Tom Beddows – @BeddowsTom
Tom discusses some of the talking points from the loss at Havant and Waterlooville
There’s always much excitement about the FA Cup, a chance to forget about the league and put in a performance that has the potential to lead to a dream draw, as well as providing vital funds for a club like us. When we were drawn out the hat against Charlton on Sunday, many Torquay fans would argue that was as close to a dream draw as we could’ve wanted. An ex-Premier League club, with a cracking stadium and a brilliant day out for the Yellow Army… oh what could’ve been! The hurdle of Havant & Waterlooville stood in front of us, after a last minute equaliser for the Hawks on Saturday, the replay was scheduled unusually for a Wednesday night! Luckily for me Havant is only a short journey from home, so full credit to those that travelled from the bay and to everyone else that made the effort on a completely miserable, wet evening.
Over the last couple of months we’ve all seen that something is not right, there’s no ‘click’ like last season. The energy levels seem low, for some but not all, and we lack consistency in all areas. Last night was another fine example of all of those things, a night to forget. Every game I’ve been to this season has seen us concede at least 2 goals; Altrincham, Maidenhead, Solihull, Boreham Wood, Bromley and now Havant. 1 win out of those 6 is so so poor and things need changing quickly. Even with MacDonald returning we’re still shipping far too many goals, the defence don’t look connected with each other, but at least they do receive communication from the keeper, something which we lacked before. Let’s hope the new lad from Accrington can bring in something different and help us to click again!
Chiori & Squad
We were played off the park by H&W with very little pressure coming from the Gulls. Very early on Chiori Johnson was subbed on in favour of O’Connell. I don’t know if this was down to injury, it didn’t look that way. If it was down to the fact that O’Connell wasn’t offering anything to the game then that was fair, but that could have also been said for many of the boys in yellow. Johnson brought some enthusiasm and energy that was much needed. He needs to be starting on Saturday. Omar had poor touch after poor touch, and didn’t seem to want to go after the ball when it was heading in his direction, far too many mistakes from him last night. Does he deserve a place in the starting 11, I don’t think so! I’m still not sure how he gave away that corner… We are also very obviously missing Tom Lapslie in the middle, very little was happening down the pitch, the sooner he can return from injury the better. I look forward to seeing what Lapslie, Andrews and Little could do together when all are fit and healthy.
I am in full support of Gary, some fans on the socials are beginning to question his position but I think it would be catastrophic for him to go. I’m not sure who they see as a replacement or what anyone else could bring when you look at the level of experience and expertise GJ has. I trust that he will make the right replacements where necessary, we saw that when he brought Shaun back. The two additions announced this week also show that he is actively trying to improve our squad, I expect they won’t be the last additions we see in the next month. In my full support for Gary, I ask him to replicate this support back to the fans, I left before the full time whistle last night, (first time ever), but hearing that there was no acknowledgement towards the brilliant following Yellow Army on a horrible night, is poor and not something I’d like to see continue.
Cards galore… We’ve certainly racked up a quite a tally this season! Last night was no exception to that, with our third red card of the season. A very very silly challenge by Dan Martin saw him see a second yellow, after being on the pitch for less than 15 minutes. What followed the challenge I’m not quite sure, but a lot of commotion over by the benches between the two teams. Are we clumsy in our challenges, are the referees making a poor decisions, or do we panic when the opposing team are on the front foot and we simply put the player to the floor. I think a mixture of all 3…and last nights antics certainly showed that.
As what appears to be a common occurrence for United, a former Torquay player would score against us. Last night we had the joy of two former players scoring for Havant, Joe Oastler, part of our squad for the play-off final at Old Trafford (another day to forget), opened the game with a neat header into the bottom corner within the first 10 minutes. With Scott Rendell, who came to Torquay in our first season back in League 2 under Buckle, also joining him on the scoresheet by nodding one home from close range! Will Luke Young continue this theme at Wrexham? What I think is quite certain is that Billy Waters will grab a goal when Halifax visit in November.
So, a terrible night on the South Coast, which sees us exit the FA Cup in a qualifying round for the first time in 3 seasons, we miss out on an away day at Charlton and a pay out that would’ve only helped the club. Best of luck to Havant in the next round, I can see another upset on the cards for them. Full focus on the league now, I’ll be there at Wrexham in a couple of weeks time hoping to see a new energy from the team currently available, supporting the new additions to the squad and hoping they bring something to the table. Christ we need them to! At the current rate I wouldn’t be shocked if Deadpool got a goal or two against us.
COYY – Tom