Nine points from a possible fifteen was the story of February for the Men. The Youth and Ladies teams continue to top or hunt down top spot in their respective leagues. As we enter March, I take a look at the upcoming week, including the other usual features.
What’s happening this week……..
Saturday – TUFC v Bromley @ Plainmoor (15.00 KO)
The Gulls will be looking to get their home form back on track after back to back draws. With play-off hopes hanging on a by a thread, Torquay can ill-afford to drop any more points at TQ1.
Bromley will provide stiff opposition, as they usually do. A 2-0 defeat earlier in the season was instantly forgettable from a Yellow Army point of view, and recent 3-7 and 0-4 defeats shows beyond doubt that the Ravens very much enjoy their trips to the English Riviera.
Saturday – TUFC Youth U18’s v Yeovil Town U18’s @ South Devon College Sports Centre (10.30 KO)
Attentions turn to the ‘Gary Else Memorial’ League Cup as United host the Glovers in this semi final clash. After topping their group with 4 wins from 4, the Gulls head into the game knowing a final awaits, with either Bridgwater or Wimborne Town the opponents. Good luck lads!
Sunday – Sherborne Town Ladies v TUFC Women @ Sherborne Town FC (14.00 KO)
It’s a huge game at the top of the table as United ladies head to 3rd placed Sherborne. The Gulls ran out 3-1 winners last weekend at Wootton Bassett.
Sunday – TUFC Women Development v Shaldon Villa Ladies @ GJ Churchward Memorial Ground (14.00 KO)
2nd hosts 3rd as Shaldon Villa head to Town. Torquay edged out their opponents 4-3 on the opening day.
Ben Whitfield – 26
The former Gulls winger will celebrate his 26th birthday on Monday. He became a vital part of Gary’s promotion chasing squad before he succumbed to injury.
Kevin Hill – 46
The United legend who needs no introduction turns 46 on Sunday. Hilly made an incredible 474 Gulls appearances from 1997 – 2008, chipping in with 57 goals. He remains United’s record appearance holder, and a real Plainmoor icon.
There’s life in the old legs yet. The veteran recently turned out for Tiverton in their 4-1 defeat at Chesham. Have a good one Hilly!
On this day……
29th February 2020 – Torquay record a 2-0 home win over Chorley. This would be the last game at Plainmoor before the COVID pandemic hits and forces the curtailment of the 19/20 season. Unbeknown to fans at the time, it would be 10 months before they are allowed back in, at a reduced capacity.
5th March 2016 – The Gulls resurgence continues as Nicholson’s men record their 4th straight league win, this time at home to Kidderminster after Nathan Smith strikes late on for a 3-2 victory.
2nd March 2013 – United stem the flow of 7 straight league defeats with a goalless draw away at Accrington.
6th March 2010 – Eunan O’Kane scores his first Torquay goal in a 3-1 away win at Darlington.
6th March 2004 – The Yellows promotion credentials show no sign of letting up with a 4-1 win over Carlisle. Graham, Woods and a Kevin Hill brace down the Cumbrians.
5th March 2000 – Gulls legend and St Vincent international, Rodney Jack, scores a hat-trick for his country in a 9-0 win over the US Virgin Islands in a World Cup qualifier.
3rd March 1998 – The Gulls record their 8th successive league win, a club record. Cardiff are defeated 1-0 at Plainmoor in front of over 3,300 fans.
1st March 1986 – Vince O’Keefe makes his Torquay debut after a then club record fee was paid (£30,000) for his services from Exeter.
1st March 1980 – Torquay record their lowest ever league attendance at Plainmoor for the visit of Crewe, 850. Rather aptly, the game finishes goalless.
29th February 1956 – Eric Webber’s men look to get their Division Two promotion push back on track with a comprehensive 4-1 win over Watford at Plainmoor.
As it stood…….(6th March)
2020: In their first season back in the National League, the Gulls were experiencing a steady, if not spectacular campaign. Previous back to back home wins over Halifax & Chorley saw them sit in 14th place, six adrift of the play-offs, and eight clear of relegation. As we all know, the Gulls would play just one more game that season before it was decided PPG would be used to finalise the standings.
2010: Torquay’s return to the Football League wasn’t the fairy-tale every Gulls fan was hoping for. With just 11 games remaining, Paul Buckle’s men were 19th and 9 points clear of safety.
2000: The turn of the millennium saw the Gulls within striking distance of the play-off places. Four points separated Hartlepool in 7th, and United in 9th.
1990: An uninspiring season saw the Yellows sit in 18th in Division Four, in no danger of relegation, but equally, no threat to the sides above.
1980: Mike Green’s Division Four side were sitting pretty in 8th place, with 14 games left to play.
1970: Torquay topped the bottom half, sitting 13th as March began.
‘A trip down memory lane’
Torquay 5-1 Workington
Saturday 4th March 1967 – League Division Three
Attendance : 6,587
United line up: Dunn, Bond, Burgess, Benson, Wyatt, J. Smith, Clarke, A. Smith, Fryatt, Stubbs, Barnes
Frank O’Farrell’s men were enjoying a marvellous season in Division Three, after their promotion from Division Four the previous campaign. Coming into the game off the back of a 7 game unbeaten run, the Gulls were flying high in 5th place, accompanying the likes of QPR, Watford & Middlesbrough at the top.
Workington were at the wrong end of the table. Rock bottom and six points from safety, made all the harder by the measly sum of 2 points for a win. They made the long trip to Devon more in hope, than expectation.
The afternoon went the way of the form table as United ran out convincing winners. A brace apiece from Barnes and Fryatt, and a routine Robin Stubbs strike gave the Gulls a 5-1 win to keep the pressures on the top of the table.
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