TALKING POINTS – FC Halifax Town (a) by Matty Orton


Matty Orton – @MattyOrton1

Matty discusses the talking points from Halifax 2-0 TUFC 

Coup de Grace

Johnson cut a deflated figure in his post match interview at The Shay. We were good enough in that first half to win the game. Dominant, winning second balls and throw ins, dictating play, but failing to secure that important part of winning a football match – getting the ball over the line and/or into the back of the net.

I’d be surprised if Halifax had seen a 45 minutes that good from an opposition team this season. No doubt we deserved the goal but credit to them, they kept us out, they got to half time at 0-0, then did the all-important thing of making that count to then go on to win the game. Those who have watched enough of TUFC over the years will have seen these games again, and again, and again.

So where did it go wrong? I think Johnson was still trying to work that out for himself. At what point did the game change? Mentality? Fitness? Psychology?

We are a good team, up to a point, a good team, yes, some quality, yes, some very good individual players, yes. But words like ruthlessness and relentlessness or having that cutthroat predatory instinct to put teams to bed aren’t exactly on the tip of the tongue when you talk about this Torquay United side. The sort of attributes that wins you trophies and gets you promoted.

The teeter has teetered and those heart over head optimists should now be hanging up their scarfs for next season.

The Billy Waters debate

Should we have let him go? What if he’d scored that penalty? Many assumed he’d score against us on Saturday – and so he did. Football’s crystal ball throws up some arcane and ambiguous scenarios at times, and it’s why we love the game so much. But who could have predicted the last twelve months and the misery that an obvious lack of a 20+ goal scorer has brought upon us. Sometimes those sorts of strikers are right under your nose and you don’t even realise it, but for reasons (which is so often the case in football) we will probably never know, Billy departed Plainmoor last summer and recovered his scoring boots at The Shay.

This isn’t to say he would have done the same for us – he might or might not have, but whatever which way you look at it, whether it’s jumped too or arrived at, the conclusion is we haven’t replaced a 20+ goals a season striker, a ‘Waters’ or a ‘Reidy’. For that we have paid a dear price as you feel, with such an addition to the canvas in place, we would have been having another shot at getting out of this division.


Good luck to the Shaymen

Based on current attendances, arguably a smaller club than ourselves, but nonetheless, a likeable club, of similar ilk that fight the fight and plight familiar to our own.

It’s a town with a bit of character, some interesting history and (from the parts I’ve seen) a nice place to visit. The majority, or most, of Halifax fans have that salted, down to earth outlook, on not only football but life. The sort you’d expect to find in Yorkshire. Although they do well at pies in that part of the world, you rarely find them too high in the sky. Reasonable and rational, Halifax fans live in quiet expectation and hope. Sound familiar?

When you look at the top teams in the division this year, Halifax, for me, would be the team I’d like to see do it the most. You know fully well that a jolly in League 2 for them would be relished and appreciated, as opposed to expected and customary. Good luck to them I hope they do it.

Enjoy the rest of the season….it doesn’t happen very often!

It’s almost April. No clock watching, chain smoking or nail-biting I hear? What to do with a situation we aren’t all that familiar with? Well, I guess there is only one thing we can do and that’s sit back, relax and watch the season roll out.

Looking towards next season will soon become the mantra as the 22/23 season will not long be on the horizon. Players and managers having their heads turned as those teams who are winding down will look to rebuild their squads over the summer. You may or may not agree, but the fact Johnson had a smaller window to recruit last season, and that choices had to be made quickly without the usual or cautionary due care and diligence hampered the recruitment process at the end of last season.

But Gary now has a full window, a full pre-season and supposedly some money to boot. Money was mentioned not all that long ago, but why spend money in haste at the end of this season when you are potentially, and now evidently, flogging a dead horse. Expect a thorough overhaul and a new look team come the summer. In the meantime we can do that thing that is so alien to us all and enjoy the last throws of this season without too much stress or worry.


We’ve had our fair few, but they were terrible, again. The linesman in particular was especially poor. I’ve read a few things this weekend with regards to the poor performance of officials. An interesting point made was that the officiating hasn’t kept up with increase in the quality of football now played in this division. Subsequently you have referees and linesmen in particular, who either can’t keep up with play or simply don’t have the skillset to be able to see and make decisions when things happen at speed. I know for certain that was evident from the officiating that was on display in front of the travelling fans on Saturday and I believe there is certainly some truth in that.

COYY – Matty


ac3929aa-4c72-407a-ba86-8b3627ea6824“It’s the best we’ve played for a long time in the first half.  We looked strong, nicking the ball off them in their own half. But we didn’t get the goal we deserved, and we had enough chances” – GARY JOHNSON









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