Danny Burnell – @danny_burnell92
Danny discusses talking points from the victory over King’s Lynn
Our loanees stepped up to mark
There was plenty of talk around Messrs Armstrong & Perritt pre-game. Will they start, won’t they, who will be dropped? As it panned out, both started, and both played very well. Perritt slotted into the back 4 at the expense of the injured Omar, and QPR loanee Sinclair Armstrong took the place of Jake Andrews as United reverted to a 4-3-3/3-5-2/3-4-3 formation.
Let’s start with the Accrington loanee. Nervous to start with, a couple of wayward balls aimed aimlessly, BUT, he grew into the game and handled the physical presence of Kings Lynn well. He marshalled his man, remained calm on the ball, tried and often got in front of his man first. A mature and solid performance from Harry, and with tougher games to come, there’s no doubt his prowess will be further tested, starting at Wrexham next week. With Omar, Wynter and Moxey often being utilised in the centre back position alongside Lewis this season, a more stable partner is needed, and early signs hint that he could be the ‘Sam Sherring’ type we are looking for. Fingers crossed.
Sinclair Armstrong. The 18 year old with the build of a 28 year old powerhouse. Superb debut capped with a sweetly taken goal. He proved a real handful for that Lynn defence and the Plainmoor faithful didn’t have to wait long for his first sight of goal. A long ball over the top allowed him to outmuscle his marker and shoot, only to be denied by Paul Jones’s feet. Encouraging signs, and it only got better. Powerful runs, good hold up play, not afraid to take on his man and shoot, this is something Gulls fans have been crying out for. Again, like Perritt, he WILL have tougher tests, no doubt about it, but with that attitude and desire, Torquay fans will warm to him and always have the hope of something special.
Now, with all the talk of United’s poor form and their lowly league position, it’s easy to forgot United have now won 3 league games on the bounce at TQ1. Albeit stretched out over a 6 week period, United have triumphed over Southend, Wealdstone and now King’s Lynn, and if you want to be considered title/play off contenders your home form needs to be on point. Away from home, United have stuttered. Too often shot-shy, no outlets and growing anger in the stands, therefore Torquay NEED to make Plainmoor a fortress. Somewhere you don’t come and get points easily. The early season defeats by Altrincham, Woking & Grimsby were hard to take there’s no doubt about it, they hurt, but 9 points from 9, eight goals in the process, keep it going and send those away fans home empty-handed!
Future strike partnership?
Saturday was the first time this season I thought our strikers clicked….properly (bar Wealdstone). With Wright in a cast and only Houdini knowing how long he’ll be out for, we need other options. I’ve already mentioned the determined Armstrong, but Lolos, with his unusual style, is a player I like to watch. When it works for him, it works. Silky touches and ‘flashness’ is often a luxury at this level, but if you back it up with the goods, then why not. His mazy run in the second half proved just that, and although he chose the wrong option at the end it sparked the crowd up. He’s raw, he’s relatively inexperienced and he’s obviously hungry for goals. But I do like him, I do like that partnership, and I do hope, along with many other Gulls fans, it’s persevered with.
Moxey’s throw is a huge weapon, utilise it
Set pieces are often United’s Achilles heal. Whether that’s defending them or attacking. Dean Moxey was delivering from the ‘Rory Delap’ school of throwing on Saturday, and it proved a right headache for those Lynn defenders. Lewis was aimed for at the front post, and 9/10 times he won it. At times, it caused chaos and that’s what we need to do. Early on in the game, we resorted to short corners/free-kicks, and we lost it. There’s nothing more frustrating for fans, and big centre backs, when you trudge all that way, only to mess about and lose the ball. But saying that, and after that initial 10 minutes, we got the ball into the problem areas and asked questions. We need to do that more often, and with Moxey’s throw that’s what we do. When it’s pinging about in that box, there’s every chance of a goal, and the more we do it, the odds suggest the more likelier we are to score.
We showed grit, and weathered that KL storm
For the first 20 minutes of the 2nd half, Torquay were a little under the cosh. King’s Lynn came out and tried to play and had a few half chances to level the game. It wasn’t easy viewing from Bristows by any means, we couldn’t get out, and against a more potent team, we may have been punished. A couple of times a Lynn player was inches from connecting with the ball, we switched off and reverted to our old ways. HOWEVER, saying that, we stuck in and showed grit, we showed determination. Once United weathered that initial storm we were comfortable, and in truth, never looked like losing. King’s Lynn were always going to come out the traps in the second half, and in previous games we may have buckled. But not Saturday. We stood firm, played it out, and got that all important second goal just when we needed it!
Home fans in the Babbacombe end, keep it that way!
When the King’s Lynn (well done to the travelling 42 by the way) and Boreham Wood fans of the world rock up to Plainmoor in their 10’s, not 100’s, the away end is often closed. Community day seemed to be a success. 2500+ packed inside Plainmoor and the kids and their parents occupying the ‘Away end’. When we know teams aren’t going to bring many, open the side to the home fans. All 4 sides occupied by the Yellow Army, creates a great atmosphere. I’ve always liked the idea of containing the opposition fans in one corner, it can, intimidate the players. That’s what we need to do TUFC, open it up, create that atmosphere and give the away team no encouragement…
And lastly, no negatives….
October hasn’t been a great month for Gulls fans. Two gutless away defeats and a woeful FA Cup exit, it’s been tough going. BUT, Saturday showed we can play, albeit against a team fighting relegation and only 2 subs! There’s been negativity around the club for a few weeks now, lack of signings and a lack of desire from the players. There’s no negativity this week, I’m not going to find holes in Saturday’s performance, it’s pointless. Next week will be a difficult game against Wrexham. Rumours suggest that Hollywood are turning up for this one, so what better way to spoil their party. Show that title chasing desire from last season and silence that home crowd. Sinclair, given the chance, will cause problems. We still have Lapslie and Hall to come back. Addai was an unused sub but its good to see him back in the mix, he looks handy. Jake got 90 minutes under his belt mid-week and will sure to be pushing for a starting place. So, just like last season were we beat KL 1-0 at home to end a dodgy run, maybe this is this season’s turning point. After Wrexham, we face Dover, Barnet & Aldershot, all teams below us, and a great opportunity to climb that table.
Stick with it Gulls fans, plenty of twists and turns yet, but here’s hoping for a successful November!