Tom Beddows – @BeddowsTom
Tom blogs about the game at the Gallagher Stadium
MAIDSTONE UTD 1-0 TORQUAY UNITED – MATCH SUMMARY
A game of two halves today, the Gulls were on good form for the first, several early chances which we just couldn’t see through. Within the first 30 minutes, we could have been at least 2-0 up, but the Maidstone keeper kept us at bay. Goodwin and Andrews had moments to put us in control of the game, but struggled to find the back of net.
Halstead did well in the time he was on the pitch, not that he had too much to do, but came down with an ankle injury after 25 minutes, which saw him replaced with Lovett who came on for his first appearance in the league this season.
The Gulls continued to press and came close again when Hanson headed just over the bar. As we neared half-time, the Gulls maintained the pressure they set early on and were unfortunate not to find a break in the Maidstone defence.
The second half was completely in favour of the Stones, with more pressure and attacking threat immediately evident. Luckily the Gulls defence managed to defy the Stones for the majority of the half, with Lovett making some brilliant saves. However, the Yellows barely had a look in as the half wore on, with only one real opportunity, again for Andrews, but the Stones defence stood firm and cleared well.
Maidstone continued to fight and managed to feed James Alabi who slotted home nicely for the home side for a late 87th minute goal. We lost the fight in the remaining minutes, and made no extreme effort to get close to their goal and try to seal a point. Another 1-0 loss for the Gulls.
Halstead 7 – For the time he was on the pitch, can’t fault him. I’d say he’s still our number one, so much improvement from the beginning of last season.
Crowe 5 – I’m still undecided on how I feel about Crowe. He has his moments but I don’t know if he’s yet to make any real difference to the squad. Martin when available makes the squad over him every day of the week at the moment.
Wyatt 6 – Did well today, has energy and effort, he’ll keep his shirt and support the team on and off the pitch.
Moxey 8 – Always has a good game, has the passion and fight for the shirt. His long throws are dangerous. First on the team sheet for me.
Omar 7 – Good game for Omar, improved greatly from what I remember of him last season. Pleased he stayed and look forward to seeing him develop further.
Marshall 5 – After his sending off at Bromley, I was a bit apprehensive to see him straight back in the squad. However, you can see his potential and he can do well for the Gulls if he keeps his temper in check.
Hanson 6 – Had a good game, worked well with Moxey around him. Can see he wants to do well for the club.
McGavin 6 – I like McGavin, think he’s good for our team, he knows how to play and with time and patience will find ways of making decisive passes to the strikers or finding the net himself.
Goodwin 6 – Worked well with Andrews upfront. Mis-controlled a good early chance on goal that was claimed by keeper. If he can keep control at critical moments and continue with the attitude he has, he’ll find his scoring boots soon.
Andrews 6 – Had some very good chances in the first half, but missed them wide of the goal. Pretty absent in the second, he will be a good striker and I reckon as soon as he finds his first they will start to flow!
Evans 5 – Didn’t have too much of an impact on the game today. He does keep the play moving but yet to make any real chances for the Gulls.
Lovett 7 – Had a good game, I’ve not seen him play until today, but he’s a decent keeper and a strong second choice for us. Would be happy to see more of him as the season progresses.
Lapslie 4 – Not on for long enough to give much of a rating, fitted into the team well. Shame to see him go off injured and hope to see him back very soon. We need him!
Donnellan 4 – Can’t really say I noticed his presence from the time he came on.
MAN OF THE MATCH – DEAN MOXEY
Typical Dean Moxey! Consistent, trustworthy, plays for the shirt. Can’t fault him.
I’ve struggled to find an honourable mention from the team today, without repeating the above about Moxey. So I’ll go with the superb support from the Yellow Army. A game which is miles from home, at the end of the summer holidays and during a time where many are struggling, the fans showed up in their hundreds again.
It doesn’t seem to matter what our form is, there’s always a following, and you can’t fault it. A great day with friends and fans and one I hope to repeat again during the rest of the season.
The officials were typical of what you expect in the National League, we’ve been here long enough to know what you get.
There’s always a bias, but I do think there were several times where we should’ve had a decision given in our favour, I expect Maidstone fans feel the same way. Not as bad a day at the office as those who officiated last week, but could do much better.
I don’t know if we had a definitive tactic for this game, if we did it wasn’t evident for the full 90 minutes.
The challenge for the Gulls is being able to successfully find the net, our defence seems strong enough, but playing it through the midfield and making a concerted effort remains difficult.
Maidstone are a great friendly club, with good support. The atmosphere in the stadium is high and makes a difference to their squad.
Stones were lacking in the first half, having not really challenged the Yellows, but their half time talk did the job and they came out with the pressure and desire needed to stop us from making any real forays forward. This ensured they had enough to keep fighting into the later stages, leading to the all-important winning goal.
A lot to think about going forward, not sure we’ve successfully made a team to challenge out of the players we have. We need players who have the confidence to attack and find the net, as well as the ability to slide and clear the ball away.
If we’re to compete this season, then the chances we have against teams like Maidstone need to be put away without thought. It is however, still August, and confidence remains, as always, in Gary Johnson!