TT TALKING POINTS
Andy Charles – @CapitalGull
Andy dissects the talking points from Torquay United 2-2 Dagenham & Redbridge
There never seems to be a lot between the teams when Torquay take on the Daggers and this was another one of those occasions. Two early goals seemed to have the Gulls on track for a fifth win in six games but you could sense before half-time there was more to come from the Essex boys and so it proved…here are my talking points from a wet and windy Plainmoor.
Mac is definitely the man now
Such a shame that we wasted time and money on looking for new goalkeepers over the summer when there was a perfectly serviceable one in town already. We were really quite fortunate that no-one picked Shaun MacDonald up in the couple of months when he was unemployed because I don’t see him relinquishing the No.1 jersey for the remainder of the season, barring injury of course. Although there is still the odd calamity, show me a goalkeeper that doesn’t suffer with those, and Macca gives me so much more confidence than Mark Halstead ever did. He was the difference against Dagenham with three outstanding second half saves and can feel hard done by not to have been named man of the match (and by some margin).
Before the season I handed “The Charles Curse” on to Joe Lewis, tabbing him as potentially the best central defender in the National League. Now I’m sure Joe would be the first to admit his start to the season wasn’t the best but he’s really stepped up during our recent upturn in form and was in top form again on Saturday. Considering the lack of midfield we had and the almost constant pressure in the second half he came up with header after header, one amazing goal-line clearance, blocked a couple of other dangerous shots and had the captain’s armband by the end of the game as well. He’s got a massive future in this sport.
Not bad for starters
Not many people knew a lot about Stephen Wearne when he signed from Sunderland on Friday, but he certainly made a decent impact on his debut including a part in Asa Hall’s goal inside the first minute with an intelligent ball to assist machine Dan Martin. He may not be ideally suited to the left wing, but he’s certainly more at home there than someone like Connor Lemonheigh-Evans or Armani Little and will hopefully make a real impact in his five months on the English Riviera. Possibly could or should have had a hat-trick but that would be me being picky as conditions for scoring today were not ideal and anyone could make a hash of a couple of shots/headers while being denied by a good save for the third.
Pray for some sunshine
Remember when Truro City came in as tenants? The horror days of the National League South in 2018-19 (happy ending of course). The pitch that season became a huge problem and it feels like that might be about to happen again, especially given the amount of rain that seems to have fallen in the last few weeks. Here’s hoping the next couple of weeks, before a first mid-week evening game of the season against Solihull Moors, provide some relief from the precipitation because we seem to have a few players in now who could do without playing in a quagmire.
Will we ever get a chance to play a first-choice team?
I’d love to know how many changes we have made to our starting XIs this season but it must be above 100 by now – we’ve just never seemingly been able to get a consistent run without injury, Covid, isolation or some other random event keeping a key player side-lined. I think that goes to explain some of our inconsistency in 2021-22. Thinking Armani Little would be back and then learning his place in the side would be taken by Harry Perritt was a kick in the teeth, but all credit to the latter as he really put in a shift in an unusual midfield role. Not bad for an eighth-choice (or thereabouts) centre-mid. Another reason why having two weeks off at this point in the season might not be a bad thing, especially during a transfer window. Rest up lads, stock up on cotton wool and let’s stay fit for the last third of the season!
COYY – Andy
“After all the rain we’ve had, our groundsman has done great, but both teams deserve a lot of credit for putting on such a good game on that pitch, To the neutral, it would have been a good game. But, of course, we’re disappointed, because we started so well” – GARY JOHNSON
TT MATCH VERDICT – TUFC 2-2 DAGENHAM AND REDBRIDGE, 8TH JAN 2022
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