TT PREVIEW BLOG – The Play-Offs by Dom Roman

TT PREVIEWDom_Roman

Dom Roman – @DomRoman

Six teams left in the National League play-offs and it’s an open field. I look at the teams who are contesting the play-offs, key players, form and more…and yes that does include Torquay United!

2ND PLACE – TORQUAY UNITED (80 POINTS)

TUFC

Manager: Gary Johnson

Since taking over the Gulls from Gary Owers in 2018, the hugely experienced Johnson has worked his magic and taken TUFC to the brink of a return to the Football League for the first time since 2014. His reign has not been without bumps, as the team experienced poor runs in form both last season and to a lesser extent this season, allowing a top place lead to slip away to Sutton United. But considering how the Gulls were cast adrift in the National League South under Owers, he has done an excellent job – proving his credentials yet again, reinvigorating the Yellow Army and leading another promotion challenge that may yet come to fruition on 20th June. 

Line-Up in previous fixture (4-4-1-1):

FIRST XI: COVOLAN – WYNTER – SHERRING – LEWIS – MOXEY – RANDELL – HALL (C) – LITTLE – ANDREWS- LEMONHEIGH-EVANS – CAMERON

SUBS: MACDONALD – BUSE – BODEN – UMERAH – WATERS

Key Players:

Connor Lemonheigh-Evans – Midfield, 24 years-old – NL Stats: Played 41, Goals 10, Bookings 6

Asa Hall – Midfield, 34 years-old – NL Stats: Played 37, Goals 10, Bookings 4, Red Cards 1

Sam Sherring – Centre Back, 21 years-old – NL Stats: Played 41, Goals 2, Bookings 2

Top NL Goal-scorers:

Asa Hall, Connor Lemonheigh-Evans – 10

Form (Last 6):

Eastleigh (H) 3-1 W, Chesterfield (A) 0-2 W, Bromley (H) 0-0 D, Stockport (A) 2-2 D, Barnet (H) 2-2 D, Altrincham (A) 0-0 D

Form against play-off rivals: 

Stockport County – HOME 1-0 W, AWAY 2-2 D – 4 POINTS

Hartlepool United – HOME 0-1 L, AWAY 0-5 W – 3 POINTS

Notts County – HOME 2-2 D, AWAY 0-0 D – 2 POINTS

Chesterfield – HOME 2-1 W, AWAY 0-2 W – 6 POINTS

Bromley – HOME 0-0 D, AWAY 1-2 W – 4 POINTS

Total – PLAYED 10, WINS 5, DRAWS 4, LOST 1, GOALS FOR 16, GOALS AGAINST 7, POINTS 19

Promotion odds (LV BET UK): 2/1 

Fixture: 12th June – Notts County/Chesterfield @ Plainmoor


3RD PLACE – STOCKPORT COUNTY (77 POINTS)

stockport_county_crest_20117142190245279922952.png

Manager: Simon Rusk

After a successful spell as manager of Brighton’s U23s, Simon Rusk was given the nod to replace club legend Jim Gannon in January, to the surprise of the Hatters faithful. The results since then have been good, as County cemented their position in the play-offs and briefly threatened to give Sutton a challenge for the title. In the end too many draws at home undid any hopes of 1st place, but with players such as Paddy Madden brought in the Hatters are being touted as favourites for play-offs and it will be a big test of Rusk’s abilities as a manager to bring league football back to Edgeley Park.

Line-Up in previous fixture (3-5-2): 

FIRST XI: HINCHCLIFFE – JENNINGS – HOGAN (C) – PALMER – KEANE – SOUTHAM-HALES – CROASDALE – ROONEY – WALKER – REID – CARDWELL

SUBS: MINIHAN – BENNETT – WILLIAMS – FITZSIMONS – NEWBY

Key Players:

John Rooney – Midfield, 30 years-old – NL Stats: Played 35, Goals 14, Bookings 3, Red Cards 1

Liam Hogan – Centre Back, 32 years-old – NL Stats: Played 39, Goals 1, Bookings 3, Red Cards 1

Ben Hinchliffe – Goalkeeper, 32 years-old – NL Stats: Played 42, Goals Conceded 32, Clean Sheets 19

Top NL Goalscorer:

Alex Reid – 16  

Form (Last 6):

Halifax (A) 0-1 W, Wealdstone (H) 4-0 W, Dagenham (H) 1-1 D, Torquay (H) 2-2 D, Woking (H) 1-1 D, Yeovil (A) 0-1 W

Form against play-off rivals: 

Torquay United – HOME 2-2 D, AWAY 1-0 L – 1 POINT

Hartlepool United – HOME 1-1 D, AWAY 4-0 L – 1 POINT

Notts County – HOME 0-0 D, AWAY 1-0 L – 1 POINT

Chesterfield – HOME 2-0 W, AWAY 1-2 W – 6 POINTS

Bromley – HOME 0-0 D, AWAY 0-2 W – 4 POINTS

Total – PLAYED 10, WINS 3, DRAWS 4, LOST 3, GOALS FOR 9, GOALS AGAINST 10, POINTS 13

Promotion odds (LV BET UK): 8/5

Fixture: 13th June – Hartlepool/Bromley @ Edgeley Park


4TH PLACE – HARTLEPOOL UNITED (76 POINTS)

Hartlepool_United_FC_logo_2017

Manager: Dave Challinor

Dave Challinor was renowned for his long throw in his playing career, which included a successful time at Tranmere Rovers. In management he made a name for himself taking AFC Fylde up through the leagues, eventually reaching the NL play-offs and winning the FA Trophy in 2019 against Leyton Orient at Wembley. Challinor was appointed Pools boss at the end of 2019 and has moulded the team into one capable of competing for promotion, with Pools topping the table this season before being eventually overtaken by Sutton exploiting their games in hand.

Line-Up in previous fixture (3-5-2): 

FIRST XI: JAMES – CASS – LIDDLE – JOHNSON – SHELTON – FEATHERSTONE (C) – HOLOHAN – FERGUSON – STERRY – ELLIOTT – OATES

SUBS: RAVAS – FRANCIS-ANGOL – CRAWFORD – MOLYNEUX – DONALDSON

Key Players:

Rhys Oates – Striker, 26 years-old – NL Stats: Played 37, Goals 15, Bookings 2 

Nicky Featherstone – Midfield, 32 years-old – NL Stats: Played 37, Goals 4, Bookings 5

Gavan Halohan – Midfield, 29 years-old – NL Stats: Played 40, Goals 8, Bookings 6

Top NL Goalscorer:

Rhys Oates – 15

Form (Last 6): 

Chesterfield (H) 3-1 W, Bromley (A) 1-0 L, Maidenhead (H) 2-4 L, Aldershot (A) 1-3 W, Sutton (A) 3-0 L, Weymouth (H) 4-0 W

Form against play-off rivals: 

Torquay United – HOME 0-5 L, AWAY 0-1 W – 3 POINTS

Stockport County – HOME 4-0 W, AWAY 1-1 D – 4 POINTS

Notts County – HOME 2-0 W, AWAY 0-1 W – 6 POINTS

Chesterfield – HOME 3-1 W, AWAY 1-2 W – 6 POINTS

Bromley – HOME 0-0 D, AWAY 1-0 L – 1 POINT

Total – PLAYED 10, WINS 6, DRAWS 2, LOST 2, GOALS FOR 14, GOALS AGAINST 9, POINTS 20

Promotion odds (LV BET UK): 9/2

Fixture: 6th June – Bromley @ Victoria Park


5TH PLACE – NOTTS COUNTY (70 POINTS)

Notts_County_Logo

Manager: Ian Burchnall

Ian Burchnall became Notts County head coach in March after the surprise departure of Neal Ardley. Birchnall had previously coached in Sweden at Ostersund and developed an excellent reputation that attracted the attention of County’s owners. County’s play-off place was secured before the final game and Burchnall will be desperate to take Notts back to the Football League at his first attempt.

Line-Up in previous fixture (3-5-2): 

FIRST XI: SLOCOMBE – ELLIS – RAWLINSON – CHICKSEN – O’BRIEN – DOYLE (C) – REEVES – MILLER – BRINDLEY – WOOTTON – RODRIGUES

SUBS: TURNER – KELLY-EVANS – GRIFFITHS – BOLDEWIJN – SAM

Key Players:

Ruben Rodrigues – Striker, 24 years-old – NL Stats: Played 35, Goals 11, Bookings 6 

Connell Rawlinson – Centre Back, 29 years-old – NL Stats: Played 37, Bookings 6

Michael Doyle – Midfield, 39 years-old – NL Stats: Played 36, Goals 1, Bookings 4

Top NL Goalscorer:

Kyle Wootton – 15

Form (Last 6): 

Barnet (A) 1-4 W, Maidenhead (A) 0-4 W, Bromley (H) 2-2 D, Wrexham (A) 0-1 W, Weymouth (H) 3-0 W, Bromley (A) 1-0 L

Form against play-off rivals: 

Torquay United – HOME 0-0 D, AWAY 2-2 D – 2 POINTS

Stockport County – HOME 1-0 W, AWAY 0-0 D – 4 POINTS

Hartlepool United – HOME 0-1 L, AWAY 2-0 L – 0 POINTS

Chesterfield – HOME 0-1 L, AWAY 2-3 W – 3 POINTS

Bromley – HOME 2-2 D, AWAY 1-0 L – 1 POINT

Total – PLAYED 10, WINS 2, DRAWS 4, LOST 4, GOALS FOR 6, GOALS AGAINST 11, POINTS 10

Promotion odds (LV BET UK): 6/1

Fixture: 5th June – Chesterfield @ Meadow Lane


6TH PLACE – CHESTERFIELD (69 POINTS)

chesterfield

Manager: James Rowe

James Rowe is a young manager who started his career in coaching as an assistant at Aldershot. He then took the top job at Gloucester, doing well enough to attract the attention of Chesterfield at the end of 2020. Since then he has ushered in a terrific run of form, taking the team from the lower ends of the table to play-off contention, winning the manager of the month award for March 2021. Another young man looking to make a name for himself in the 2021 play-offs.

Line-Up in previous fixture (3-5-2): 

FIRST XI: MONTGOMERY – EVANS – GUNNING – MAGUIRE – CLARKE – WESTON (C) – OYELEKE – CARLINE – TAYLOR – ROWE – MANDEVILLE

SUBS: WHITTLE – McCOURT – WHELAN – TYSON – YUSSUF

Key Players:

Danny Rowe – Striker, 32 years-old – NL Stats: Played 9, Goals 3, Bookings 1 

Curtis Weston – Midfield, 34 years-old – NL Stats: Played 37, Bookings 8

Gavin Gunning – Centre Back, 30 years-old – NL Stats: Played 18, Goals 2, Bookings 3

Top NL Goalscorer:

Akwasi Asante – 10

Form (Last 6):

Torquay (H) 0-2 L, Woking (A) 1-4 W, King’s Lyn (H) 4-1 W, Wealdstone (H) 0-0 D, Dagenham (H) 2-1 W, Halifax (A) 1-2 W

Form against play-off rivals: 

Torquay United – HOME 0-2 L, AWAY 2-1 L – 0 POINTS

Stockport County – HOME 1-2 L, AWAY 2-0 L – 0 POINTS

Hartlepool United – HOME 1-2 L, AWAY 3-1 L – 0 POINTS

Notts County – HOME 2-3 L, AWAY 0-1 W – 3 POINTS

Bromley – HOME 1-2 L, AWAY 1-2 W – 3 POINTS

Total – PLAYED 10, WINS 2, DRAWS 0, LOST 8, GOALS FOR 10, GOALS AGAINST 19, POINTS 6

Promotion odds (LV BET UK): 8/1

Fixture: 5th June – Notts County @ Meadow Lane


7TH PLACE – BROMLEY (69 POINTS)

bromley

Manager: Andy Woodman

Andy Woodman is the rare example of a former goalkeeper becoming a manager. Woodman joined Bromley in March after being head of goalkeeping at Arsenal, and made Bromley a difficult team to beat as they scraped into the play-offs with a last day win over Notts County. The men from Hayes Lane now have a tough game at Hartlepool, but will no doubt make it a difficult 90 minutes for Dave Challinor’s team.

Line-Up in previous fixture (4-4-2): 

FIRST XI: COUSINS – KIZZI – FOX – BUSH (C) – MITCHELL – BINGHAM – RAYMOND – BRIDGE – ARTHURS – WILLIAMSON – CHEEK

SUBS: FORSTER – HOLLAND – CAMPBELL – TROTTER – ALABI

Key Players:

Mark Cousins – Goalkeeper, 34 years-old – NL Stats: Played 9, Goals Against 53, Clean Sheets 12

Michael Cheek – Striker, 29 years-old – NL Stats: Played 42, Goals 21, Bookings 8

Joe Kizzi – Right Back, 30 years-old – NL Stats: Played 38, Goals 7, Bookings 7

Top NL Goalscorer:

Michael Cheek – 21

Form (Last 6):

Hartlepool (H) 1-0 W, Torquay (A) 0-0 D, Wealdstone (A) 0-1 W, Notts County (A) 2-2 D, Aldershot (A) 2-3 W, Notts County (H) 1-0 W

Form against play-off rivals: 

Torquay United – HOME 1-2 L, AWAY 0-0 D – 1 POINT

Stockport County – HOME 0-2 L, AWAY 0-0 D – 1 POINT

Hartlepool United – HOME 1-0 W, AWAY 0-0 D – 4 POINTS

Notts County – HOME 1-0 W, AWAY 2-2 D – 4 POINTS

Chesterfield – HOME 1-2 L, AWAY 1-2 W – 3 POINTS

Total – PLAYED 10, WINS 3, DRAWS 4, LOST 3, GOALS FOR 8, GOALS AGAINST 9, POINTS 13

Promotion odds (LV BET UK): 16/1

Fixture: 6th June – Hartlepool United @ Victoria Park


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I simply live and breathe Football and have supported Torquay United since 1989. I am a season ticket holder on Bristows and a Trust member. I set up TorquayTalk in 2017 to give true supporters a voice and honest opinions on their club.

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