TT MATCH VERDICT – TUFC 4-2 Taunton Town by Clive Hayward


Clive Hayward – @Byehorse

Clive discusses the game at Plainmoor


Torquay opened tonight’s Isuzu FA Trophy shenanigans with a lovely curled left foot goal from right winger Dillon De Silva and a second from centre half Ali Omar, who loves to make a nuisance of himself in the opponent’s box.

As so often this season, the lead was soon squandered but a Taunton sending off made the rest of the match a lot easier, and the home team added two more after half time to finish comfortable 4-2 winners.

Thus ended the cup run for the much hyped but quite limited visitors, who will be telling themselves that they gave Torquay a fright but were in fact about as threatening as an introverted claret and blue trifle.


Halstead 7 – No errors.

Marshall 6 – Didn’t inspire great confidence but at least he got 90 minutes’ experience.

Donnellan 6 – Unspectacular. Might have been an opportunity to maraud but played within limits.

Omar 6- Got himself a goal and clearly enjoyed the chance to get forward.

Lawrence 6.5 – Reasonably assured from the young Southampton loanee.

Wyatt 6 – Curate’s egg. Did produce some absolute dross on a night where the onus was on him to supply width out left, but showed good energy. His run & cross for the crucial third goal was an important contribution.

Lapslie 8 – My man of the match (see below).

Evans 5.5 – Flatters to deceive, for me. I don’t see him going on to do much in the pro game.

Aguiar 5.5 – Little to remember from the Swindon loanee against opposition he should be outclassing.

De Silva 7- Another proper winger’s performance from the Sinhalese Stanley Matthews. Scored a lovely goal.

Jarvis 7- Led the line. Nodded the critical third goal with aplomb and stuck the penalty away with ease. Lovely hair. Immaculate beard. A very handsome man.


Hanson (for Omar, 60) 5 – Could Taunton not have taken him away with them? Half an hour to impress against 10 part timers but showed nothing.    

Crole (for Aguiar, 65) 5 – I’m struggling to remember anything from the Cardiff teenager. Taller than I had realised.

Crowe (for De Silva, 77) 5 – Luckily he spent most of his time in Taunton’s half, so his inability to keep the ball was unimportant tonight. As substitutions go though, I was “eat my own lips off disappointed” to see Dillon replaced by Dylan. Magic roundabout? Magic mushrooms more like.  



Tom Lapslie: Loves it. Got it down and played a couple of times but mainly got stuck right in, as always. He must be quite annoying to play against, like a slightly injury-prone terrier. Pointlessly got himself booked late on for ridiculing a fussy ref’s insistence on re-spotting a Torquay free kick, but we needed Tom’s bloody-mindedness this evening.


Dillon De Silva has the skill and drive needed to beat part time opponents. Just as against Chippenham in the previous round he wanted the ball and whilst his crosses weren’t always on the money his jink inside and curled opener got Torquay off to the right start.


Referee Scott Tallis was decisive and in my opinion correct with the red card and the penalty he gave in our favour – it was a blatant handball to charge down a shot on goal, albeit the defender couldn’t have got out of the way. Having said that, he was generally inconsistent and got quite a lot of decisions wrong. Par for the course really. Not sure dodgy refereeing is our biggest problem though.


Wing backs, I think? Wyatt certainly more prominent down the left. My mate has christened him “Wyatt Twerp”. He did make an important goal but otherwise cannot really have been said to have laid down the law.

The best plan tonight was: “Get it to De Silva and make sure Jarvis stays between the sticks”, which as we know is where centre forwards do their business best. We did it enough to prevail.


Early predictions that Taunton would bring nearly a thousand fans proved as accurate as my pre-season belief that Brett McGavin would run games for us. As it transpired they brought 137. They did sing, and wasted little time before letting us know that we would be playing them again in the league next year and, indeed, that we are shit.

Other predictions that they would make it hard for us and were defensively sound were, with respect, total poppycock. Torquay gifted them 2 goals but they were easy to play against and if- god forbid- we are in their league next year they should cause little trouble.


Taunton’s red card probably ensured Torquay would win this tie, having managed to chuck away a two goal lead. Shortly after his well-taken equaliser, Jake Wannell nearly snapped Tom Lapslie in two with a wild, high challenge and he can have no complaints. Adrenaline is a double-edged hormone.


Wrexham, Notts County and Chesterfield are already out of this competition. If we can prevail over mid-table Barnet in the last 16 there is a realistic chance that for all our shortcomings we could go on to win it. I hope we don’t die wondering. To those who say we should prioritise the league, I would say that winning is a good habit and given that the club may not be around for ever (and neither will I), we should take any chance of silverware with both hands.

I’m normally much more pessimistic and perhaps pragmatic than this, so I should perhaps balance it out by saying that this Torquay United side remains one of the least talented to represent the club and that tonight’s fish barrel shooting session was obviously a lot easier than the forthcoming trips to Borehamwood and Woking.







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