Thomas Kelly – @ThomasKellytufc
About as convincing win as you’ll see. Torquay United comfortably saw off Hemel Hempstead Town to once again extend their lead at the top of the table to four points. There were no signs of rustiness from Gary Johnson’s men after multiple postponements in recent weeks, as they continue their charge to National League South glory. It took a while for the Gulls to click but once we did, we never looked like losing. Despite leading the corner chart, (12 in the 1st half alone!) it took until the 32nd minute before Saikou Janneh opened the Gulls account, slotting home from Reid’s pass from the edge of the box. Reid almost made it two when he narrowly shot wide just before half-time. Close but not close enough.
The Gulls deserved to be more than just 1-0 up at the break, but the 2nd half couldn’t have started any better for the Yellow Army when Jake Andrews slotted the ball under the keeper, finishing a fine move between him and Reid. It was the goal which pretty much killed off Hemel Hempstead’s chances of victory and one that saw visiting Cards boss Alan Downson head back to Woking!
Hemel Hempstead slowly made their way back into the game without really threatening the Torquay back line, but on 81 mins, the game was won with Asa Hall heading in brilliantly from a Dickson cross. The icing on the cake came on 89 minutes, when Reidy finally got the goal he deserved with a corker of a finish from close range.
The only downer was a late consolation for the hosts who really didn’t offer very much all game. However no matter at the end of the day, as the Gulls go four points clear at the top and the Yellow Army go marching on. Over to you Woking.
Shaun Mcdonald – 7.5: Shaun didn’t have a lot to do today. Did well on the rare occasions he was called into action but will feel aggrieved to have lost his clean sheet so late on.
Ben Wynter – 8: Thought he did really well. He made some important challenges and he looks a completely different player since Gary Johnson’s arrival.
Liam Davis – 8: Another good game from him. Dealt with their wing play well.
Jamie Sendles-White – 7: Solid. He did his job when he needed to.
Kyle Cameron – 7.5: Good game although did lose the odd aerial challenge. That said made some good tackles to regain possession.
Asa Hall – 8: Took his goal brilliantly and is a natural leader at the back. He’s always a danger at set pieces and is a very useful asset to us.
Ruairi Keating – 6: No lack of effort from the Irishman but just didn’t quite work out for him tonight. Lost possession and made the wrong play a few times. Not sure out wide is the best position for him but gave it a go none the less.
Connor Lemonheigh-Evans – 8: Had a piledriver shot saved early doors, kept running, always full of effort.
Jake Andrews – 8: Another solid game from Andrews. Always looking to make something happen. Nice to see he’s got that Bath performance fully out of his system and is back playing confident football.
Saikou Janneh- 9: Took his goal brilliantly and looked a step above. Him and Reid always looked dangerous when we were attacking and this partnership will continue to reap goals for us.
Jamie Reid – 9: I always rated him…. but seriously, he’s loving life at Torquay right now and it’s clear to see it on the pitch. Him and Janneh are a deadly strike force and NLS defences can’t seem to contain them. Carry on Reidy!
Frank Vincent – 6: Solid if not spectacular, will need to see more of him.
Kelvin Kalala – 6: Personally would play him over Keating, but gave away possession quite a few times when he came on. Game was pretty much won when he arrived anyway
Ryan Dickson – N/A: Came on with 5 mins left, not enough time to give a proper rating.
Man of the Match: Jamie Reid and Saikou Janneh
Very difficult to pick a man of the match so I’ll go for the two front men. As a partnership, they are one of (if not) the best in this league. Our first goal was a joy to watch unveil and although Reid missed an excellent chance just before half-time from Janneh’s cross to double the lead, it’s good to see them both create a great partnership. You would expect Saikou to go on to better things up the Football League pyramid, but for now I’m delighted to have him at the club and continuing to flourish with us.
REIDY! – I’m not going to lie, under Owers, I wanted Jamie out of the team. I felt his attitude was poor and he certainly didn’t have a good connection with the fans. Since GJ arrived, he has flourished and I’m happy to say that I was wrong about him. It’s clear he’s enjoying his football with us and a move upfront has seen us and him reap the rewards. He’s certainly a confidence player and boy is he playing with confidence right now. I think I speak for all of us in saying I hope he wins the top scorer award at the end of the season. He certainly deserves it, Keep going Jamie!!!
Standard 4-4-2 from what I could see in the stands. Seemed to utilise the long ball for periods, which on quite a decent pitch surprised me. But when we got it on the ground, we certainly passed it around well and some cracking crosses for the last two goals.
Apart from a short 15 minute spell in the second half, the hosts rarely threatened and it was clear to see which side were the professional outfit and which were the part-time side. That said, they never gave up and got a goal for their efforts. Nice club with a decent little stadium for this level, but the Gulls proved far too much for the hosts. The few fans with the drum made a bit of noise and we had good banter with them in the first half. Good luck for the rest of the season fellas, please beat Woking for us!
I think the referee had a good game for the most part, certainly one of the better performances I’ve seen from a NLS official. Had a few dodgy decisions, but then so does every other referee. Lino nearest the dugouts was getting an earful from the home bench for raising his flag for offside too often. I thought overall pretty decent officiating all round.
Well the Torquay United promotion train continues at full steam. A result that after we scored never looked in doubt. Woking manager Alan Dowson was in attendance tonight and left soon after we went 2-0 up. A penny for his thoughts, as his side once again fell 4 points behind us in the league. My thoughts are that we are a team fully focused on the goal in hand, winning this league and getting us back into the National League. There was no repeat of the Bath City result after a few weeks without a game and with four different scorers, there are plenty of goals still to come in this team.
After everything us fans have had to endure, it’s nice to finally see us play with a swagger and confidence. It’s another game where we’ve put 4 or more goals past a team and it’s great to be looking down on everyone else. As a professional side, we do have an advantage over other teams in this league but we have to make sure we don’t throw silly points away now. We will have tougher games ahead to come, but under Gary Johnson, I have belief that he will get the job done.
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Welling United – 16th February @ Park View Road