TT MATCH VERDICT
Clive Hayward – @Byehorse
The question on my lips when I first saw the team sheet featuring no starting strikers was whether this would be like a soggy box of Swan Vestas or a triumph of enlightened industrial relations?
Soggy I’m afraid. Guy Fawkes would have been tearing his hair out!
7 mins: Cameron’s poor clearance allowed Alty to strike a piledriver onto MacDonald’s crossbar.
8 mins: Nemane saw his shot saved by Tony Thompson, who got up quickly to deny Guardiola’s biggest mistake any joy with the rebound
13 mins: Moxey and Whits combined well, but Thompson was more than equal to Ben’s shot from the edge of the box.
20 mins- GOAL!!! Nemane turned beautifully in front of the dugouts and was tripped by Mooney, who saw yellow for his pains. It was to be the last action the Alty winger would see because he hobbled off soon afterwards, still feeling the after effects of an injury sustained a few seconds earlier when hauling down Armani Little. The resulting free kick by The Lemon was on the money: the Babbacombe End stewards saw Cameron win the header, contrive to get a shot away when the ball bounced back to him off a defender’s shin and when Thompson’s save proved inadequate he poked it home from a prone position (ooh-er Missus).
31 mins: OH BLEDDY HELL SHERRING!! Torquay conceded an unnecessary penalty as the heavens opened: Sherring bringing down Hancock on the corner of the box. The fouled player got up to smash an equaliser into the top corner. Wasteful.
44 mins- United struggled to impose themselves thoughout the rest of the first half and Alty sub Colclough punished them with a fabulous finish across MacDonald.
Half time came as a welcome respite as the visitors showed signs of taking total control.
My brother texted me using industrial, anatomical language about Armani Little and imploring Gary Johnson to get a striker on. Torquay hadn’t clicked and it would be brave to leave things as they were.
Brave man our Gary! No changes. The first action of the second half saw an Alty pot shot from 40 yards go close.
60 mins- nothing was working. A frustrating night, underperformances throughout. An hour gone, and Waters was readied to come on. Asa Hall hooked. Team still stuffed with “creative” players and how we need some inspiration.
61 mins- Rob Street introduced for Little. Not sure why both subs couldn’t have been done together. Lemon dropped deeper, his forgettable false nine experience at an end. Two up front: COME ON!!
63 mins- another sub. A veritable wolf-pack. Jake Andrews replaced an injured Nemane. He started with a free kick drilled in at shin height to absolutely no effect.
67 mins- A Moxey throw in was flicked on by Cameron but wouldn’t drop for Street.
70 mins- Street got a shot off on the end of a Whitfield through ball, but Thompson made a comfortable save.
76 mins- Another Moxey long throw was allowed to bobble around the box for a second but nothing came of it and in all honesty United had about as much luck as they deserved tonight.
81 mins- Quick feet on the edge of the D gained a free kick which Andrews bent over the wall and about 4 feet over the middle of the goal. Underwhelming.
84 mins- Torquay almost contrived to give Alty a third with a suicidal pass which deserved to be punished: MacDonald made a good save with his legs. This led to a baffling bit of refereeing where Cameron picked up a suspension-triggering yellow card but Mr Quelch went on to issue a second yellow to Moult, who ran off in some bemusement. The commentators could offer no explanation and it’s frustrating not to be able to enlighten you further. But there we are: it was that sort of a night really.
Could United punish Alty late on?
No. Ne never threatened the 10 men.
Macdonald- 7: Did ok overall. Flapped at a couple but fairly competent.
Lewis- 6: Unless it was him with the dreadful pass in the 84th minute, in which case 5.
Cameron- 6.5: I’ll give him a half for his exploits in the opposition box.
Sherring- 5: We didn’t have to defend much but didn’t do it well and his unnecessary challenge for the penalty turned the evening to shit.
Moxey- 6: Did alright.
Hall- 5.5: Showed little.
Randell- 6: Managed not to get booked, which is a plus for him.
Nemane- 5.5: Good player but not his night. Hopefully his injury isn’t too bad.
Whits- 5: Would be a 6 but he’s set such high standards that I have to be harsh with my mark here.
Little- 4: Did nothing right.
The Lemon- 5: A deeply disappointing effort.
Andrews- 4: Poor free kicks.
Street- 5: Could have done better with his chance.
Waters- 4: I cannot think of a single thing he did after coming on.
Hamon- 10: Didn’t put a foot wrong. Ivor Dewdney can be very proud!
Sheaf- No opportunity tonight for Claudia.
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Man Of The Match – Dan Mooney
Looked bright before getting injured, getting booked and leaving early. I wish I could have done the same!
Captain Tom RIP. Glad he didn’t live to see this.
Gary sprung a surprise, starting with something like a 4-4-1-1 formation featuring nobody who would normally be described as a striker. CLE was furthest forward, but also took his normal share of set pieces.
At 45 minutes one would have to say this had been a failed experiment.
At 90 minutes I feel as though I would just like to finish this report, get my head down and hope that this shambles was a one off.
Decent. Annoyingly so. They took their chances and picked up a big three points.
Referee was a Mr Quelch, appearing at Plainmoor soon after his previous gig v. Maidenhead. Still a daft name. No complaints about the penalty though. Both his assistants ran up and down their touchlines gamely and were adequate flag lifters. He will have had his reasons for the red card I’m sure. They may even have been legitimate.
“Don’t get too ‘up’ when you win or too ‘down’ when you lose. As Alanis Morrisette would say: “It’s the good advice that you just can’t take”. I feel totally deflated tonight. Tomorrow, as they say, is another day.
COYFY – Clive