Sam Swann – @SamSwanny99
Our two goals were quality
Our two goals were top drawer from the quality players we have. Barnet were proving to be dangerous themselves and Torquay were doing some last-ditch defending and riding their luck somewhat. Our first goal was when Torquay managed to successfully transition from defence to attack using slick passing. A fantastic move was finished with Jake Andrews first time curling shot from inside the penalty area was out of the reach of Barnet’s keeper. Andrews really has stepped up in recent weeks and has made the left wing slot his own with a number of goals and assists. His deliveries are invariably “on the money”, he can score like Saturday and is our best free kick specialist.
Our second goal was one of the best of the season. Great vision and accuracy from Little sending a long defence splitting pass putting through Lemonheigh-Evans on goal. Barnet’s keeper and defender tried to foul Connor. However he stayed strong on his feet, rounded the keeper and scored.
At 2-0 and despite Barnet’s best endeavours, Torquay had the extra quality to pick them off and score. Sadly that quality largely went missing in the second half and our game became more about huff and puff and lumping balls into the box hoping something might fall right. There was no lack of effort but we needed more quality similar to those two goals to win.
Barnet fully deserved their point but how much did we contribute to that?
With nothing to play for this allowed Barnet to play with freedom. Torquay struggled to deal with the strength of striker Tomi Adeloye for most of the afternoon. Barnet used their target man to good effect and played to his feet. The away team looked a threat from start to finish and credit has to go to them. For all Barnet’s first half effort, they did not really tire and could easily have won the match. It’s been a while since I have seen an opposition team attack Torquay so much and have so many chances.
From a neutral viewpoint the game was entertaining with both teams going all out attack. With so much at stake and a goal difference to boost – Torquay’s gung ho approach ended up being their undoing. It is easy in hindsight to say this now, but Torquay should have played with more patience and calmness. We got carried away in trying to rack up a big win and in the end it has cost us the title. A 1-0 or 2-0 win would still have put pressure on Sutton.
Similarities in mentality to Liverpool’s collapse at Crystal Palace in 2014?
As most people will remember, Liverpool needed a similar margin of victory in their 2nd to last game of the Premier league 2014 under Brendan Rodgers. Liverpool raced into a 3-0 lead and like Torquay, they showed their intent to chase for more by grabbing the ball out of the net as quickly as possible to restart the game. Liverpool ended up drawing 3-3. On both occasions game management went out of the window once the opposition started to fight back. Like Liverpool, Torquay’s play became too frantic and ended up throwing away a lead trying to chase a better goal difference.
Covolan saved us again
There were again some vital saves from Covolan. Since getting vital match sharpness the Brazilian really has stepped up and is now a very good all round keeper. For a 29-year-old Covolan has not played many professional games but I feel like he is now realising his potential. I like his calmness and presence which means his decisions are normally spot on.
TT PLAYER PROFILE: Lucas Covolan Cavagnari
Date of Birth: 6th June 1991 – 29 years-old
Previous Clubs: Vasco, Atletico PR, Bento Goncalves, Toledo, Rio Branco, Whitehawk, Lewes, Worthing
National League Stats 20-21: Played 22, Goals Conceded 17, Clean Sheets 10
We need constant support in the play-offs. If you want to moan then stay at home!
Could the fans have done more to help on Saturday? I believe so. I was fortunate to get a ticket in Bristow’s for this game and was left shocked at how negative our fans around me were from the start. Gary Johnson and his players have given us a fantastic memorable season and the game should have been the opportunity when the supporters did their bit back to help the team through this difficult Covid dominated season. Instead, I witnessed too much moaning from supporters around me every time a mistake was made.
It does not help that supporters are socially distanced and wear masks to make an atmosphere. But that still does not excuse the lack of support. We struggled on the pitch in the second half and the team could have done with a lift from the supporters like I have known in the past.
If you were one of the fans who booed at the end of the game or did not stay to clap them off, then do us all a favour and let the real supporters claim their tickets for the expected play-off semi-final. This club was 16th in the Conference South a couple of years ago. Now that WAS something to moan about.