bar by the keeper. From the resulting corner Asa Hall beat his man and heads the delicious ball in to the net. Having probably not scoring many goals in his career, Hall ran around like a headless chicken waving his arms about. Only 4 minutes of added time and the Gulls had picked up their third win of the season.
Alex Bass 8 – Superb performance in the first half and was a big reason for the win.
Ben Wynter 4 – Just does not do anything.
George Essuman 6 – A solid performance, but at times looked shaky in the back four.
Kyle Cameron 6 – Again, didn’t really do much but did stop a few chances.
Liam Davis 6 – Didn’t get enough of the ball to make any impact.
Opi Edwards 8 – MOTM See below
Asa Hall 5 – Got a goal but he can only head the ball, doesn’t have a strong foot.
Chris Regis 3 – How is he a footballer? Looked switched off the whole game.
Jake Andrews 7 – Excellent technically and out of most of the players deserved a goal.
Jamie Reid 7 – Thought he looked good in the last 15 minutes, but its 15 minutes.
Brett Williams 5 – He definitely is not a mover, no motivation and I am unsure why he is really captain.
Ruairi Keating 7 – Changed the game around completely and I have no idea why Owers cannot see that he should be starting.
Bobson Bawling n/a – Only was on for 5 minutes looked like he has good distribution.
Man of the Match: Opi Edwards
You can see why he is signed up by Bristol City and a great addition for this game. Very troubling down that right hand side, was mistaken and thought he was Usain Bolt when he came on. Looked like the only one in the first half to create anything.
Jamie Reid did look electric in the last 10 minutes, and absolutely lacked confidence before then. However, hopefully this will give him a push to start scoring more.
Owers is definitely not a tactician and I was pondering what formation he even started with at first. According to the club the formation was 4-3-2-1, which I find hard to believe. On the other hand, Andrews looked like he worked well in the central attacking midfield role. In the second half, Torquay went to a flat 4-4-2 which kind of worked. Owers needs a re-think, or we need a new man next to the dugout.
Hemel Hempstead looked excellent in the first half, even if they were playing an awful Torquay side. It clearly showed in the second half that they were a semi-pro team as their fitness went, allowing Torquay to score two easy goals. I thought that number 10 (Herschel Sanchez Watt) looked energetic and added another element to the Hemel side.
Robert Massey-Ellis was alright, made a few stupid decisions but we are in the National League South. Didn’t have much impact on the game at all.
When Ruairi Keating got his boots on. Changed the dynamics of the game completely and showed us why he should be starting up top.
Player Spotlight: Jamie Reid
We need to keep giving him confidence. I am not his biggest fan but he feeds off confidence and self-belief, and looked a different player after the long-awaited goal.
I still want Owers to go, not a brilliant performance by any means and against a below-average side. Tactically Owers has it all wrong, however I do not believe that the board are going to fire him. I am sure supporters are relieved to see their team score but I wouldn’t be fooled by this result. Only time will tell and hopefully we will pick up another win against Chippenham next Saturday.