PRE-MATCH TALKING POINTS – TONBRIDGE ANGELS (A) by Danny Burnell

TT TALKING POINTS

Danny Burnell

Danny Burnell – @dannyburnell92 

Attentions turn to the FA Trophy. Tonbridge Angels (A): Pre-Match Talking Points.

CHANGES TO THE STARTING XI?

With the festive fixture pile up around the corner, GJ may see this as an opportunity to rest a few key players. Moxey, Little, Lewis and Little stand out as the guys with the most mileage this season, and a change in personnel could be on the cards. The returning Wright will be pushing for more minutes under his belt, as will CLE, who has been in and out of the team for the past few weeks. Moore, O’Connell, Omar & Holman all missed out on the matchday squad against Stockport, and injuries depending, will be eager to reassert their claim for a return to the matchday squad. 

Any plans for new signing Joe Felix to be involved, may be scuppered. Joe started for Billericay in their 2nd round defeat to Maidstone, so presumably that deems him illegible for the trip to Kent.

Saturday also provides a good opportunity for a change of keeper. Since his return, Shaun Mac has undisputable taken the #1 slot, and will no doubt be in goal for the 3 games over Christmas. The Trophy, as it usually does, may give backup keepers Halstead or Brzozowski a chance to impress between the sticks against lower league opposition.  

What is apparent is should the changes be rung, the depth in squad is improving with each passing week. Wright, CLE, Moore and others won’t weaken the squad too much as they look for a passage through to round 4, and more importantly, no injury concerns ahead of Boxing Day and beyond.

BUILDING MOMENTUM

Now, in contrast to point 1, Gary could see this as an opportunity to stick with the team who have won the last 2, and build some momentum. Momentum is key, especially at this stage of the season with the games coming thick and fast. In some ways, the Yellow Army probably feel this game has come at the wrong time. Back-to-back league wins and an opportunity to propel up that table will certainly be on their minds, but a 2 week break in league fixtures certainly comes as a hinderance. 

A win and a place in the next round will be expected to be travelling back west, so anything less will be seen of somewhat of a mini-disaster. Whatever you think of the Trophy, a win to make it 3 on the bounce, will be paramount heading onto Yeovil.

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THE UNKNOWN ‘ANGELS’

This will be the first ever meeting between the two sides, with Torquay having been around for 122 years now, and Tonbridge 74. A position in a league the Gulls are familiar with will give some sort of indication to the quality of their opponent, however, as we all know, cup football can be deceiving. They sit 18th in a 21 team division and have 4 league wins to their name this season, most recently at bottom placed Billericay in late October. The Angels have played NL opposition this season, albeit a friendly. That ended in a 0-4 home defeat to Dover.

Either way, Tonbridge will be up for it come Saturday. A chance of a sculp and place in the next round will be at the forefront of their minds, as it should Torquay. Angels will play with no fear, nor will they have any pressure, so it’s up to the Gulls to be professional and clinical.

ROBBIE WILLIAMS

One of the key talking points ahead of the game is whether or not the home side run out to Robbie Williams’ – Angels. If they don’t, they’ve missed a trick………

CUP RUN, WHY NOT?

Realistically, a season of mid table obscurity beckons for the Gulls. Title chasing form in the second half of the season would likely be needed for a play off berth come May.

With that in mind, Torquay have a real chance to take this competition seriously this season. A few £££’s in the coffers, and a trip to Wembley is the ultimate prize, and if you look at the last few winners,  Hornchurch, Harrogate, AFC Flyde, it shows the ‘bigger’ teams often neglect this cup. 

With league success ‘unlikelier’ this season, I think the FA Trophy provides a solid chance for silverware and darn good day out!

COYY – Danny


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