TT TALKING POINTS
Dom Roman – @DomRoman
When dark clouds gathered at Huish Park on Sunday afternoon (had to double check which day it was then!) and a Yeovil player scored one of the best goals you’ll see, you wonder if it’s not going to be your day! But this is a more resilient Gulls team now, and one that would not be denied. Cue one rather strange goal and one absolute beauty from a somewhat unlikely source (well done Dan!). Pandemonium in the stands and a Happy New Year! Next up is Dagenham (h), here are my pre-match talking points…
I said about winning points away on our travels in my last blog, and that’s exactly what we did. It’s one thing beating a poor Weymouth at their gaff, but triumphing over a strong and stubborn Yeovil team away was probably our best result of the season so far. This 3 points will help the mentality of the squad in future games, a reminder that we can prosper wherever we go….if we show the right mental fortitude. The momentum has built in recent weeks and suddenly a push for the play-offs seems less fanciful. Halfway through the season, 13th and 8 points off 7th is still a mountain to climb but much stranger things have happened. Another big game awaits this weekend, BRING IT ON.
DEAN MOXEY/DAN MARTIN
There has been a few times during his time at United when I’ve wondered if Dean Moxey is close to retirement, but full credit to Mox, he has been outstanding in recent months and helped United dig out of their early-season malaise. Dean has shifted immaculately into centre back, and with Dan Martin to the left of him that side of the Gulls defence has been reinvigorated. When Moxey went down injured at Yeovil there was certainly concern amongst the away terrace, so hopefully the defender is fit and raring to go at Plainmoor. Meanwhile Dan’s dynamism and raw enthusiasm is making a big impact at full back/wing back. Fit as a flea and playing with confidence, it’s a joy to see his performances and this harmony on the left hand side could be key against the Daggers.
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The Daggers have, just like the Gulls, won 4 out of their last 5 NL games and are in good form heading down to Devon, sitting pretty in 5th place. Two of those wins were against Dover Athletic, so this form has a slight asterix against it, but they are a dangerous team to play and have an excellent record against United – undefeated in the last 6, with no goals conceded in any of those games! Upfront Josh Walker will keep Moxey and Lewis busy, and is an energetic striker who’ll chase down lost causes. Meanwhile behind Walker, Angelo Balanta is a skilful and creative little player. They play a 3-5-2 (don’t they all?!) and have conceded more than any other team in the top half of the table. With a vulnerability to set pieces and crosses pinpointed in our Opposition Q&A this week, I’m sure Gary Johnson will be determined to take advantage of this at Plainmoor.
LITTLE AND LEMON
One thing is for certain, and that is Armani Little (barring any COVID or fitness problems) will return to the line-up. Without Little involved at Yeovil, Connor had one of his best games in a long while, and was more involved in the 90 minutes than he has been in some time. Even his performance was Armani-like! Making a hash of some easy passes, but also causing the opposition trouble and bagging a goal and a quite outrageous assist. Is this a modern day Torquay version of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard? Well perhaps, as both love to dictate centrally and demand the ball. With both playmakers now in form it’s a nice problem to have for the gaffer though, two fine players who can beat any NL team with a piece of magic on their day and two players who can hopefully co-exist cohesively for the good of the team.
SMELLS LIKE TEAM SPIRIT
There’s been suggestions over the course of the season that Gary Johnson had lost the dressing room and even suggestions that the manager had done his time at Plainmoor. I never believed those things to be true. The team had been struggling, mistakes had been made in the transfer market and wrongs needed to be righted, but Gary Johnson finding solutions and regaining the team spirit that the Gulls had last season is no surprise. Now we’re starting to see a proper team in Yellow, a team who are backing each other up and fighting each others corners. With loan signings leaving and new ones arriving the test will be to bed these players in, but what Gary now has is the foundations to build from. A team spirit and belief that games can be won, and whatever happens this season, it now feels like we’re ready for the fight.
NEW SIGNING – WELCOME STEPHEN WEARNE!
GJ – “I actually saw him in the Man United game and was very impressed in the Papa Johns Trophy game that they won and he scored. So I got that call a few days ago and Lee said he’s ready to let us have him now which is great timing as we lost a couple of loans and its worked out nicely for Stephen, for us, and for Sunderland. Of course I know Lee’s game and he knows mine, so we both know that Stephen Wearne will fit into our system very well.”
COYY – Dom
TT GROUNDHOPPING – Yeovil Town (a) by Clive Hayward
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