Sam Druiff – @samdruiff
A game that was won within the first half an hour. Another emphatic 4-1 win sees off Concord as the Yellows continue their unbeaten run. Only two-minute in saw United intelligently work a free-kick into the box, Janneh had his initial effort saved but poked home the rebound to give the Gulls an early lead. It was all Torquay, and in the 23rd minute Janneh doubled the hosts lead having been brilliantly set up by Jake Andrews’ through ball. Nine minutes later and Torquay went from 5th gear to sports mode; another Torquay attack saw several players have a chance before Wynter crossed for Janneh to complete a first career hat-trick. Just before half time, in the 43rd minute, the in-form Jamie Reid picked the ball up about 30 yards from goal and unleashed a gorgeous ‘knuckle ball’ shot that clipped the crossbar and went in. The best goal I have seen him score, what a strike, and the man of the hour’s purple patch continues.
The second half was really an anti-climax. Concord for their effort tried to get back into the game but the result was clear and despite a late goal they didn’t threaten to make any real impact. Opi Edwards came on which was great to see, adding to the attacking options in the coming weeks. Jamie Sendles White and Samir Nabi also came on to make cameos, albeit late.
Shaun MacDonald 6 – Quiet afternoon. Good with crosses.
Ben Wynter 7 – Just a different player. A month ago I was saying he was next to go, but what a turn around. He’s in fine form at present and adding a lot going forward, crossed well for Janneh’s second.
Kyle Cameron 8 – Solid again. Good value for the armband and lead from the back.
Jean-Yves Koue Niate 8 – Same as Cameron, solid. Underrated if that’s possible, absolute rock at the back and compliments Kyle perfectly.
Liam Davis 7 – Typical performance from him really. Played very well, nothing exceptional but reliable every week.
Ruairi Keating 7 – Did everything right today apart from score. So gutted he didn’t get a goal today, really deserved one. Worked so hard, and also managed to create a few chances and be a pain for their defence. He’s a player I’d hate to see go – underrated.
Connor Lemonheigh-Evans 8.5 – Genius. Enjoy watching him because he’s a League One player. All the time in the world on the ball, just sometimes wish he’d pass or shoot a tad earlier.
Jake Andrews 8.5 – Amazing passing ability and a brilliant left foot. A couple of assists for him today, gets better and better each game.
Kalvin Lumbombo-Kalala 8 – Beats his man with ease and glides across the grass, a lovely sight in full flow – KLK’s combination with Davis on the left was a joy to watch.
Jamie Reid 8.5 – Worldie of a goal. Played well with his strike partner. What a transformation, surely owes Gary Johnson a lot!
Saikou Janneh 10 – Hat-Trick hero! Deserved every goal and played well for the whole game.
Opi Edwards 6 – Not on long enough and the game was fading away but great to see the wide man back out there.
Jamie Sendles-White/ Samir Nabi N/A
Man of the Match: Saikou Janneh
What a game! A hat-trick in the first half, and he never stopped working. I love watching him play, the never give up attitude with the talent he has is such a treat. The second was my favourite, he just finishes so well. I wasn’t a fan of him and Reid up top at first but they’ve formed a real partnership that looks to be working wonders.
Could name the squad to be honest. However today I think that Jake Andrews would have been man of the match if Janneh hadn’t scored three. His left foot is brilliant and did so well to set up a couple of Saikou’s goals. I also think that Ben Wynter played very well, it’s great to see him come into form.
I saw a glimpse of the clipboard, I couldn’t read very clearly but I’m sure it says ‘Give it to Reidy’. No, in all seriousness, the 4-4-2 is so much better with our players. And against these types of teams, we have the licence to play what are effectively six attacking players.
I say this with all due respect, but the fact Concord are ‘up there’ shows that we have to win this league. The quality is so minimal throughout the league; bottom side Weston offered more than Concord today. Having said that, I hope they enjoyed their day out, for these clubs they have never been to a ground like Plainmoor.
He did not have a grip on the game. Seemed to lose the respect of both sets of players early on and made it tough for him. That said; did I expect much? No. Poor officiating most weeks in this league.
The third goal, it put the game to bed. I always fear at two one, there’s a good route back in if the opposition score. Whereas at three, especially in the first half, really puts it to bed.
Player Spotlight: Ruairi Keating
I’m going to say my piece on Ruairi. I love Ruairi, his work rate is second to none, and he never gives up. He reminds me of a young Elliot Benyon the way he never gives up. Having said that, today showed he really is a confidence player, he’s missed a few decent chances in recent games and I really feel he needs that one stroke of luck before his whole game suffers. I fully expect him to sit out in place of Opi next week, and I want to see him fight to win back his place. Keep going Ruairi, it’ll come!
We need to keep doing what we’re doing, beat these sides with statement wins and put all the pressure we can on Woking and Billericay. We’re still a centre forward short of a title winning side, but we’re getting there. I say that because we still need a ‘Plan B’. Janneh and Reid have been great together the last couple of games, but as we saw against Woking and Billericay, we needed a change of plan. That’s where I really wished we had signed Ryan Brunt in the summer, a big strong striker to come on and change a game. However, it’s eight scored and only two conceded in the last two games, so let’s keep it up!
We’re on our way back!
View from Bristow’s
‘Box Office’. The 1st half performance against Concord had everything I want to see from a United team. Pace, cohesion, steel, imagination – wave after wave of waspish Yellows attack punishing the away team and sending us into gleeful raptures on Bristow’s. This is what happens when you appoint the right manager and talented players work hard together under his stewardship – and doesn’t it feel good!
The razor-sharp Saikou should take the plaudits and rightly so, but the engine room of CLE and Andrews sparkled just as brightly and that 30 yard screamer from Reidy took my breath away. What a hit son! When all you’ve got to moan about is not scoring 5 or 6 to really put Rangers to the sword, it’s been a cracking afternoon. Keep this winning run going and put pressure on the top teams, that’s the next aim. If the football continues to reach these sublime heights, then the NLS is ours for the taking. Dom