Dom Roman – @DomRoman
Dom previews Tuesday night’s game
The biggest question heading into this fixture is how each teams fitness is after Saturday’s ridiculously hot weather. For Torquay, Tom Lapslie and Asa Hall will do very well to start another fixture so soon. I’d imagine Gary Johnson would have taken Lapslie off well before 90 minutes if sub Nelson Iseguan hadn’t left the field with a knock, so big respect to the midfielder for coming through the 90 minutes. This could mean a full debut for Tommy Hughes and perhaps the recall of Kieron Evans. Otherwise it’s a case of checking players are ready to go again, and pushing to get another big performance out of the lads. At least it won’t be so bloody hot!
If I was to compare this season’s starting squad to last seasons one, I’m not sure there would be much in it. But what I am seeing more of this time around is heart and team spirit. Last season it felt like a load of odds and sods not backing each other up, and it took months for GJ to rectify how softly his team were playing. But not this time around. Sure, Saturday wasn’t pretty (and on another day it’s a 2 or 3-1 loss), but you can see the lads fighting hard, stretching to make tackles and block shots, working as a unit to scrap for the win. With a lack of attacking panache, we need that spirit for every single game and another repeat at Bromley could grab all 3 points.
HALSTEAD ON FIRE
Key man at the moment? Mark Halstead. Sometimes as a goalkeeper you feel unbeatable. You feel that every shot can be saved and that absolutely nothing will find the back of the net. That’s the type of form Mark Halstead is in, and we may need more heroics on Tuesday night. Of course, in an ideal world the defence will shield their keeper a little better, so Mark doesn’t have to be man of match, but at the moment I can see more flying stops, more close range blocks and maybe, just maybe another opposition team frustrated by our number 1.
FINDING MORE IN ATTACK
Gary Johnson would love to find more dynamism in our attack very soon. Defending deep and trying to nick a goal on the counter or from a set piece, can work perfectly like it did on Saturday, but at some point the attacking players have to bring more to the party. Will Goodwin will run and run upfront, but when we have a chance to attack, we need to give him better service and get more numbers up in support. Winning more territorial possession and taking the pressure off our defence would be fantastic, though with a squad lacking the necessary fitness and forward cohesion, that’s currently easier said than done!
Bromley FC seem to exist exclusively around the high mid-table areas of the National League over the years, and in truth are a well-run club who do well to be competitive year after year. Andy Woodman remains in charge despite being linked to a number of clubs, and upfront they still have top scorer Michael Cheek, a player who doesn’t look like a brilliant striker, but continues to bang in goals season after season. Meanwhile, at the back Byron Webster always makes things hard for our attackers, and Will Goodwin will do well to get one over the big defender. Not a team with many stand out players, and not a team that Torquay United should fear playing, however having not won a game yet, I’d expect a determined home team to come out of the traps quickly and an excellent test of the Gulls resilience.