Thomas Kelly – @TommyKtufc
Thomas discusses the loss at York
NEW LOAN SIGNINGS
An hour before kick-off, Torquay United announced the loan signings of defender Chinwike Okoli and winger Dillion De Silva from Millwall and QPR respectively. After injuries to Ross Marshall and Kieron Evans, they were necessary signings to boost a squad already looking very threadbare.
Chinwike Okoli started and did a very good job, considering the limited training time (one assumes!) that he and De Silva would have had with the squad prior to kick off. Okoli has a presence about him, is physical, tall and is good in the air when the ball comes his way, which is reassuring.
De Silva came on early in the game to replace the injured Dan Martin and also did pretty well on his Gulls debut. He has a bit of pace about him which is something we have been lacking all season and despite a few poor touches early on, he offered us danger out wide on a few occasions.
Give these guys a few weeks training together with the squad and I’m sure they’ll help us improve going forward.
Hopefully their respective clubs will let us play them in the FA Cup.
Once again, our performance overall wasn’t great and York wasted some good chances to put us to the sword, especially in the first half.
We kept it level going into half time and for the first twenty minutes of the second half, we looked more threatening and let York know that they weren’t going to have it all their own way like they did in the first half.
The turning point of the game was Jarvis’ chance after the best passage of play all game. Some lovely short, sharp passing saw Lapslie put Jarvis in at goal but instead of slotting it into either corner of the net, his shot found the face of Ethan Ross and the chance was gone. Minutes later we found ourselves 1-0 down. As soon as they scored, our confidence evaporated and we never truly looked like recovering the situation.
We still struggle to open up sides, so many times we would lose our impetus on the counter because we have no-one out wide to pass to and we slow the game down to compensate. De Silva will hopefully provide us with that in weeks to come but we miss that Whitfield/Nemane-type player so much and have done all season.
MISTAKES AT THE BACK
The most frustrating aspect of the York game was for all the possession they had and the chances they wasted in the first half, it was the fact that we gifted them the three points with such a poor passive of play.
Donnellan in my mind needs to be stronger in the challenge to win the ball and for all the praise that Halstead has rightfully earned with his performances this season, he really should do much better with the shot.
Gary noted in his interview that both players apologised in the dressing room after, but to lose the game on a mistake is frustrating, especially when you’re at the bottom of the table and desperately need points on the board.
York found so much space in our final third and somehow didn’t take advantage of the space with some wasteful shots and passes. Gary has put a lot of faith into playing wing backs but I’m not sure with the players we have at our disposal, we are best suited playing that way. It’s not the first time sides have found so much space in our half and in all honesty better sides (like Solihull or Wrexham did) would have punished us much more than York did.
Let’s see if anyone else comes in on loan over the next week to help this imbalanced and battered looking squad.
THE YELLOW ARMY
In a season that has seen so much frustration and disappointment, the one real positive of the season so far has to be the superb travelling support who continue week in and week out to spend their hard-earned money to watch the Gulls away.
I think with it being our first trip to York’s new ground, I expect there was a bit more interest in the fixture. I was expecting no more than 150 fans honestly, so to have the away crowd announced at 251 to watch a side bottom of the National League up North is fantastic. We deserve so much better. Good to see our travelling support applauded by the home fans.
York’s ground is the sort of ground that Osborne would like us to have in the future. It’s a decent enough ground at this level, but I just found it a bit soulless being out of town and almost hidden away by the other retail outlets on site. It’s nice but I prefer the old Bootham Crescent.
MUST-WIN GAME UPCOMING
Saturday’s FA Cup game with Hampton & Richmond Borough at Plainmoor is massive for us, arguably the biggest game in our season so far. I dread to think of the implications should the result not go our way. We seriously need to turn our fortunes around and it has to start against a Beavers side who despite being 18th in the NLS will fancy their chances of advancing.
Our record against NLS sides in the FA Cup is absolutely appalling and we are in a desperate need of not just a good cup run to raise some much-needed finances, but also to get the winning feeling back at Plainmoor and to regain much-needed confidence for everyone associated with the club
Defeat at home on Saturday and I honestly believe we could be looking at major changes, I just hope it doesn’t get to that stage. Our form has to turn soon, please be this weekend United!