Danny Burnell – @dannyburnell_92
Dom discusses talking points ahead of the game at Plainmoor.
Just the eleventh game of the season and this clash with fellow strugglers Scunthorpe is being billed as a six-pointer. The reality is though, it well and truly is. The Gulls’ have managed just two wins this campaign, and have gained just one point at home from their first 4 games. Although tight at the bottom now, United need to ensure they are not cast adrift at this early stage, making for a very long harsh winter period. Any sort of negative result will no doubt increase the pressure on management, as the Yellow Army look to witness their first win at TQ1 since April. An early goal will settle nerves, but the longer the game goes without one, the more nervy Plainmoor will get. Scunthorpe may have had a turbulent past few years, but they’ll fancy themselves against a team devoid of any confidence.
Later than planned, summer signing Aaron Jarvis made his first start last weekend. By all accounts, he did alright. He seems strong and mobile, just what this strike-force is crying out for. If he can click with Goodwin, we could see a blossoming partnership, but goals need to happen. Just two from Will so far, if the Gulls’ are going to accelerate up that table, the strikers need to deliver, and they need to be provided for. Jarvis will have a score to settle with his former club, having scored just 4 in a couple of years with the Iron. If he can find his form from his Basingstoke days which earned him a move to Luton back in 2017, the Yellows’ could be onto a winner!
Who’s on the sidelines and who isn’t is anyone’s guess, and it isn’t before 2.30 on a Saturday we have an idea of what players are available for the game. Lapslie continues to flutter between a starting berth, bench or sideline role. Moxey hasn’t featured for a few weeks now, and continues to be a major loss at the back. Andrews we do know faces a couple of months out. Hanson missed out on the 6-0 drubbing at Wrexham. Who runs out of the tunnel come 2.15 on Saturday is a mystery, but the more options available, the better!
THE NEW LAD
Scott Smith had a baptism of fire last weekend when he played 73 minutes for his new team. The Wigan lad comes with high praise from his parent club, and on paper, looks an asset to an under-performing United midfield. You’d expect him to start, with who though is anyone’s guess! Can he hit the heights of a certain Adam Randell? That’s unlikely, but what we do want to see is grit and determination, and a will to want to play in Yellow.
A FAIRLY UNKNOWN OPPOSTION
These are two teams who don’t tend to meet regularly. In fact, just four times since Rosenior’s golden age of 2004, with the last meeting 8 years ago. Scunthorpe’s demise to the NL has been widely publicised. A 7-0 defeat to Bristol Rovers on the final day last season compounded them to just 26 points for the 21/22 campaign, a record low! Although they have somewhat carried on that form, and after a 6 game loosing streak, they have had a mini-revival coming into the game 3 unbeaten. They picked up their first maximum points since the opening day with a 3-2 win over Dorking. They were 0-2 down in the game, so can not be under-estimated, especially by a team lacking in creativity, pace and any sort of form!