TT MATCH VERDICT
Tom Vosper – @TomVosper11
On an evening where football took a stand against the proposed ‘European Super League’, Torquay put in a ‘super’ performance of their own as they took all 3 points from a stuttering Woking side.
One of the many negatives of the proposed ‘European Super League’ was the dreariness of seeing the same teams playing each other over and over again, as well as the anticipated cost to view the games. Cue paying £12 to see Woking vs Torquay, meeting for the third time in 52 days.
The Gulls came into this game in strong form and closing in on Hartlepool at the top. In contrast, Woking were in freefall and had an injury list not dissimilar to Torquay’s a couple of months ago. Torquay made 2 changes from the win at Sutton, Boden replaced Wright and Buse came into central midfield for Little.
From the first kick, Torquay were on the front foot. Boden was incredibly unlucky not to open the scoring on 4 minutes as Ross in the Woking goal made a fantastic double save. Torquay fans would be forgiven for thinking that it was going to be another one of those games. But, Ross’s excellence was soon overwritten. A long through ball from Torquay caused confusion in the Woking defence, leading to Ross coming a long way out to offer his assistance. He misjudged the clearance and the ball fell to Boden on the edge of the area who calmly brought it down and lofted it into the back of the net.
They say lightning doesn’t strike twice, but in Woking it did. One minute after the opener Torquay had their second, another gift, this time served up by former Gull and fan unfavourite, Ben Gerring. His terrible back pass from halfway inside his own half was latched onto by Lemonheigh-Evans who had read it perfectly. The Gulls’ number 7 proceeded to round Ross and double United’s lead. Celebrating with a knee slide in front of the stand normally buzzing with away fans.
Woking were now stunned and had salt rubbed into their wounds as 2 players left the pitch injured. Despite this, the first half came to a close relatively quietly. Torquay had two chances, one for Buse, whose Zola esque flick at the near post just crept wide, as well as an Andrews piledriver from outside the area which stung the palms of Ross.
The second half saw no changes for either side and Torquay were soon on the front foot again. Moxey, who was having a good game at left back, continuously got high up the pitch and offered his assistance in attacks. Torquay came out to grab a goal in the opening 10 minutes if possible, then to shut up shop if it didn’t arrive.
Because of this, the game quickly lulled as both sides were happy with the result as it was. For Torquay, the 2 first half goals were enough to see the game out and for Woking, only conceding 2 flattered them. This led to quite a drab second half. It was encouraging to see Torquay close out a game like this. It’s clear we are a side in form and once the second goal went in, we never looked like throwing it away. A couple of months ago we would have let this slip, not now.
Slight concerns for Torquay will be the 3 subs they had to make in the second half. Andrews, Moxey and Boden were all replaced due to what looked like knocks. All 3 players had played their part in the win and the partnerships between Andrews and Moxey, as well as Boden and Lemonheigh-Evans have developed nicely and would have continued to cause Woking problems.
The subs who came on to replace them had little effect on the game. It was great to see Warren back in the side following a long absence. Waters works hard but certainly isn’t as effective as Andrews when placed on the left hand side of midfield. Finally, Umerah’s effort nearly set up Buse for a third late on, but the midfielder’s effort was deflected wide for a corner.
All in all this was an accomplished performance by The Gulls. Lots of good performances across the pitch and most importantly, we’ve closed the gap at the top. Huge game on Saturday against Notts County.
Covolan 7 – Had a quiet night in goal, especially first half, but stayed alert to make one crucial save in the second half. Only 2 goals conceded in 8 games now!
Moxey 7.5 – In a young back four his experience helps a lot. Tonight, he was up and down the left-hand side supporting Andrews whenever he could as well as giving Andrews freedom when he couldn’t get there as well.
Lewis 7 – It’s hard to not talk about Lewis and Sherring like they’re the same person at the moment. They’ve formed a great partnership together and Lewis especially looks comfortable bringing the ball out of defence and tonight was the perfect opportunity to show that.
Sherring 7 – Similar to what I have said above! Sherring did the basics very well albeit with very little threat from the Woking strikers.
Wynter 7 – No late drama this time around for Wynter. Looks back to his normal self after his injury and has played a key role in only conceding 2 in 8 games.
Andrews 7.5 – Gives us so much more balance having him play at left midfield. Often makes the right decision and is clever enough to create himself time and space. Johnson will have a big decision to make once Whitfield is back.
Hall 7 – A classic performance which went under the radar a bit tonight. Solid all evening and didn’t put a foot wrong.
Buse 7.5 – He’s back again! Last time it was out wide, this time it’s in the middle with Asa. Didn’t look out of place at all and could have had 2 goals on another night.
Randell 7 – Much like Asa, he is just solid every game. Certainly my pick for Young Player of the Season. Playing out wide suits him a treat as he is nippy and has a good cross on him.
Lemonheigh-Evans 8.5 – See MOTM
Boden 8 – I’m a big fan of Boden and I was really happy to see him get his goal after Ross somehow denied him 4 minutes in. He works really hard for the team and looks a good backup to Wright as we head towards the run in.
Waters 5 – Isn’t a left sided midfielder and looked lost out there.
Warren – N/A
Umerah – N/A
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Man of the Match – Connor Lemonheigh-Evans
This was a very tough call with Boden having a great game as well. But I thought Evans creativity, effort and constant threat edges it for me. It’s great having him in behind any striker we have! An in-form Evans is frightening and I love to see it!
Again, Buse. Last time I wrote a report, Buse played brilliantly against Solihull Moors. This time, he was thrown into the team again and put in a performance as if he played there every week. Hopefully he’s given the chance to stick around as last time he disappeared very quickly.
The second goal. Woking were determined to be the architects of their own downfall in the first 20 minutes. One horrendous mistake is recoverable, a second one 60 seconds later is not. Once we had the second goal it was game over.
Traditional 4411 with Buse at centre mid and Boden up front. We look so much more balanced with Andrews on the left hand side.
Very very poor. A squad plagued with injuries and players being furloughed, but the mistakes they made were unforgivable. When your starting 11 is so inexperienced you rely on your more senior players to pull you through. Ross and Gerring did the opposite tonight and lost them the game. Gerring especially…
No big calls for them. Couple of heavy challenges in the game which went unpunished but all in all a quiet night.
What would Gary have wanted from this game? 3 points? Tick. A clean sheet? Tick. No injuries? Half tick. Woking were a very poor side already preparing for next season. Nevertheless, we thoroughly deserved the win and saw all our players play well. We’re now 1 point off the top, is the title back on?
COYY – Tom