TT MATCH VERDICT
Joe Uglow – @Joe_Ugs
Going into the final day, with a “dead rubber” in prospect, Gary Johnson could have been forgiven for making wholesale changes as we look to rest key players ahead of the play off campaign. Instead, it was as strong a side that we could put out, albeit with Kyle Cameron playing the number 9 role, with 3 strikers taking their place on the bench.
The match started in a scrappy fashion, with neither side taking control and this would be the theme throughout the first half and long into the second half too.
Inside the first fifteen minutes, the Cameron/Lemon partnership showed early signs of working, as Kyle won a flick on header which the Lemon latched onto before being hauled down on the edge of the area. Yellow card for the Alty defender and a dangerous free kick for the yellows. The free kick was poor though with Little blasting it at the wall, the keeper saving well from Asa Hall’s rebound.
The game continued in a scrappy fashion, our next chance coming in the 25th minute, Randell drove towards the Alty box, his shot at goal was flicked goal bound by the Lemon but the keeper saved well.
Alty had their chances too, Midfielder Alistair Smith bought some space on the edge of the Torquay area and curled the ball towards the top far corner. Covolan was more than equal to it though and held onto the ball with a flying save.
The game petered out towards half time, Randell receiving lengthy treatment for a bloodied nose after being struck by a flailing arm of Ryan Colclough.
The half time whistle sounded and the players trudged back into the changing rooms, the game had certainly lived up to its dead rubber tag and you wondered if the second half would bring a little more entertainment.
Sadly not. The game carried on with more of the same in the second half, despite the introduction of Billy Waters and Matt Buse for Jake Andrews and Asa Hall.
There would be a couple of more clear-cut chances for the yellows though, an inviting cross from Moxey was met at the back post by Randell who rose like a salmon, unfortunately he placed his header just wide of the post.
There was also a good chance for “number 9 for a day” Cameron, Wynter flashed the ball across the penalty area, Kyle got across his man but could only divert the ball over the bar.
The game continued to meander to a close, with neither side really looking like winning.
Josh Umerah was introduced for Kyle Cameron in the 72nd minute and it wouldn’t be long before Josh had his hat-trick, unfortunately for Gulls fans, it was a hat-trick of offsides, 3 in 3 minutes to be precise.
That pretty much summed up his time on the pitch, and probably sums up his season at Plainmoor.
There was a moment of concern in the 90th minute as Lewis failed to control a bouncing ball in his own half allowing the Alty player to nip in and take the ball from him. Lewis brought him down, and you wondered whether the ref may see it as a professional foul! Luckily the referee adjudged it not to be a goal-scoring opportunity and only showed Joe the yellow card. The right decision.
Not long after, the full-time whistle sounded and that was that. 42 games later; 37 streams, 5 matches on the terraces, it’s been a surreal season, but with every game available to be watched, it’s been a real positive being able to enjoy some of our performances in what’s been a pretty crap year!
Onto the play offs we go, not exactly bang in form but still unbeaten in 12 and hopefully with 2 weeks before our next match, Whitfield & Wright to come back into the fold against the winner of Notts County V Chesterfield! COYY
Lucas Covolan – 7 – Did what was asked of him, a couple good saves but wasn’t really ever troubled.
Ben Wynter – 7 – Coped well with Ryan Colclough who is a tricky player and got forward when he could.
Sam Sherring – 7 – A lot more solid and assured this week than last.
Joe Lewis – 7 – Same as Sherring, a lot better than last week.
Dean Moxey – 7 – Defensively solid, and offered an option now and again going forward, good cross for Randell second half.
Asa Hall – 6 – Wasn’t really in the game, put himself about but didn’t really impose himself. Hooked at half time, presumably that was the plan at the start of the game.
Armani Little – 5 – Wasted two free kicks in dangerous areas outside the box, smashing both into the wall, didn’t get on the ball and make anything happen. Wouldn’t start him in the play offs.
Jake Andrews – 5 – Delivery wasn’t really on it today, and picked up a yellow card. Hooked at half time, possibly planned from the start but the yellow card probably helped that decision.
Adam Randell – 7 – Ran the midfield first half, everything good came through him, faded out of the game second half but more of a reflection of the game than him.
Connor Lemonheigh- Evans – 6 – Feeding off scraps for majority of the game, no real clear cut chances but showed some nice touches and passes.
Kyle Cameron – 6 – Won his fair share of headers, but he’s not a striker and I hope this was purely just to get minutes into Kyle as opposed to there being a possibility that we will line up against Notts County or Chesterfield with Kyle up top.
Waters – 5 – Didn’t really affect the game, was played out of position on the left wing.
Buse – 5 – Again didn’t really change the game when he came on, a passenger really.
Umerah – 5 – As mentioned above he grabbed himself a hat trick of offsides in his first 3 minutes and that was about as exciting as it got for Josh.
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4-4-2 with CLE playing a lot further up the pitch closer to Kyle Cameron. Andrews and Randell supplied the width with Asa and Little in the middle. The same settled back four that have played in recent weeks too.
Looked half decent, with Dan Mooney & Ryan Colclough looking dangerous as they did at Plainmoor back in February. They’ll be in for a bottom half finish, maybe even a relegation scrap next season but they should be able to make a good fight of it.
Didn’t really notice them so always a good sign, thought Andrews was a little hard done by to be booked in the first half.
Yes we’re not firing on all cylinders, BUT we are unbeaten in 13, and our record against sides in the top 7 is decent (Notts county aside). With a free week ahead of us, we have a chance to get Whitfield and Wright fit and ready for our play off semi on June 12th and then hopefully we can earn a day out at Ashton Gate on the 20th! COYY!