TT MATCH VERDICT – SOUTHEND UTD 1 – 2 TUFC by Thomas Kelly

MATCH VERDICT

Thomas Kelly – @tommyktufc

Thomas reports back on the game at Roots Hall

SOUTHEND UTD 1-2 TORQUAY UNITED – MATCH SUMMARY

Victory is sweet! Especially when you go into a game expecting nothing more than a routine loss after four consecutive defeats.

Torquay United fought hard to take the three points to Devon in a game where we saw very little of the ball in truth, but took our chances and withstood everything Southend threw of us.

Gary went with the same side who lost spectacularly to Woking on Bank Holiday Monday, but this time with the likes of Jarvis & Hall fit enough for the bench.

Despite being on the back foot straight from kick off, an early goal five minutes in gave the Gulls the early lead, catching the Shrimpers on the counter. Wyatts cross found Andrews who headed straight to the path of Hanson to head home his first goal of the season. Joy in the away end and an early lead to protect!

Southend immediately piled the pressure back on to Gary Johnsons side. However, unlike our shambolic collapse to Woking just six days earlier, United held firm with some great blocks from the likes of Moxey and Ali Omar keeping the Gulls in front.  Lovett made some very good saves to keep United in front and despite some card happy officiating from the referee, United went into HT ahead.

In the second half, United showed a bit more spirit and put the hosts under pressure. They took advantage of it when on sixty-one minutes when Goodwins deflected effort hit the post and found the back of the net in front of the delirious away following.

That wasn’t to be game over though as Southend once again came out fighting.

Lovett once again proving a very competent replacement to the injured Halstead made some smart saves to keep United’s lead to two goals.

Unfortunately, the pressure ultimately told and with just four minutes of normal time to go, United conceded. Wreh rising highest to head a cross into the net and provide Gulls supporters with a nervy final few minutes, after all, this is Torquay United!

Southend almost equalised bar a great clearance pretty much off the line but Torquay held on to a much needed three points, much to the delight of the travelling Yellow Army!

PLAYER RATINGS

Rhys Lovett: 8 – Made some really smart stops and for once, we look to have two really capable goalkeepers at the club. Couldn’t do anything about their goal.

Dylan Crowe: 7 – Did alright all things considered but clearly is a player still learning the game. Expect better things to come from him.

Ali Omar: 8 – An absolute rock at the back today. Has clearly improved as a player and compared to this time last season is one you’d have on the team sheet. Full credit to you Ali!

Ross Marshall: 7.5 – Like Ali, an absolute rock in defence. Probably the best I’ve seen him so far in the three matches I’ve watched.

Dean Moxey: 8 – Every time I watch Deano, he just gets better and better. His experience at the back and subsequent brilliant defending is turning him into the new Ben Wynter. Mr consistent!

Ryan Hanson: 8 – Great header to put us in front, albeit from close range, looked to create chances when we had possession. Exciting player if given the ball.

Kieran Evans: 7 – There is definitely a good player in Kieran and he ran himself about in midfield. Was replaced by Hall with twenty minutes to go looking to protect our two-goal lead.

Brett McGavin: 7.5: I like what I see from Brett. Cleared well when we were under pressure and created good chances for us as well.

Ben Wyatt: 6 – Pushed up more than in recent games but an early yellow card and a tackle that maybe on another day would have seen red saw his game end at half time. 

Corie Andrews: 6.5 – Just needs that goal. Once he gets it, watch him flourish. Ran his socks off and him and Goodwin looks a good partnership. Subbed for Jarvis.

Will Goodwin: 8 – Finally off the mark for the season, not the prettiest of strikes but neither himself or the Yellow Army will care. Hopefully this will be the catalyst for him.

Subs:

Dan Martin: 7 – A good work out for Dan and great to see him back on the pitch. Gave us options with a bit of pace when needed.

Asa Hall: 7 – Got stuck in when required, offered that extra bit of defensive cover at 2-0. Looked fit!

Aaron Jarvis: 6 – Finally a chance for Jarvis to show us what he’s worth and from what I saw I’m excited. Despite only a brief introduction he got stuck in, held the ball up well and looks like a target man that will link up well with either Andrews or Goodwin. Welcome to the side!

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MAN OF THE MATCH – ALI OMAR

All the defence deserves the credit but Ali Omar was confident, strong and was solid as a rock for us today. Can’t fault him at all. Great performance from him.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS: GOODWIN & LOVETT

So glad to see Goodwin get off the mark for the season. It took a deflection and the post to come but hopefully this will be the start of the goals for him.

Lovett also deserves mention for some great saves, especially towards the end of the game when under constant pressure. It’s good to see we have two keepers we feel confident to be in between the sticks.

THE OPPOSITION

A bit like the FC Halifax game, we seemed happy to let them have the ball for large periods but they seemed to get in behind us a bit more. Southend will be up there fighting for a play-off spot I imagine come seasons end and on another day they probably would have won, but once again, for all the possession they had, we had the most important stat of one more goal than them.

THE OFFICIALS

Definitely card happy towards us but in truth, I don’t have many complaints. As far as National League officials go they were OK. Nothing more, nothing less.

TACTICS

Definitely looked like a 4-4-2 this time and although I don’t think we’ll see the last of the 3-5-2, we looked a lot more stronger at the back compared to the shambles of Woking just a few days prior.

CONCLUSION

Not going to lie, I had zero expectation that we would win today, so to be proven wrong and once again show our defensive resilience is reassuring to a degree. This team is crying out for some pace out wide and I think should Gary manage to find some players on loan that could fulfil that role, we could pose a threat going forward into the season. This is definitely going to be a project lasting a few years and it’s very likely that a promotion push this season maybe beyond reach for us, but never write us off.

That said, we have to follow this up with a win against Aldershot at home next Saturday. We need to start a run and I think this result could be the jolt we need to kick-start our season. Jarvis showed glimpses of what he can offer when he is fully fit and I think with a fully fit squad, we can spring some surprises against some of the bigger clubs in this league. Enjoy the rest of the weekend and get down to Plainmoor if you can to support the lads. Up the Gulls!

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