TT MATCH VERDICT – TUFC 2-2 Derby County by Danny Burnell


Danny Burnell – @dannyburnell_92

Danny reports back from an exuberant Plainmoor.


The Gulls’ once again produced entertainment in abundance in front of the nation’s TV cameras. In a slot regularly reserved for a re-run of Tipping Point, or James Bond, ITV wanted a cup upset and drama, and boy did they get one. It was the Rams’ first involvement in the first round of this world famous competition since 1985, equally it felt like Torquay’s first involvement since well……1985.

The minute silence to remember the fallen was impeccably observed at TQ1. Derby started perhaps the brighter and the League One regularly threatened down the wings. Mendez-Laing was terrorising United down the right, exploiting his pace, and exposing Moxey’s lack of it. But United stood strong. Ellis & Ness, as they did all afternoon, got stuck in. Donnellan was busy keeping his man at bay, and for the main part, successfully doing so. Wearne was seeing plenty of the ball on the left, putting some teasing balls in for the ever-willing Jarvis and Goodwin.

But it was our horned-headed visitors who took the lead, as Danish Youngster Will Osula nicked in front of Ness to stab home from close range. The Rams tails were up, but the Yellows continued to fight. They were down, by far from out. Derby could have, and probably should have been reduced to 10 as Lapslie took a kick to the head. The ref wasn’t interested, much to the Popside’s dismay.

Moxey’s race had been run on 34 minutes, when the veteran limped off in place of the returning Dylan Crowe. The right foot biased on the team now stood at 11! Derby had a guilt edge chance to make it 2 before the break, but the header was somehow put over, much to the relive of 4000+ Gulls fans. Lapslie nearly got on the end of a mix up at the back, but alas, the Gulls went in a goal down, but certainly not disgraced.

Holloway, Warnock and their band of ITV personnel braved the elements, as Plainmoor received one of many of it’s heavy downpours during the afternoon. United came out un-changed, and got off to the worst possible start.

Osula broke free on the left, and the retreating Ellis couldn’t get a foot in, before the Dane’s shot beat Halstead at the near post. A sucker punch for the Gulls’ as the Rams’ looked nailed on to make round 2. But Torquay kept pushing, and they got their just rewards 9 minutes later. Lapslie had the freedom of Plainmoor in the middle of the park, before slotting a delicate ball through to Goodwin, who was hauled down by Derby’s Eiran Cashin (if his nickname isn’t ‘The Attic’, they’ve missed a trick). Referee David Rock took his time before eventually pointing to the penalty spot, and with that ‘The Attic’ was given his marching orders. Ball in hand, Asa does what Asa does and blasted it right down the middle, through the Keeper, and it was game on! 1-2.

Now this was a cup tie. The weather, the atmosphere, the errrrr pitch invader. ITV had picked a corker. Torquay were battering their supposed League One opponents, and I mean battering! Derby struggled to get out their own halves, as it was wave after wave of Gulls’ pressure. Joe Wildsmith’s blatant time-wasting antics were somehow ignored by the man in the middle, but the Gulls’ kept pushing. Hall went close at the back post, Donnellan struck a sweet shot (think Benjamin Pavard World Cup 2018 vs Argentina) which whistled agonisingly past the post. They were huffing & puffing as the clock ticked over to 90.

With the 4 minutes of signalled injury time nearly at an end, Torquay, willed on by the ever exuberant Yellow Army, got a corner. Wearne’s delivery was poor, but undeterred, Crowe recycled it into a very dangerous area, where Halstead was inches from getting a touch. As it was, the ball broke to Jarvis whose first shot was blocked. His second attempt however found the un-marked Goodwin, who through a neat shift of his feet, guided the ball into the Derby goal. It was Desmond 2-2. Cue the celebrations, cue the mass pitch invasion, cue the delirium at Plainmoor. With the last kick of the game, the Gulls’ got EXACTLY what they deserved, a replay at Pride Park with virtually the last kick of the game!

The players left the field to rapturous applause. Their never say die attitude was well and truly rewarded.


Halstead: 6 – Perhaps could have done better with the second goal. Beaten at his near post. But in truth, didn’t have a great deal to do that second half. Solid enough in the first, and a solid enough #1 at this level.

Donnellan: 8.5 – Certainly growing on me. Thought he was excellent again at RB. A bit of a utility man, which can come with it’s drawbacks, but seems to fit well in that back 4. Not afraid to put a tackle in, and not afraid to bomb forward. Really good performance from the Irishman.

Ness: 9 – See MOTM.

Ellis: 8 – Must move heaven and earth to secure his services for the remainder of the season. Looks assured and comfortable and no doubt Ness will learn so much from playing with this man. Never once missed a header. What he may lack in pace, he makes up for in reading of the game.

Moxey: 6 – Subbed after 34 minutes. Went off with a limp, which is hardly surprising given we are having to play him Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday. Mendez-Liang fancied it against him, but the bloke couldn’t finish his dinner.

De Silva: 6 – I really like this lad, but it wasn’t his day. Tried one to many things at crucial times. That’s not to say though that he gives us width and a new dynamic. Ala Ellis, must go all out to secure his services. Lovely player.

Hall: 7.5 – Solid performance from the captain, and took his penalty with a plomb. Dictated the tempo in that second half, and seen plenty of the ball. Still a key player in this team.

Lapslie 8 – He’ll nip your ankles, and he’ll put you into the advertising board. Tom’s desire to run through brick walls shows no signs of letting up. I hope to God he stays fit. Works well in a 2 with Asa.

Wearne: 7.5 – Seen plenty of the ball, and much like De Silva, gives the side a much more balanced feel. See comments on Ellis & De Silva, keeping this man could make a huge difference. And, he obviously loves it here!

Jarvis: 8 – Sponsor’s MOTM, and I could see why. Another really strong performance from the frontman. Great hold up play and great movement. Works well with Goodwin.

Goodwin: 7 – Thought it was one of his quieter performances. Didn’t seem to come off for him at times, but no doubt he got himself in the right position to caress that ball home. Thanks for that moment Will!


Crowe: 7.5 – Came on half way through the first half in an un-orthodox left back role. Must say, I thought he was excellent that second half. Always offering himself, and linked well with Wearne. It was a round peg in a square hole situation, but Dylan managed that well.



Thought the youngster from Charlton was outstanding. Assured performance at the back, and compliments Ellis very well. The defensive frailties faced with this season have been oh so obvious, but Ness is certainly one of the better loanee’s that has come in this season. Reads the game well, and can pick a pass. No doubt he’s raw, but then again that’s why he’s here. Will undoubtedly aid his development playing in this TUFC side, rather than playing U23’s at Charlton.


So many to choose from. Great performances all over the pitch again today and a great attitude to will in that leveller. I’ll opt for Donnellan as I thought he was excellent at RB. He’s played just about everywhere since joining, without really excelling. Played well against Aldershot, and very well again Sunday. A utility man can have it’s drawbacks, but hopefully, in Donnellan, it’s a big plus.


Seen worse at Plainmoor. Much worse in fact. Perhaps bottled a red in the first half, but other than that managed the game well enough. Could have done with booking their keeper early on to avoid time-wasting. Got the penalty spot on, and made amends on the sending off. A little whistle-happy, but for the main part, a decent performance. Oh, and thanks for that additional 30 seconds.


It worked for Mike Bassett, now it’s working for us. 4-4-2 may be seen as outdated to many, but it provides so much more structure and balance to this team. We have wingers who can beat a man, defenders who can defend, and frontmen willing to put themselves about. 4-4-2 needs to stay, and I won’t be persuaded otherwise!


Asserted themselves for the first half hour, but after that second goal and sending off it was all one way traffic. When I say we battered them that second half, that is no exaggeration. This is a team just one place outside the Play-Off’s in league one. They couldn’t get out their own half. I know this isn’t a Brian Clough Derby, a Premier League Derby or even a Wayne Rooney Derby, but they are still a massive club. To do what we did to them yesterday was an absolute joy to watch. Their time-wasting keeper was a testament to how worried they were of us.


No less than we deserved, and the Yellow Army can now look forward to a trip to Pride Park. A neutral watching that second half would have struggled to name the League One side.

The league must and always will be the priority. 3 points on Wednesday is crucial if we are to get out of the mess we are currently in. Play like that, and we’ll have no trouble, but it’s maintaining standards and personnel that will be the biggest challenge. If, by the end of this month, we are out of the relegation zone, I, along with most of the Yellow Army, will be a dream land.

But for now, let’s enjoy this moment, let us grab the headlines, and let us get 6 more points from Dorking & Chesterfield.

See you at Pride Park!








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