The Ed picks his top 5 Gulls for December and a POTM
Dom Roman – @DomRoman
1 – Connor Lemonheigh-Evans
I’m running out of superlatives for Connor this season! For the second month in succession there was only really one choice for the Player of the Month, which considering how excellent the likes of Whits and Nemane have been, is a real testament to the form that the Lemon is in. The team started with a bang in December and then finished with a bang, but CLE was pretty much brilliant throughout. Taking up positions to keep defenders on their toes, threading intricate passes into team mates, driving into the box with the ball and also scoring three goals against Wrexham, Yeovil and Weymouth. The Yeovil one was an instinctive poke of the ball to finish off a move of real beauty, everything Gary Johnson wants to see from his team. If Connor doesn’t win the National League Player of the Month then I demand a recount – an intelligent footballer on top of his game.
MOTM – Wealdstone (A), Wrexham (H), Weymouth (A)
2 – Ben Whitfield
Nine assists now for Ben Whitfield this season (one ahead CLE) and another brilliant month from the winger, as he kept on running, kept on taking on full backs and kept on making chances for others. As a team Torquay United just out-work and out-run the opposition, with Danny Wright quickly surrounded by team mates when the attacking chance allows. Being good on the ball is only a small part of becoming an excellent footballer, and Gary Johnson has found the right blend of talent and work rate – with Whitfield leading by example game after game, despite plenty of strong challenges trying to take the wind out of his sails. Good luck with that! Whits provided one of the moments of the month with his delicious goal against Wrexham, as the supporters returned to Plainmoor. He certainly enjoyed it, a player who loves representing the Yellow Army.
3 – Aaron Nemane
There’s not many better sights at Plainmoor this season than Aaron Nemane zigzagging across the pitch and waltzing around defenders. Much like Whits, Aaron does not stop running and his appetite for the fight belies his small stature. The Boxing Day massacre was the winger’s finest 90 minutes in a United shirt. The hapless Glovers just didn’t know what to do with him – get tight and the lads spins around you, stand off him and suddenly he’s darted past in a blur. The never give up attitude to snatch the ball away from the Yeovil keeper for the 4th goal was a deserved reward for this unassuming player, and he finished the year with a calm side footed finish at Weymouth. The attacking trio of CLE/Whitfield/Nemane is simply a pleasure to watch.
I’ve realised by now that the top 5 is made up of the same players from last month, but I think it just shows how important these guys are to this Yellow juggernaut. United defensive form has stuttered slightly recently, with the back four shuffled due to injuries there has understandably been wobbles. But the deputy captain has still been one of our stand-out players, constantly aggressive with or without the ball and pushing the Torquay team forward to close down the opposition. Leadership like that is one of the reasons why United are top. After a number of close calls especially versus the Daggers, Cam finally got another goal against Yeovil and boy did he love that moment.
5 – Asa Hall
Asa Hall you say? But he missed 3 matches in December? But how good has he been the rest of the month! I wrote in my early December blog that the skipper’s finest performances for United came against Wrexham and Maidenhead – he really was everywhere bossing the midfield. Making tackles, winning headers, picking out passes and also enjoying some forays forward to support Danny Wright. He arrived back on the scene at Weymouth and notched his sixth goal of the season with a calm header, what a good lad.
MOTM – Maidenhead (H)
STAT ATTACK (ATTACK ATTACK)
Top Gulls in all competitions (with help from Torquay Stats):