ARMANI’S NOT SO ‘LITTLE’ CONTRIBUTIONS by Danny Burnell

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Danny Burnell

Danny Burnell – @dannyburnell92 

Two more assists for Armani at Dover on Saturday saw his tally rise to 11 for the season. Club that together with the 10 goals he has scored this season, means the midfield hot shot has been directly involved with 21 of the 47 league and cup goals scored this campaign.

When Little signed in the summer of 2019, there was excitement around Plainmoor. Glimpses of the ‘Little’ magic was there to see, but two injury blighted seasons frustrated player and fans alike. Now 24, the former Oxford and Woking man is showing every bit of his quality and is showing exactly the reason why Johnson went all out to sign the playmaker. Little caught Johnson’s eye whilst at Woking, and now he is fulfilling that very talent and re-paying that GJ faith.

Fans knew he had it, and this season is exactly the run of games he needed. Mainly injury free and fit is what he wanted and craved since making the move to Plainmoor, and this season has been just that. Armani is a real game changer and now most certainly one of the best in the division on his day. He shows maturity beyond his years, thus showing in GJ’s trust in him with the reward of vice-captain.

Let’s take a look at his goal and assist contributions so far this term…..


Maidenhead (a)

Goal #1: Armani was off the mark for the season when he latched onto a perfectly weighted ball from Lemonheigh-Evans. Little slotted past Maidenhead’s James Holden to make it 1-0.

Goal #2: Just like London buses, Armani got his second goal just five minutes later. Lewis’ cross was met by Wright, who in turn found the on-rushing Little who scrambled home for 2-0.

Assist #1: Goalscorer turned provider as Little’s floated free-kick found the head of the freshly trimmed Hall, whose header sailed over the stranded Holden once more.

Assist #2: It was a 45 minutes to remember for the Gulls, and Little in particular as his pinpoint cross field ball found CLE, who finished neatly for number 4 before half time.


Grimsby (h)

Goal #3: Little took full advantage as United were awarded a free kick just outside the area on 11 minutes. The strike went straight through the wall and proved to hot to handle as it nestled into the net to give the Gulls the lead.


Chesterfield (a)

Goal #4: Fantastic feet from Little seen him link up brilliantly with Holman. It was the former who sent the defender for a hotdog, before slotting home what everyone thought would be just a consolation goal.

Assist #3: The Gulls never-say-die attitude once again showed as Armani’s in-swinging corner was scrambled home by Lapslie in the 5th minute of added on time, to give Torquay a fantastic 2-2 draw.


Wealdstone (h)

Assist #4: Little’s delicate cross found Lapslie at the far post to begin the onslaught that would be.

Goal #5: Tenacious work from Lapslie and Moxey won the ball back high in the oppositions half. It was the latter’s deflected cross, who found Little at the far post, to head home superbly from a seemingly awkward bounce. That goal put United 3 up inside 30 minutes.


Havant & Waterlooville (h)

Assist #5: In this FA Cup 4th Qualifying round clash, Little’s shot was parried by Havant goalkeeper Charlie Searle, but Wynter was on hand to give the Gulls the lead.


Havant & Waterlooville (a)

Assist #6: A neat pass from Holman saw Little through on goal. His effort squirmed under the keeper on the very wet surface, but Chiori Johnson tapped home from clash range at the back post to put the Yellows level. 


Dover (h)

Goal #6: With United 1 down against bottom club Dover, Armani tried his luck from 30 yards. With the goalkeeper seemingly unsighted, the ball found itself into the back of the net to put the Gulls on terms.

Goal #7: More ‘Gary-time’ drama as United leave it very late to grab the 3 points. Little knocked in a good looking ball before it was flicked away. Andrews recycled the ball into the box, and after it wasn’t dealt with by the Dover defence, Little, after making a late run into the box, slammed the ball home with a left foot volley.


Barnet (a)

Goal #8: The Portsmouth born midfielder made it 8 for the season and undoubtedly his best of the lot. A beauty of a free kick from all of 30 yards out nestled right into the top corner to make it 1-1. A real peach.


Halifax (h)

Goal #9: With the Gulls 0-3 down heading into the last 2 minutes, Armani gave Torquay more than a glimmer of hope as his burst forward, after initially winning the ball in his own half, saw his 30 yard shot slip through the hands of Halifax keeper Sam Johnson to make it 2-3.


Weymouth (a)

Assist #7: Little’s purposeful corner found Joe Lewis whose header put Torquay 1 up. Judging by Armani’s celebrations, he enjoyed that one in front of the Terra’s fans.


Tonbridge (a)

Assist #8: Fantastic possession play saw Little keep the ball in the middle of the park, before lofting through a sweet ball for Danny Wright to dink over the stranded keeper.


Eastleigh (a)

Goal #10: Lovely combination work from Lemon, Wright and Little saw the Gulls open the scoring. Armani’s one-two with Danny saw Little slam a piledriver of a left foot shot past the hapless Joe McDonnell.


Wrexham (h)

Assist #9: Not for the first time, Little delivered a scrumptious delivery from the free-kick which was met by the head of captain Asa for the only goal of the game.


Dover (a)

Assist #10: The midfielder made it into double figures in terms of assist with yet another delivery of class. Armani’s corner, not for the first time, found Joe Lewis who headed in his fifth of the season.

Assist #11: With the clock ticking into injury time, and United on the counter, Armani fed the ball wide to Duke-McKenna who slotted home to seal the 3-1 victory.


COYY – Danny

OTHER ARTICLES:

TT BLOG – The Gulls Fight Back by Dom Roman

TORQUAYTALK YouTube – Dover AFC (a)

 

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