Dom Roman – @DomRoman
Dom discusses talking points ahead of the TV game at Plainmoor
POSITIVES TO BUILD ON
After weeks of disappointment and negativity, the Gulls finally turned the tables on Tuesday night with the Cup win at Hampton & Richmond. Let’s not kid ourselves, the performance levels and overall quality is still alarmingly poor, so there’s little chance of us suddenly turning into a brilliant winning team….but the lads showed fight, they showed character and bottle, and have a nice 1st round draw to look forward to. For those reasons the training ground will be a happier place as thoughts turn to Altrincham (h). A turning point in our season? That would be nice, however it’s very much a ‘one game at a time’ situation. In the short-term just get this monkey off our back, win one game at Plainmoor and get the three points. Home form must come together and the sooner the better.
THE SQUAD & LINE-UP
Such is the lack of numbers currently at our disposal, that the term squad is almost over-used! The news this week that Ben Wyatt will be on the side-lines for a while with an ankle injury, and the unfortunate Dan Martin needs surgery, means it’s a proper bare bones situation. Dillon De Silva will also watch from afar as he serves a 1 match ban for the mid-week red card. In could come Ross Marshall back into the ‘squad’, but in terms of starting line-up, I’d imagine it’ll be a case of who’ll replace De Silva, whilst we’ll be lucky to have more than 4 on the bench. The lack of attacking options on the bench is especially frustrating, and you do wonder if fielding someone like Asa Hall for 90 minutes three times in 8 days is just asking for trouble. Meanwhile, young Will Goodwin has been worked like a dog! Mid-October and a squad seemingly battered and bruised after only 15 games, no squad depth to be seen at Plainmoor that’s for sure.
What’s the keys to us gathering points at the moment? Well amongst other things we need to provide service to Aaron Jarvis, who currently looks in better nick than most people in a Yellow shirt. The big striker scored a big goal against Hampton, and that should aid his confidence heading back into the National League fixtures. We know the striker can hold the ball up, so players must be ready to get up and support him, working the ball from there and putting Alty on the back foot. Service into the box has been an issue all season, and out wide we’ve not created nearly enough. Quality deliveries like that McGavin corner need to become more frequent and allow Aaron to use his strength and aggression to test the opposition keeper.
Phil Parkinson (no not that one) brings down his now full-time Altrincham team to Plainmoor after defeat in the FA Cup to Gateshead. Before that the team has been in decent form, coming to life after a sluggish start to the season, and sitting in 16th with 14 points from 13 games. Alty’s goals conceded is one more than United, but they have scored twice as many goals! Marcus Dinanga leads the attack and could be the main danger man. Aaron Bennett, Ryan Colclough and Toby Mullarkey have also chipped in 3 goals each from different positions. The battle between centre back Mullarkey and Aaron Jarvis will be an interesting one, as Toby has been getting rave reviews and attracted interest from EFL clubs. The tall 6 foot 3 defender clearly needs watching on set pieces as well! Overall a team that rarely pulls up any trees in the National League, but also one who’ll take all three points back up north if we don’t perform.