1 – 0
Harry Lovering – @HazzTorqz
What an incredibly frustrating day in Derbyshire.
We travelled in high spirits following our 4-2 win over Harrogate Town. But, unfortunately, the boys could not deliver another win and keep the excitement rolling.
We started the game fairly brightly with Duku hitting the woodwork in the opening exchanges. The Gulls didn’t capitalise on early pressure though, as they were undone by a chipped ball over the top for Boden who finished with aplomb. There were questions over whether Boden was offside, but any appeals fell on deaf ears. 1-0 Chesterfield.
Once behind, United struggled to create any clear chances for the remainder of the first half. Ben Whitfield and Kalvin Kalala looked threatening at times but nothing of note was created. 1-0 to Chesterfield at Half Time. United were missing that final pass or bit of movement that would’ve helped. Also our decision making in the final third was letting us down.
United started the second half strongly, looking a lot more threatening going forward. A succession of corners for United were our biggest threat, with one cleared off the line and one parried away by Coddington in the home goal.
The Gulls continued to create chances. Whitfield shot from distance and both Kalala and Vincent had clear goal-scoring opportunities, but to the fans and United’s dismay, nothing came of them. Chesterfield played their game well and didn’t threaten the United goal that much. They stood their ground and defended like their lives depended on it.
United found Chesterfield’s defence hard to break down. They did create one more chance at the death as on 94 minutes, as a ball over the top to Reid was superbly dealt with by the home defence. A goal saving tackle in the last minute really summed up United’s day in the north east. The full time whistle blew and the Gulls had lost.
United were left frustrated by not taking their chances, but chesterfield made it hard for the yellows to break them down. However, United have a mini injury crisis, and travelled today without Evans, Andrews, Little and Hall to name a few.
Player ratings :
Covolan – 6: Made a good save to keep United in the game before half time but could’ve come off his line quicker for their goal. Distribution was average with one or two kicks not having any direction.
Wynter- 6.5: Had a good second half when he played the ball quicker. Some good link-up play with Kalala at times too.
Cundy – 8: Cundy had an excellent game despite being caught out for their goal. He stood his ground well and did his job.
Cameron – 7: Again, despite being caught out by their goal, won a lot in the air against Denton and dealt with it when needed .
Davis – 6: Lacked his usual calm, composed self and seemed a little off the pace. He wasn’t awful, but he didn’t manage to get many, if any, crosses in and struggled down the left side.
Kalala – 7: Kalala had a fairly decent game and created some moments of magic. Most notably, one he laid on a plate for Vincent who unfortunately could not meet the cross. However, a few moments of magic is not enough at this level and the question mark lingers over whether he can keep it up for 90 minutes or is he’s better suited to being a super sub.
Whitfield – 8.5: Man of the Match. See below.
Vincent – 6.5: Vincent worked hard and found his feet more in the second half but lacked decisiveness at times. He was often hesitant on the ball which resulted in United losing possession.
Dickson – 5: Lacked pace or urgency today and didn’t really move the ball quick enough as hesitated on the ball. Dickson in my opinion isn’t a starter and not overly quick going forward. I think he’s a player to help control a game if we are 1-0 or 2-0 up with 20-30 mins to go.
Reid – 6: Not a lot to say good or bad about Reid today as he simply didn’t get the service.
Duku – 4: Duku was lacking today. He is not the striker that will sit on the last defender, flicks the ball on and causes havoc for a defensive back line just yet. He wants it on the ground to him and is certainly better with his feet than his head. If he scores in the opening 5 minutes, it’s a completely different game but there is more to come from Manny.
Buse- 6: Misplaced the odd pass but was more positive going forward than Dickson.
Kozela- 4: Didn’t offer much, but we have to remember he’s a young lad and a developing player.
Man of the Match: Ben Whitfield
Whitfield was certainly the bright spark today. Despite lacking that final pass or shot, he was positive when going forward and would always take his man on. His energy is second to none and his want for the ball is good to see.
United played a fairly simple 4-4-2 formation with Whitfield and Kalala out wide, Dickson in a holding role with Vincent slightly further forward.
Chesterfield defended incredibly well and followed their game plan to get ahead and defend deep to a t. As with every team this season I’ve seen, they weren’t great and I could certainly see why they were winless (up until playing us, of course). They lacked a final ball and made some bad mistakes. They lumped everything up to Denton and defended really well as a unit, which was very effective.
Didn’t really stamp his authority on the game and was very weak on timewasting. He didn’t really influence the result though, and it was Torquay’s own mistakes that caused the defeat.
Today was not a great performance. Our decision-making at times, especially in that final third, was questionable We struggle in the final third, often not deciding when to pass or shoot and we need to do more there. We’re already scored tonnes of goals, but if we could be more decisive, we will score more.
There were some positives though, well one. Whitfield is a player. When he’s 100% fit and integrated, he’ll be unstoppable. His work rate, energy, and desire for the team is incredible. He was also very appreciative of the travelling Yellow Army, making sure he came over and thanked us.
304 Torquay fans made the trip today and continued singing throughout. Amazing support and a great turnout from the Yellow Army. The travel club yet again made it a great day out and we’re still upbeat, despite the loss.
After today, it is clear that not to underestimate anyone in this division. Chesterfield, despite being bottom at the start of the day, will not end up down there and anyone can beat anyone.
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