Thomas Kelly – @tommyktufc
After yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Wealdstone, Thomas Kelly reflects on what is going on in TQ2.
Our rotten luck with injuries.
Once again, someone associated with Torquay United must have broken enough mirrors, walked under many ladders and opened their fair share of umbrellas indoors to provide enough bad luck for a lifetime, because our luck with injuries is once again truly against us this season. When the team sheet was announced, most fans would have noticed the absence of quite a number of key players including Moxey Little, Nemane and Evans (suspended). Our subs bench did look very light and our defence a little bit makeshift with Andrew’s going in as LB. Of course, injuries are to be expected but it seems in recent years our luck have been appalling and let’s hope it changes for the better soon.
Moxey gives you that experience at the back, Nemane gives you an attacking outlet from the midfield, Little on his day is unplayable and Wright, see below. Need I say more? Hopefully we can get them and others all back sooner rather than later. You get the feeling our success or failure to this season will be down to how well we keep our best players fit from now until the end of the season.
Our knack of scoring late goals could prove vital.
Once again, Torquay United scored a goal in the last few minutes of a match. This season has seen the Gulls show great resilience in the dying embers of games and our fondness of late goals has often given us the edge in tightly fought matches. Think Stockport, Bromley, Chesterfield & our reverse fixture with Wealdstone just to name a few. Despite last night’s late show only garnering us a point, it could prove an important one once other sides have played out their games in hand. Without them, the league would be a whole lot tighter than it is now, games in hand or not.
Olaf could play a key role for us going forward.
Having been on loan at Dorchester, it looks like Olaf Koszela has returned to us as a better player and he impressed many with his performance last night. He put in a very determined performance and provided us with a bit of energy when we needed it. Does he get into our first team when everyone is fit? Not right now, but that said it’s nice to see him developing and with an injury ravished team, this could be a great opportunity for him to seek more first team football in the future and provide us with something different from the bench. It may have been one game but he did well.
Small errors creeping back into our game.
Despite starting the game well, Torquay almost gifted a mistake at the back to be punished by the opposition. Shaun MacDonald raced out brilliantly to dispossess a Wealdstone player of the ball after a poor loose ball. Conditions were definitely difficult and to our credit, our defensive performances this season has been a huge improvement compared to last season. That said, it’s not the first time I’ve seen us gift or nearly gift the ball to the opposition this season and fortunately we’ve mostly got away with it from some great sweeper keeper moments from our lads in goal. Maybe I’m being harsh with the defence being a bit makeshift but it’s something I’ve noticed a bit too often for my liking and let’s hope we can eradicate it when players returning can get back to match fitness.
Losing Danny Wright to injury has hurt us more than I imagined it would.
Danny Wrights presence up front is something we have missed since his injury, that’s a given. His experience, awareness and his knowledge of where the goal is has left a big gap for us to fill. I always found that he held onto the ball so well and often set up as the catalyst for us to attack the opposition. I really want Umerah and Street to do well but it’s difficult to make up for the experience that a player like Wright provides. Waters seems to have quiet games but he has found the net in his last two games. Umerah works hard but has yet to really click in league games and Street has yet to really make his mark in a much more physical league than he is used too. It will be interesting to see if Gary decides to go back into the loan market to look for another forward or whether he trusts in his squad to get it right.
I think it’s fair to say on another day we would have won that game. We hit the post, forced their keeper into some very good saves, it was looking like one of those games where the ball just wouldn’t go in for us. Credit to the lads for continuing to apply the pressure and getting the goal. One point is definitely better than none, although you get the feeling, we’ve let another opportunity to extend our lead slip away.
Fair credit to Wealdstone who, after a horror show at Darlington in the Trophy, obviously had a point to prove and almost left with three. Goes to show there are no easy games in football.
Also how cryptic was Gary? Didn’t want to say anything about the team he picked out until after the game and when he was (lightly) pressed about it in his post match interview, injuries were the answer. Seemed a bit odd to me to make us all wait over. Still, trust in Gary and all that. It’s lovely to be worrying about stuff at the top of the table rather than at the bottom.
Keep the faith, keep it yellow!