Alan Wills – @alanjwills
Alan discusses the game at Bromley
THE YELLOW ARMY
Following the latest train strike last Saturday, which kiboshed the plans of many members of the Yellow Army to travel to Halifax, a large contingent made it to Bromley for the first midweek away trip of the season.
As usual, there was a great atmosphere and cheap beer in the Richmal Crompton, a pub conveniently located opposite Bromley South and the Police Station.
Gulls fans were decked out in a myriad of United kits from years gone by, together with some donning the rather more clingy new Puma replica shirts. Either these tops are getting more fitted, or some of us are suffering from “middle-age spread”. Perhaps a combination of both!
The predicted thunderstorm thankfully did not emerge, which meant that around 275 supporters in the open away terrace down the length of one side of the pitch were spared a soaking a la Yeovil.
Overall, there was a lot of positive support from the Yellow Army, including applauding of the players at the end despite the narrow loss.
One of the big positives of Torquay United’s first three matches has been the fantastic form of goalkeeper Mark Halstead. Mark was outstanding against Bromley again, with a series of good saves.
However, just when it looked that he might achieve 270 minutes without conceding a goal from the start of the season, Bromley substitute Louis Dennis popped up with a worldie from outside the penalty area, which went into the far top corner with 18 minutes to go. Halstead regrettably had no chance to save that one.
THE SENDING OFF
Without doubt, the game turned on the sending off of Ross Marshall for what looked like a professional foul on Michael Cheek just on the edge of the penalty area.
Marshall had already been booked early on in the match, but this seemed to be a straight red card.
Bromley appeared to step up a gear after that, and perhaps a lack of defenders in the box meant that Torquay could not get the ball away 10 minutes later when Dennis was given the space for his shot which resulted in the only goal of the game.
The first three matches have yielded a big improvement compared to the beginning of last season in terms of the number of goals conceded. However, goals at the other end have been hard to come by with the solitary winner from Brett McGavin against Halifax the only one.
Young Stoke City striker Will Goodwin has been unlucky with two shots hitting the woodwork, and one seemingly successful effort given offside.
The other night he was supported by new loan signing from Ipswich Tommy Hughes, who was lively at times, without being spectacular.
Many fans expect the goals to start flowing once Torquay’s most senior strikers Corie Andrews and Aaron Jarvis return after injury. Gary is not giving anything away, but hopefully this will be sooner, rather than later.