Alan Wills – @alanjwills
Alan discusses the game against Maidstone
GAME OF TWO HALVES
Torquay had an excellent first half, where they dominated the play, creating several good chances in front of the travelling Yellow Army.
However, this did not continue after the break and Maidstone came out with renewed vigour, which saw them dominate the second half.
There are a few possible explanations for this. The main reason I think at the moment is that many players are carrying injuries, or are not match fit. This means that they cannot keep up the intensity of Gary’s game for 90 minutes.
Another reason is that when you miss your chances you are inviting the other team back into the game, and this seemed to galvanise the hosts into believing they could win the game, which of course is what they ended up doing.
A lot of talk has been made about us never doing well against the likes of Bromley and Borehamwood. The same could also be said for Maidstone. This is the third time I have followed Torquay away to The Stones. All three have been great days out, but disappointing defeats.
You could point to the plastic pitches, but ultimately if you have too many so-called bogie teams in your league that you don’t expect to do well against, then you are not going to pick up enough points to get promotion.
WHERE ARE THE GOALS COMING FROM?
Losing our top scorers Armani Little, Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, Joe Lewis and Danny Wright at the end of last season it was always going to be difficult to find new players that could score the 38 goals and the majority of the assists that these players contributed.
In fact, there are only three players left in this season’s squad who scored for The Gulls last season – Asa Hall 6, Tom Lapslie 2, Dean Moxey 1, and the first two have struggled with injuries so far.
None of the new signings can be described as prolific in terms of their scoring record, especially the midfielders, so this was always a worry for me.
When we signed two experienced strikers and a promising younger forward in Corie Andrews, Aaron Jarvis and Will Goodwin it seemed that the strategy was to rely more on the strikers for goals, rather than the midfield like last season. However, Andrews and Jarvis have both struggled with injury and fitness, and Goodwin is not long out of U23s football, so still finding his feet in the mens game.
I believe the goals will come though, as once the strikers open their account they could go on a run of form. I also expect goals to come from the likes of Ali Omar, Ross Marshall and Brett McGavin.
Just when we thought the injury situation couldn’t get worse, Mark Halstead, who has been in fantastic form so far this season went down after 25 minutes, and was replaced by Rhys Lovett. Despite being beaten for the goal though, Lovett seemed to be a more than capable deputy, so hopefully this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
Of more concern was the fact that Tom Lapslie became the third Torquay sub to be substituted in the first five games of this season, as he went off injured again after coming on in the second half.
Asa Hall didn’t even make the bench, so one has to assume that he is either still struggling, or was rested due to the match being on a plastic pitch today.
Along with Aaron Jarvis, who seems to be on his way back, these are all key players and their fitness could make or break our season.
It was another great showing by the travelling fans, with 174 members of the Yellow Army making the trip.
There was a lovely atmosphere, only dampened by Maidstone’s goal three minutes from time.