TT TALKING POINTS – Dorking Wanderers (h) by Dom Roman


Dom Roman – @DomRoman

Dom discusses the mid-week draw at Plainmoor


Let’s start with the biggest plus point of the evening, another show of character and resilience from this Torquay United team. After a busy schedule and the effort put into the Derby County cup tie, it looked like this was one game too many and with Dorking grabbing our throat after half time, a defeat was feeling inevitable. But there is something about this Gulls team at the moment, a refusal to surrender and a refusal to let their heads go down. Led by Mark Ellis at the back, United dug deep, pushed forward and forced themselves back into the game. No longer are we stuck on the back foot and failing to get shots off or test the opposition keeper, with Jarvis, Goodwin, Wearne and De Silva we have attacking threats to hurt teams. In the end it was a point gained, though it could have been more…


I’d heard good things about the way Dorking Wanderers play before the match started, and they went onto impress me throughout the 90 minutes. Set up to pass the ball through the team, find gaps and use pace on the wings, Wanderers, on that showing, will do well this season. They have a clear identity under Marc White (who enjoyed winding up some of Bristow’s!) and are well-drilled to execute it, with a sure first touch, imaginative passing and a cutting edge that will see them score plenty of goals. They would have taken all three points if keeper Lincoln had not had a bad night, putting his colleague in trouble for the 1st, letting the ball go under him for the 2nd and failing to come out for the 3rd…his misfortune was our gain.


One of my main concerns from recent games has been the amount of work Lapslie and Hall have been asked to fulfil in midfield in a rejigged 4-4-2. The two have been rather injury prone during the last year, and though their hearts push them on, the limits in their fitness mean we are asking for trouble. Against Dorking Asa Hall appeared understandably tired, with everything looking decidedly difficult and the ball given away with frequent regularity. Lapslie wasn’t much better to start with, but pulled himself together for a 2nd half surge to take the game to Wanderers. Dorking players were finding way too much space last night as the two toiled…but can Gary Johnson trust Ryan Hanson and Brett McGavin to step in to freshen the midfield up? Both were signed to start games for United, but neither have proved anything yet in a yellow shirt, with Hanson lacking strength and composure, and McGavin lacking alarmingly in pace. We’ve sugar-coated things in recent weeks with loan signings, but these summer signings must contribute more at some stage.


In previous games De Silva’s wing play has impressed me, putting in dangerous crosses and giving us great width, with the only downgrades being for his shooting around the box and lack of composure to test the keeper. On Wednesday night for much of the game, this viewpoint was flipped on it’s head! De Silva struggled to create much on the wing, finding the full back difficult to beat (until an excellent late tantalising ball into the box). But he more than made up for that with two goals to open his account for the Gulls. Swooping on a loose touch for the 1st and finishing well, whilst for the 2nd he was bright and alert to the possibility of a through ball. Well done to the young lad for his impact in recent weeks, one of a gaggle of loan players who Gary Johnson will want to keep for as long as possible.


The good news is that under the leadership of Mark Ellis the defence is getting higher up the field, and the whole team is finding it easier to press and create attacking opportunities. The bad news is the defence still looks shaky. It didn’t help that Dean Moxey wasn’t playing. Dylan Crowe is trying very hard, but lacks defensive awareness and intelligence to cut out attacks. Dorking took advantage of this on a number of occasions. Meanwhile, Lucas Ness and Mark Ellis also made errors in the centre, and found the movement of the away team difficult to repel, whilst after some great games, Shaun Donnellan was tired and hesitant. Tiredness may have been a big reason why Dorking found so much success, but with Chesterfield (h) coming up three days later we definitely need to tighten up. Good teams have a proper balance between defence and attack…we’re not there yet.








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I simply live and breathe Football and have supported Torquay United since 1989. I am a season ticket holder on Bristows and a Trust member. I set up TorquayTalk in 2017 to give true supporters a voice and honest opinions on their club.

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