Dom Roman – @DomRoman
Were the ecstatic celebrations at the final whistle a bit ott last Saturday? Maybe, but who cares! After three awful home losses, we deserved it and Connor’s late winner was worth the wait. Never mind ‘Gary Time’, this was ‘Lemon Time’…again! Next up is the league leaders so we needed that shot of confidence. Onto talking points for the Technique Stadium, game number eight – Chesterfield (a).
BACK ON TV
Before last Saturday’s game, there was a wave of pessism looking ahead to our game on BT Sports. The Gulls have had real mixed fortunes on TV in the past, my first memory probably being a 90s loss on Sky Sports against Farnborough in the FA Cup, but there were good times versus Yeovil Town on BBC and then on the Setanta Conference coverage of the Buckle days. Last season one of the highlights was our pasting of Hartlepool on BT Sports, a game that really cemented our position as proper title contenders, whilst games against Stockport and Notts County were fantastic adverts for the National League. This time around we have a lot to prove again, and with a big crowd expected and the cameras in situe, the pressure will be on both teams and managers to perform.
Checking the bookies odds for Saturday teatime’s kick off shows the home team 8/11 to take the three points, whilst the Gulls are a long 7/2 (a draw being 13/5), so they’ll be plenty of punters lumping the Spireites into their accumulators this weekend. This reflects Chesterfield’s excellent start to the season, and our own wobbles – but I’d like to think this is not a nailed on home victory. United so often do better when the odds are stacked against them (and worse when we’re favourites!), and Gary Johnson will ask for similiar efforts to Notts County when the Gulls played with courage and plenty of effort to grab a point. He’ll perhaps point out to the lads that they are being written off and quietly fancy a surprise result up north – the old maestro can still upset many favoured teams with his unfancied Gulls this season.
KEEPING THE BALANCE
Last Saturday’s game saw Torquay United switch to a 3-5-2 formation and it worked rather well. Let’s not get carried away, Southend United were dreadfully poor, but Gulls players looked comfortable in their positions, worked hard for each other and most importantly displayed a decent balance between defence and attack. With CLE, Lolos and Rogers floating between the lines, United’s attack was less predictable and flat, whilst unselfish players such as O’Connell and Johnson just ran and ran to help their team mates and provide width on either flank. Meanwhile at the back, Lewis, Wynter and Moxey apeared more comfortable in a three and happier with the loud and proud Shaun Mac behind them. Small steps but I’d be surprised if Gary Johnson didn’t persist with the formation, which matches up against Chesterfield’s own 3-5-2. For all their efforts versus Southend, this game will be far more intensive and testing for whoever plays – we’ll need to be right at it all over the park that’s for sure.
LEWIS V TSHIMANGA
Kabongo Tshimanga has been on our radar since the National League South days, the only surprise being that he’s not yet reached the Football League. After a decent 20-21 at Boreham Wood, he’s seemingly landed in the right place at Chesterfield, with seven goals in the first seven games of the NL season and the Spireites at the top of the table. Joe Lewis hopefully won’t be phased by the match-up and after the boost of a clean sheet against Southend, he’ll be desperate to continue the upwards trend and return to last season’s form. The communications between the likes of Mac, Moxey and Lewis will have to be good to keep out Kabongo, whose movement is excellent, whilst he only needs one sight of goal to bang one in the bottom corner. Here’s hoping the big Welshman is on top form, as it’s a key battle in this one.
THE WRIGHT TIME FOR DANNY?
Things haven’t quite gone Danny Wright’s way yet this season, with that headed effort at Meadow Lane being his only goal so far. The fire and fight is there from the veteran, and he’s still proving a handful for centre backs…but being the main man upfront I’m sure Danny’s disappointed with what he’s managed so far. He’s had chances, but either hit tamely at the goalkeeper or most painfully versus Southend, shanked a volley so far wide it went out for a throw-in. The partnership with Lolos looked potentially prosperous and Gary Johnson will always ask his wingers to put quality into the box, so a goal is surely not far off for Wrighty, This Saturday would be a perfect time to find it! Some glistening Danny smiles for the cameras reminiscent of Hartlepool or Notts County would be lovely. Cometh the hour….
COYY – Dom