TT MATCH VERDICT – Bromley FC 1-0 TUFC by Harry Lovering


Harry Lovering – @HLovering1999

Harry blogs about the game at Hayes Lane


The first Tuesday evening game of the year and one which we were filled with early optimism as we always are at the beginning of a new season, having been helped by 3 points at Halifax after an ugly win at the weekend. As ever the TUFC Travel Club set off for the game, leaving Paignton at 1:15pm. We stopped off at Cobham services (after negotiating the rather complex car park signage) for some refreshments before making our way to Hayes Lane. After some ticketing problems which were luckily sorted out by Bromley, United fans were once again placed along the side of the ground in the open top terracing poised ready for kick off. 

The game itself started poorly for United, with Bromley putting us under considerable pressure at the back, and it almost felt like a slight continuation of parts of the first two games against Oldham and Halifax. Bromley had numerous chances to get their noses in front, with United sitting back and allowing the pressure and runners in behind from Bromley attempting to penetrate our back line. Bromley created a few ‘heart in mouth’ moments for United fans early on as balls were repeatedly drilled across the face of goal, only for a bit of luck and poor finishing keeping us level. Halstead also made a few strong saves early on to keep United level from Corey Whitely’s low free kick, and tipping Hannam and Alexander’s efforts away and onto the bar respectively. We looked hesitant at the back and slow to get the ball going forwards, with Bromley retaining the majority of play.

Despite this early pressure, United came into the game and as Gary said in his post-match analysis “showed some of the best football we have played so far”. Goodwin had a goal ruled out for offside after a good link up move that found Lapslie in space on the side of the box. He found Goodwin, who tapped into the net in an offside position. United’s best chance of the game came when a looping free kick from Moxey found Marshall unmarked and onside in the area, only for his downward header to be firmly tipped away by Charles-Cook. An altercation between Webster and Goodwin saw them both receive yellow cards after Goodwin had brought Webster down and Webster retaliated. Bush (Bromley) and Marshall (Torquay) were already on yellows as well, creating an edgy affair at Hayes Lane as the half drew to a close. Bromley certainly saw out the half better with a few corners and half chances, but it remained goalless at the break.

United were now shooting away from their supporters towards the new-ish all seated and stylish Glyn Beverly Stand. United came out looking fairly sharp with a good through ball from Lapslie finding Goodwin in plenty of place down the right, but his shot from a tight angle was well saved by Charles-Cook. Even though United didn’t offer much in these early stages of the second half, we looked as though just one more chance could win us the game. Bromley were strong at times but it was a fairly even contest at this point, with both sides creating very little.

Unfortunately, it didn’t stay like this for much longer. United, who didn’t handle the over-the-top balls very well all evening, had been caught out when on the 62nd minute Cheek found an over-the-top looping ball in behind Marshall, who got caught wrong side of his man and took him down- RED CARD. United would now have to see out the remaining 30 minutes with 10 men and made a sub, introducing young gull Ollie Tomlinson for Hughes. However, the pressure started to crank up from Bromley and after multiple half-chances, their goal finally came in the 72nd minute thanks to Louis Dennis. After a few blocked shots that United failed to clear, Dennis found some space to get past his man and curl an effort over Moxey into the top right corner of the net. 1-0 Bromley. 

Bromley now seized firm control of the game, keeping United in their own half and creating chances. A final sub for United saw Wyatt make way for Evans in a last-ditch attempt to create an equaliser. One last chance came when Evans looked for Goodwin who was through on goal but there was too much on the ball and too little legs left in the Goodwin tank to create any last chances. The game ended 1-0 to Bromley. A frustrating one and one we’ll be left with a ‘what if’ if Marshall hadn’t been sent off when he did.


Halstead 8 – A fantastic start to the season for this man! Made a few very strong saves in the first half and embodies confidence in the net at present. Only 1 goal conceded in 3 games isn’t a bad stat as a keeper!

Wyatt 5 – Looks decent going forwards at times but lacks any skill or pace to get past his man. Defended when required but doesn’t seem to like marking goal side!

Moxey 8 – Another solid performance from our ‘Mr Reliable’ at the back. Defends well when required winning balls in the air and at his feet, but also likes getting down the left-hand side and put in dangerous deliveries.

Omar 5 – Looked decent in the air but didn’t have his best game at the back. Ali panics with the ball at his feet and with a bit more composure he could be a much better defender.

Marshall 4 – Didn’t have a great game. Got caught numerous times with the over top ball and didn’t judge them well resulting in a red card, which came at a pivotal point in the game. I’m sure he’ll be disappointed because he’s looked stronger than that in other games.

Crowe 4 – Not a good game from Crowe. Don’t think he made a pass all game to a yellow shirt and needs to learn how to cross the ball. I would like to see more confidence from this lad taking on a man. However, he did seem further forward than the Halifax game which was good to see!

Lapslie 7.5 – Tenacious and ever-trying dynamo in midfield. Some good link-up with Goodwin at times and defended like a trojan going to war when required. A good performance from Tom.

McGavin 6.5 – McGavin had a decent game with some good passing across the midfield and out wide. He also wins a fair few 50/50 battles in that midfield role. I would like to see him win a few more headers from set pieces.

Hanson 6 – Similar to McGavin but not as sharp getting the ball out of his feet. Wins those 50/50 battles well but needs more sharpness going forwards.

Goodwin 7 – Certainly our main threat at the moment in attack. Won the flick-ons well and commands the air, had a few good chances getting in the right positions. However, needs to work on his passing out from his feet and being a tad bit sharper with his runs.

Hughes 5 – Worked hard and got involved but looked a bit too much like a ‘rabbit in headlights’. I’m sure he will learn the ropes quickly but needs a lot more composure and physicality up top.


Tomlinson 8 – Couldn’t really fault him when he came on. Made a few good last-ditch tackles and blocks, got involved and looked sharp. If he is needed to step up on Saturday, I am sure he will relish the opportunity. Well done Ollie!

Hall 6 – Didn’t do much wrong but didn’t get in the game much. Won some 50/50 battles when required.

Evans 5 – A few glimmers of what this man can offer, with a strong through ball to Goodwin late on, but time will tell from him. Not 100% sure yet but we need a creative attacking player and when Andrews and Jarvis are back, lets hope Evans can find his link up players to feed.



Deano had another excellent game commanding the back line and creating momentum going forwards. He’s as ‘cool as a cucumber’ at the back and both his experience and leadership give so much to this United team. An all-round great performance from our ‘Mr Reliable’.


OIlie Tomlinson came on and was faultless for the remaining 30 minutes. Only a young lad and had lots to prove but he got involved, worked hard, and blocked some incredibly vital shots that were goal bound. If Ollie does get his chance on Saturday, I am sure he will relish being given the opportunity!


VNL officials are never great let’s be honest so I’ve given up on commenting on them really. Lino on our side didn’t seem to have much of a clue and didn’t help the ref out with many decisions. Ref wasn’t the worst I’ve seen but made a few dodgy decisions- Goodwin’s yellow card being one of them!


United played a 5-3-2 formation with Marshall, Omar, and Deano across the back 3, 2 wingbacks (Wyatt and Crowe), 3 in midfield (Hanson, Lapslie and McGavin) and 2 up top (Goodwin and Hughes). After Marshall was sent off, Ollie replaced Hughes taking off a striker and continuing with a 5-3-1, until Evans came on for Wyatt in a last ditch attempt to spring United forwards.


Bromley looked a tall, physical and decent side. They have Bush and Webster at the back who seem to command their back-line and players like Cheek and Dennis going forwards who add pace and physicality. They’re a decent side that I’m sure will be up there.


To conclude, a frustrating first defeat of the season for United, but one which Bromley thoroughly deserved to win in the end. I was impressed by us for 15 minutes of the first half but we need to still be sharper and more assured at times. I am sure with injured players returning (hopefully soon!) we can improve. I’d certainly like to see a sharpness going forwards with some more creativity to boot.

Massive shout out to the 274 Gulls who made the trip on a Tuesday night. We kept singing even when the final whistle had gone, showing the ever-growing commitment we all have to our club. Another shout out to the TUFC Travel club who, under Mark Shephard’s organisation, puts travel on every week without fail to get fans to games. Without them I wouldn’t go to nearly as many games! Thanks also goes to Biff for driving us there and back.

4 points from 3 games isn’t a bad start and something which now we can build on in the coming games.

COYY – Harry






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