Tom Beddows – @BeddowsTom
Tom discusses the draw at Grosvenor Vale
A sunny September afternoon in Wealdstone, started with hope, optimism and a plan to avoid as much of central London and the “Elizabeth Line” as possible! The hope came quickly in the first minute with another early goal for United. There’s always optimism for the season, especially when you’re yet to have played 10 games of the campaign.
I think I’ve spoken about Ali Omar on previous talking points blogs before, but he’s a player worth bringing up again. I have been absolutely amazed at his transformation in the last 12 months. He has become a player with consistency, confidence and of course an ever-growing passion for the club.
Today saw him find the back of the net for his first ever league goal, within the first 2 minutes of the game, it looked like a bit of a scramble from my position, but Ali found the ball and nodded it nicely home. Ali’s celebration ended with him kissing the turf, I hope that becomes his signature for all of his goals to come. Today was his first and most certainly won’t be his last in a Torquay shirt!
Today was my first visit to Grosvenor Vale, I was planning to be at the game last season, but a collapsed wall and safety precautions caused that to be played behind closed doors.
Walking through the Ruislip suburbs I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but a little ground appeared in between the houses, we were met by a club shop the size of an airing cupboard, and a stand with an array of pin badges, from almost every team you can imagine.
A converted shipping container housed the away turnstiles, something I’ve not seen before, you were also able to pay on the gate if you wished, a big plus.
One of the very few grounds where you can stand along the perimeter fence, we found ourselves and 200 others basked in sunshine.
Overall an enjoyable ground and welcoming club I expect to visit again, probably in the depths of winter and next time I hope without the flooded toilets!
Today’s match was my fourth of the season. From the games that I’ve seen we are in desperate need of some width and a player with the confidence to run down the line and get a cross in.
It happens on occasions during the game, but if we’re to be make progress and maintain leads in games, being able to vary our attack and get the ball out early and wide is important.
There are however positives to take from the squad. We have two good goalkeepers who are vocal, can be trusted and know the league, which is pleasing. Our defence is set, and although there have been a couple of blips, I don’t think any changes are required there.
Our midfield I feel is our weak link and is clearly struggling at the moment. I hope that when Lapslie is fit and playing, he’ll help us retain and win possession, pushing the team forward and supporting the forwards. Lapslie can be an absolute warrior and knows how to play this league. His return is needed and then it’s fingers crossed he can stay fit!
Upfront, I think Goodwin and Andrews are working well and starting to form a partnership, the issue is they haven’t received enough service from behind. Andrews’ first goal will come and when it does, I hope and expect his tally will soon rocket.
If we can get a player ‘like’ Duke-McKenna who can play down the wing in on loan, we’ll see things change and more opportunities opening up for the strikers.
This last fortnight has seen a lot of succession in this country, a new Prime Minister and a new Monarch have taken their positions, it seems some Torquay fans also wish to see some succession at Plainmoor. Some people will disagree with me, but I don’t believe a change at the head of our camp is the right or the best thing to do for our club.
We are 9 games in of a 46 game season, and it’s fair to say that it has been a frustrating start and that we should be doing better.
However, our manager has a 50% win rate in his time in charge of United, has proved time and again that he can find and develop players to pull results together. He will do so again, as deep down even those who want a change know.
We’ve got some tough games to come, starting with Wrexham next week, we as fans need to be united in our support, backing the players, Gary and Aaron to perform well, maintain confidence and a desire to do better, we do that and the results will come!