The TT Match Verdict: TUFC 2-0 Dover Athletic

TT MATCH VERDICT

Matt Roberts

Matt Roberts – @MatthewVA438

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Summary

Torquay recorded a fourth win out of five to continue what is becoming an excellent start to the season with a by the numbers win over struggling Dover. This was another fully deserved three points and a relatively relaxed watch on the stream with the Gulls taking the reins early on and Kyle Cameron bagging a brace.

An unchanged starting XI from the midweek win over Chesterfield started the match well in what was a fast paced opening few minutes, with both teams looking to move the ball forward quickly. Fairly soon however, Torquay took control and never really let go. The pressure was gradually being ratcheted up with United putting some delightful moves together through pinpoint diagonal balls from Dean Moxey and Ben Wynter while also playing it quickly along the ground in the middle of the pitch. Then after half an hour, a ball into the box by Britton was palmed away by the keeper and met by the head of Cameron who rose high above the Dover defence and powered the ball into the back of the net.

Any worries of United slowing the pace down and sitting back were immediately dispelled as the they continued to push forward, giving Dover no time on the ball and regaining possession quickly. Lemonheigh-Evans had been drilling dangerous corners in since the start and just before half time one was met by Cameron again who found himself alone in the air and got himself his second goal. 2-0 at the break, but it should’ve been more. United in total control.

The second half started as the first ended with United in total control. It should’ve been three on 53 minutes when Nemane found himself with the ball only a couple of yards out with the goal at his mercy. Somehow his first time effort cannoned off the post and it was still 2-0. Torquay continued to surge forward and created enough opportunities for at least five or six goals throughout the course of the rest of the game. As it was, a straightforward 2-0 victory which flattered Dover who were firmly second best. Another three points that put us top of the table, albeit briefly until Stockport beat Chesterfield.

Player Ratings

Covolan 8: This was probably one of the most relaxing games Cov will have in Torquay shirt. Dover didn’t really force many saves out of him, but he was confident when coming for the ball and looked a reassuring presence.

Wynter 8: A solid performance in which he spent more time going forward than defending, owing to Dover being constantly forced back. Often found himself in space which meant he could cut inside and threaten around the box.

Cameron 9: MOTM, see below.

Sherring 8: Didn’t have a huge amount to do but he dealt well with any threats that came the defence’s way. He’s forming an effective partnership with Cameron at the back.

Moxey 9: What a signing he is proving to be. His accurate diagonal balls allowed us to create opportunities seemingly out of nothing while he and Whitfield had such synergy together on the left. Dover just couldn’t handle them, with Moxey making short through balls allowing Whitfield to bomb on into the box.

Nemane 7: Another hard-working performance showing us he’s got what it takes at this level. Should have scored in the second half when he missed from only a couple of yards. No idea how it didn’t go in.

Lemonheigh-Evans 8: His set piece delivery has improved, almost every corner caused Dover no end of problems while his accurate passing often led to chances.

Randell 8: You can see why he’s so highly rated by Plymouth. This was another impressive display by Randell who almost scored from a free-kick which the Dover keeper did well to parry away, and an ambitious shot from about 30 yards which looked like it was heading way over but gave the keeper a fright when it dipped suddenly and went close over the bar.

Whitfield 9: You’ve got to feel sorry for the Dover right back, he had to try and deal with Whitfield and Moxey causing all sorts of trouble for the entire game. It’s said a lot, but Ben does not stop running, from the first minute to the last he was ghosting past his defender who never found a way of stopping him. His persistence, enthusiasm, work-rate and obvious skill are a joy to behold.

Wright 7: A good performance as he held the ball up well and looked to have a good understanding with Britton. Could have scored in the second half but his effort lacked power.

Britton 7: Another solid game for Britton who looked comfortable on the ball and frequently got himself into dangerous positions thanks to clever interplay with Wright.

Subs

Hall 7: Played more attacking than usual as Dover weren’t going forward much. He’s looking fitter as he showed some surprising pace and pinged the ball around the middle well.

Warren N/A: Almost scored with a diving header only for it to be blocked on the line.

Andrews N/A: Came on at the same time as Warren and didn’t really have the time to make much of a mark.

Have your say:

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Man of The Match – Kyle Cameron

This season was always going to be massive for Cameron. Could he kick on and prove himself capable of leading a defence at this level? We may only be five games into the season but the signs are definitely encouraging. Cameron has looked like a leader this season and along with Sherring the two have formed an effective partnership.

Obviously, Dover were woeful but that shouldn’t diminish Cameron’s performance. Not only was he a serious threat from corners and free kicks throughout the entire game, but he dealt calmly with whatever Dover could muster. No mistakes and lethal with headers, what more can you ask from a centre back?

Honourable Mentions

Ben Whitfield

A proper Ben Whitfield performance, gives absolutely everything and doesn’t stop until the final whistle. He gave his defender a torrid time and was constantly either cutting into the penalty area or driving crosses across goal. Such an exciting player to watch.

Dean Moxey

An excellent bit of transfer business by Johnson. Moxey has been there and done it before, bringing a wealth of experience to the team. It also helps that he absolute quality at this level. We all miss Liam Davis but Moxey is making a good go at making left back his own.

Tactics

With an unchanged side from the victory over Chesterfield it wasn’t likely that there’d be any major tactical changes. So, it was with a 4-4-2 but one which proved fluid when it needed to be, with Whitfield sometimes going level with Wright and Britton to form a front three. Much of our play went down the wings which Dover never got a grip of throughout the entire game. We pressed hard and capitalised on any mistakes which often meant winning the ball back from a confidence-lacking Dover side.

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The Opposition

The cutbacks at Dover over the close season are plain for all to see. They were very poor and looked bereft of confidence (unsurprising given recent results), the polar opposite to us. They had a few spells of possession, but very rarely did they look like scoring and all too often the ball was given away cheaply. Dover carried somewhat of a threat up front, but they were all at sea in defence with their right back in particular having horrible afternoon against Moxey and Whitfield. Tough times ahead if they don’t find some answers from somewhere.

Officials

I rarely noticed the officials which can only be a good thing, with the referee letting the game flow nicely. There weren’t any controversial decisions of note. The refereeing has been of a good standard this season so far.

Key Moment

Not a key moment as there was no particular point which changed the game as we dominated pretty much from the off.

Conclusion

This season is starting pick up steam. How many times over the years have we seen a Torquay team dominate and somehow find themselves drawing or even losing? There was no danger of that today, United pressed and ran for 90 minutes straight, even in injury time when the three points were in the bag, still the Yellows advanced and were trying for another. Chris got his wish when he asked for a more relaxing afternoon in his Chesterfield match report, this was one of the least stressful Torquay games I can remember seeing. With players coming back from injury it makes for exciting times at Plainmoor.

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FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round: Sholing @ The Mackoy Stadium – 24th October 2020

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