Dom Roman – @DomRoman
7 goals from the Gulls on a Saturday afternoon to make TUFC cup history – what’s not to like! My initial concerns that we would be dumped on our backside by the part-timers on the Red Button were swiftly banished, as Gary Johnson’s Yellow Army asserted themselves in the most entertaining couple of hours of Saturday afternoon telly the Beeb have had since Grandstand was cancelled…
The old faults did rear their ugly heads at the start, with poor passing, sloppy first touches and good opportunities in front of goal going begging – let’s not pretend we were perfect. But the fortunate first goal settled nerves and after that it was a cakewalk the travelling (and very wet) Yellow Army could only have dreamt of a few weeks back. Jake Andrews and Opi Edwards stole the show for most observers, their ability to manoeuvre the ball at pace made a big difference. And Brett scored not one but two predatory goals to remind us he is a professional footballer after all!
Jake is fast becoming the ‘Plainmoor assist king’ with the quality of his passing (from open play and set pieces) and should be central to Gary Johnson’s action plan going forward. We have been totally bereft of playmakers who are happy to work in tight spaces around the strikers and make something out of nothing – Andrews could be that man. Meanwhile TT’s man of the match young Opi has all the tools required on the wing and once his decision-making and consistency improves, City could have a hell of a player on their books. GJ is looking for favours from his son to keep these guys with us for as long as possible, fingers crossed that the Johnson family bond does the trick.
The BBC Coverage was ridiculous for a number of reasons – with only one camera utilised, no replays and the commentators reading out random tweets at will – it was budget-Beeb at it’s best. A shout out to a United supporter going fishing instead of watching the game raised my eyebrows a little, but it was the Nicho tyre flip tweet from James Murphy that won the day. The Beeb had done so little research, they were happy to believe pretty much anything. Now we have a ‘charity tyre flip challenge’ in the offing (see bottom of the page), the weird world of Twitter never ceases to amaze me!
Last night saw Brightlingsea Regent beat Egham Town 2-1 to give TUFC the longest trip possible in the 3rd qualifying round. It’s typical TUFC really, even when we’re regionalised the travel club have to leave the bay at the crack of dawn! Regent are a step up the ladder from Lymington Town, a club who loved having us there and won the hearts of the Yellow Army with their hospitality. So we should win of course, but have to approach the 90 minutes with the same appetite and mentality that we’ve seen over the last two matches. I can smell the FA Cup First Round proper and I want to experience it first hand…it’s been way too long.
Before that the focus shifts to Woking FC at Plainmoor this Saturday. I’m all for being optimistic and social media bubbling with positive rather than toxic comments regarding TUFC, but the team hasn’t achieved anything yet. Hungerford and Lymington are two teams we should beat every week of the year, and ‘the Cards’ are an entirely different prospect. They are top of the table for a start and have done very well against us over the years. Travelling to Plainmoor will hold no fear for them and we’ll need to step it up a notch to take all 3 points.
However home will feel more like home for the TUFC XI with a welcome mat of exuberance; instead of jeers for their boss there will be cheers and instead of groans for bad touches there could be encouragement. The old place can still inspire players when the mood is right and I’m expecting an upbeat atmosphere to push both teams forward in an entertaining game. I’m still not convinced that when pushed some our players are up to the task and can our strikers score when defenders get tight? We’ll soon see and I’ve supported TUFC more than long enough to not count my chickens. The fight for promotion is back on say the club (see below) – there’s a fine line between optimism and over-confidence guys! One game at a time is a better mantra…
The team winning for a change on the pitch, makes other non-footballing events more appetising and the TUST have a cracking one scheduled for October:-
TUST – “Join us in No.10s Restaurant at Plainmoor on Friday 12th October (7.30pm) for your chance to meet TUFC Legends such as: Colin Lee, Robin Stubbs, Kevin Hill, Russell Musker, Paul Compton, John Uzzell and Alex Watson with more to be announced*. There will be other activities for fans to enjoy with a TUFC Quiz, a Q&A session and a raffle taking place on the night.. Tickets are £10 each and include a hot snack. Tickets are on sale from the club shop. Non-TUST members are welcome.
Thumbs up for the line-up, (for me Colin Lee’s departure is a big reason why footballing matters started to fall apart) and I’ll try my best to be there. TT’s very own Sam Druiff will be helping to host the evening (he’s got a loud voice so that should help) and I’m sure it will be very enjoyable. Alongside that, the Fanzone is back this Saturday at Plainmoor, another thing the TUST is involved in and another reason to become a trust member. They are real fans who care passionately about our club and want to help protect our future after all.
FINAL WORD: This is the beginning of a new chapter at Plainmoor on Saturday, we had got so bogged down with calling for Owers head that it was difficult to concentrate on winning games! I have rarely been so fed up with a manager, but a manager has rarely been so unlikeable. Gary Johnson brings a new swagger to the job and should bring a new team ethos to the table, where attack, attack, attack is the priority. Let’s get the place buzzing and push on the boys from kick-off, it’s too early to say it’s a must-win game but it is a statement game where three points would signify that we are contenders. Sam Druiff will be reporting back for TT, roll on Saturday!
The Tyre Flip Challenge – details below from Kevin for a very worthwhile cause.