TT MATCH VERDICT
Sam Druiff – @SamDruiff
In what was billed as a genuine promotion six pointer at Gander Green Lane, Gary Johnson has once again shown his experience as Torquay United go level on points with The U’s. This evening had a feel of Aldershot ’08 to it, a win for Sutton would put them six points better off with a game in hand, preventing them taking that chance was vital.
Johnson made one change to the starting eleven that got past Weymouth, bringing the experienced Dean Moxey in for Ryan Law, and also a return to the matchday squad to Vice Captain Kyle Cameron. The game, played on Sutton’s 3G pitch (hold off on the re-surface!), was a slightly edgy affair in the first half as both sides had their chances. In truth, The Gulls could and possibly should have been ahead at the interval with very good chances falling to Danny Wright, and Jake Andrews crashing an effort against the frame of the goal.
The second half was a similar tale as both sides had their chances, Sutton had a great opportunity before dragging their effort well wide of Covolan’s goal. As the game wore on, Johnson made a change, putting Cameron on for Jake Andrews – and Kyle seemed to adopt a left wing position for the last fifteen minutes. As we reached the twilight stage of the game, you sensed that once again there could be a late late show, and on eighty minutes, we got just that. Adam Randell, on his wrong foot dinked a perfect ball to skipper Asa Hall who beautifully headed home to put The Gulls one up. Sutton tried to get back into the game, a late surge saw a perfect ‘professional foul’ from Wynter. Sutton, in the dying embers had a free kick hit over the bar by the main man Beautyman. It finished 1-0 and it is all very very open going into the run in!
Going into the last nine games, Torquay are in 5th gear, and winning games. With players now becoming available from a horrible injury spell, I feel we’re about to hit sports mode. Hold tight.
Covolan – 7 – Did he look squeaky at times? Yes. Did he keep a clean sheet in the biggest game of the season so far? Also yes.
Wynter – 8 – Manned the right hand side well, and as previously alluded to, a top ‘professional foul’ late on.
Sherring – 8 – Solid. He’s been an ever present and you can’t fault him really.
Lewis – 8 – I’ve had doubts, but he’s getting better and better. Naturally favoured on the right side of the two, he’s doing a fine job in Kyle’s absence. Does he keep his place now Kyle is back? I think so, you can’t change a winning side.
Moxey – 8 – Brought in for his experience, and it showed. Calm throughout and did his job. Kudos for no booking in a big game as well.
Randell – 8 – Adam is my YPOTS. Looks assured and competent in any position, sharp, good delivery and plays the simple pass. If he isn’t a championship player in five years, I’ll be very surprised.
Hall – 9 – MOTM.
Little – 7 – Armani has strong critics recently, but another game where he didn’t put a foot wrong in my opinion. Lacked that ‘flair’ we’ve seen, but in a scrappy game I’m not surprised. Altered his game slightly.
Andrews – 7 – Should start every week at the moment. Jake has a natural talent with his left foot, and offers a lot. Gets back to help defend, covers ground. Quality player who I feel is under appreciated.
Evans – 8 – Once again a bundle of energy. It’s fantastic to see him linking up with Wright again in a partnership that has paid dividends a lot this season.
Wright – 7 – Led the line well. Probably should have scored, bonus points in killing time if he wasn’t actually injured.
Law, Cameron and Boden all came on but none on long enough to get a rating.
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Man Of The Match – Asa Hall
Asa Hall. I have sung this man’s praises time and again but tonight he’s done it again. Not only does he look the fittest player, but he’s still the epitome of a box to box midfielder at this level. Asa was once again in the heart of the action tonight, and is the club’s top scorer. I’ve seen fans write him off a lot and he keeps proving his critics wrong, proving age is just a number. At 34 he’s got years left in the tank.
One change, Moxey in for Law. By no means anything against young Ryan Law who has got better and better since his arrival, but Moxey’s experience was needed his evening. Shrewd substitution to bring on Cameron to the left wing and it worked. Gaffer is a genius.
HAHAHA! All the articles on their plans for ‘if we’re lucky enough to go up’. Would Johnson allow such nonsense? During the LOTBE event, it was mentioned that you do not overly celebrate a play off semi win – Sutton’s plans reek of that attitude. Professionalism will prevail. Sutton are finished for the season. Average at best, and their form is slowing. Play offs for you boys I’m afraid.
Allowed a few challenges to go. Both teams had very light penalty shouts but the ref had none of it, probably the best I’ve seen this season.
The goal. Perfect time. Again.
27 points left to play for. For me, it’s between Torquay and Stockport to win this title. Some crucial games coming up but Torquay aren’t at full speed. Still have Ben Whitfield to return which won’t be too long. In the blink of an eye it’s all very open again.
COYY – Sam
Next Up: Woking (a) – Tues 20th April