TT PRE-MATCH TALKING POINTS – HAVANT (A) by Dom Roman

TT TALKING POINTSDom_Roman

Dom Roman – @DomRoman

In the end it just seemed inevitable. Havant pushed the kitchen sink forward in the final minutes and Torquay’s team retreated alarmingly. Panic panic panic! A replay it is, which means another pre-match talking points. Keeping me busy these Gulls! Havant (A):

THE OPPOSITION

Going into Saturday I think we were all concerned about it being a proverbial ‘bannana skin’, and so it proved. United controlled much of the first half and the hope was that as the second half rolled along, our extra fitness and quality could shine through. Not a bit of it. Havant & Waterlooville came out swinging after half time, almost like a boxer who’d seen what the other had in the locker and knew there was little punching power to be scared of. The stand out performer in white and blue/yellow trim was Tommy Wright, a lovely little player who kept finding space outside the box and looked too good to be playing in the National League South. Meanwhile James Roberts’ late equaliser was painful but very well taken, and we’ll have to get tighter on both of them Wednesday night. Apart from that the Havant team showed plenty of commitment, but I’d like to think we can cause them all sorts of trouble if he find our form. If being the key word with the Gulls this season! Another tough battle awaits.

TIME TO TALK

One notable aspect from our Bristow’s perch was how often Aaron Downes cajoled the players to talk and organise each other. On one corner the Aussie spent the whole time demanding more communications from the team and rightly so. It’s been a constant this season at Plainmoor, throw-ins and set pieces have been conceded due to a lack of helpful calls, whilst two Gulls frequently contested a ball and put each other off. Without Asa Hall playing on Saturday, this was always likely to be a concern and so it proved. Perhaps young Harry Perritt can improve this on his arrival, but in the meantime the existing players have to unearth their inner leaders – small things like that can make all the difference. Let’s hear you lads.

THE FORMATION

The balance and formation of the team is a puzzle for Gary Johnson at the moment. The use of a 3-5-2 system was brought in to allow the likes of Connor Lemonheigh-Evans and Armani Little more time to infuence the games, and that worked perfectly against Southend and Wealdstone. But if those two fail to make their class count, then suddenly the team looks bereft of ideas. Moxey and Johnson do what they can at wing back and Moxey can certainly make a lovely pass, but both lack any pace or trickery. Meanwhile with Moxey pushed onto wing back, Ali Omar looked very uncomfortable on the left of a three. The big lad is a trier and potentially can become a player, but at the moment it’s tough to watch his struggles. Square pegs in round holes? The boss is doing all he can to help this team flourish with new signings, but will probably stick to similar tactics at Havant – no doubt with a slight re-shuffle here or there after Saturday’s disappointment.

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A START FOR LOLOS?

With Tom Lapslie unfortunately limping off on Saturday (get well soon Tom), Klaidi came on and did quite well. I say quite as there were good moments….and less good moments. What the striker does have though is ability. Ability to beat a man and use his close control to make something happen. That was enough to create the second goal for the returning Jake Andrews and may be enough to force his way into the Havant (a) line-up. Whether that will be alongside Dan Holman or instead of him is down to the gaffer, but at the moment someone with Klaidi’s potential is well worth a punt I’d say…some sparkle to help us ride through the current mediocrity. With another different striking option in Sinclair Armstong arriving, the competition for places suddenly heats up a little, so the ex-Argyle youngster would love another chance to stake a claim in the Cup.

A FAVOURABLE DRAW

Expectations are always low when TUFC’s name is drawn out of a hat…or whatever they use these days. But Charlton Athletic away is one of the best we’ve had in years. An ex-Premier League club with a big ground and something for us finally to be excited by…if we can triumph Wednesday night. It makes the last minute equaliser even more galling for the Yellow Army, but should help motivate the players on to go to Havant and get the job done. It would be very Torquay United to get a nice draw and then lose to a National League South team…but positive thoughts guys, just play better and we will enjoy a day out at ‘The Valley’. Thomas Kelly will be there to report for TT, keep an eye out for his updates on what has become a very big fixture indeed.

PS – Welcome back Jake Andrews! A typically taken poachers goal from the left winger. His return to the starting XI may have to wait a little longer, but the impact he can provide is desperately needed.

COYY – Dom

 

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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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