TT MATCH VERDICT – TUFC 2-1 Barnet FC by Dom Roman


Dom Roman – @DomRoman

Dom discusses the game at Plainmoor



A week on from the Trophy loss to Barnet FC, we turn the tables on the Bees and keep all 3 points at Plainmoor, with goals from Aaron Jarvis and Tope Fadahunsi the difference.

The match started evenly with Barnet pushing against the Torquay breeze and looking to make inroads into a Gulls defence which featured Ross Marshall in a re-jigged defensive back four (more about him later). But after some misplaced shots that only troubled the Family Stand posse, United started to take control, with Tom Lapslie a whirlwind in midfield, Kieron Evans and Dillon De Silva involved heavily on the wings and Aaron Jarvis his usual handful upfront.

Three of those players were integral in United’s first goal. Lapslie with a thunderous challenge in our half, the ball then found its way to Evans who kept his calm and fed Aaron Jarvis loitering and licking his lips in space in the penalty area. How’s your composure Aaron? Bloody good! A side footer from the striker found it’s way past Laurie Walker and United had their much coveted lead.

Barnet tried to respond with Harry Smith muscling his way into the action, and Dean Moxey importantly cleared a glanced header off the line. But United were for the most part in the ascendency, busy and balanced, with De Silva getting plenty of opportunities to test the full back. One such opportunity later in the half saw the winger tear along the right flank and with Jarvis crying out for a ball into the near post, Dillon duly delivered. Unfortunately a toe poke went wider when it looked easier to score. A let off for the Bees, and a chance we hoped would not count us dear. HT and 1-0.

The usual poor efforts at the crossbar challenge came and went, with the announcer shouting annoyingly into his microphone. Could the Gulls start the second half with a bang? You bet! Tom Lapslie found space in midfield, played in Kieron Evans along the left flank and he found the hard working Tope Fadahunsi, who managed to nudge it hard enough to nutmeg the sprawling keeper and give us a two goal lead! Merriment at Plainmoor. Joy at seeing Torquay play with some rare style, quality and finishing touch. The Yellow Army were rightly lapping it up.

After that the Gulls managed the game well, with Nico Lawrence impressively reading Barnet attacks and making a number of interceptions. Barnet looked tired and lacking in ideas, but then found a goal. A silly challenge by De Silva allowed Ryan De Havilland a free kick from 25 yards out, and credit to him, he found the back of the net with a perfect curler into the top left hand corner. No chance for Halstead, and game on.

The next 15 minutes went very slowly indeed, but the Gulls kept battling and kept repelling the away side. Tom Lapslie exceptional in winning tackles and winning his battles in the midfield area…and pretty much everywhere else. A flurry of late corners made you wonder if there was going to be a late sting in the tail, however, not this time, not on this afternoon. 3 points gathered and even a celebratory fist pump from the recently waspish Gary Johnson. We are far from done yet.


1. Mark Halstead 7 – GK

Halstead unexpectantly had one of his quieter days in a Torquay shirt, with only a few standard catches made and some dangerous crosses to deal with. A steady 7.

16. Shaun Donnellan 8 – RB

Donnellan was moved to right back, and played very well. Determined and strong defensively, and also happy to stride forward occasionally in trademark manner.

21. Dean Moxey 7 – LB

Mr Consistent. Deano is always ready for a fight and he helped lead the charge once again in defence with numerous clearances and headers.

19. Nico Lawrence 8 – CB

Not much bothers this young lad. Reads the game well, quick to anticipate, strong and enthusiastic, let’s keep him I reckon! A terrific player.

6. Ross Marshall 8 – CB

Marshall’s best game in a Torquay shirt? I should coco. Aggressive and decisive without making any silly decisions, this is more like the player we were hoping to see in August. More of this please Ross.

27. Dillon De Silva 7 – RW

Dillon never looked comfortable in the wing back role, so a return to winger helped him today. Could still do better at times, but he was a constant threat to their left back, whilst also buzzing around the pitch to help out his team mates.

4. Tom Lapslie 9 – MF

MOTM see below.

14. Brett McGavin 6.5 – MF

Well the good news is McGavin made some nice passes, worked hard and had a decent shot that their keeper had to get down quick to save. The bad news? He’s still too ponderous on the ball, and get’s dis-possessed whilst he’s deciding what to do with it. Still a lot to work on.

11. Kieron Evans 8 – LW

Is the tide turning for Kieron Evans this week? That’s 3 goal contributions in two games, and maybe just maybe the little Welshman is starting to flourish. He ran hard today, always looking for space and always wanting the ball. A little wasteful at times, but better signs thankfully.

9. Aaron Jarvis 8 – ST

Jarvis could and should have had 2 goals in the first half, and he’d have deserved them. The striker was a thorn in the side of the Bees central defensive giants all game and is very much a key man as United look to move up the NL table.

10. Tope Fadahunsi 7.5 – ST

It was a tough task for Fadahunsi today, with his movement often tracked by big Diarra and numerous requests for a free kick waved away by the ref. But he kept plugging away, kept trying to find space and was rewarded with a goal.


15. Ben Wyatt 6 – LW

Wyatt came on to up United’s energy levels as McGavin struggled to get over a knock. Not much to report, apart from some keen scurries up the wing and a slightly unfortunate booking.

7. Ryan Hanson 6 – MF

GJ – ‘Ryan I want you to go on, stick around the defensive fringes and kick the ball very hard when it comes your way’

RH – ‘Yes boss I reckon I can do that’

GJ – ‘And Ryan’

RH – ‘Yes Boss’

GJ – ‘ Don’t do anything f##king stupid’

RH – ‘No Boss’

GJ – ‘Good lad’

12. Jacob Mensah N/A – CB

Jacob Mensah is not fictional! I saw him today, honest…for about a minute or two.


I could not fault Tom Lapslie today! Everything he did was superb, whether it be diving tackles, jinking runs, short and long passes, pressing Barnet, he was absolutely fantastic throughout the game. Probably the best performance I’ve seen from any United player this season. The bustling midfielder has been inspirational in recent months, fully fit and leading the charge for the Yellows time and time again. Well done Tom.


Good to have choices in a heading that has not been used for every game this season! Nico Lawrence and Aaron Jarvis (alongside Lapslie & Halstead) helped form a strong spine today for United, and give us hope that we can indeed avoid the dreaded drop. No weak links overall for United in a real team effort.


Is a ref ever unpopular when we win?! Steven Copeland was average today I’d say, making some odd decisions here or there to the typical frustration of the Bristow’s Bench crew, whilst some argy bargy between the players was largely ignored, with only 3 players booked overall. He let plenty go and seemingly wanted the game to flow, which I can appreciate at least.


Back to 4-4-2. 3-5-2 was discarded once again and it worked. With wingers stretching the pitch and a more balanced attack, the Gulls had improved pace, variety and fluidity in attack. Meanwhile defensively, Marshall fitted in very well to the back four and whilst Barnet’s attackers huffed and puffed, they got very little change today.


Barnet started with some intent, but lacked the imagination and ability to break our wills this time around. In the second half they went even more direct than before, but still found United’s resilient defence up to the task. Perhaps after two previous away trips in the past week, they had lost sharpness and energy, but all in all, they got what they deserved at Plainmoor.


United had not scored more than one goal against NL opposition since mid-December, so I have to pick Fadahunsi’s second half strike. This was a fast counter attack from Torquay and a big moment, as despite Barnet’s poor play, you always expected them to somehow gather a goal.


No mistaking it, this was one of Torquay’s best performances in quite some time and it would have been cruel if the big Barnet bruisers had scrambled in a last minute equaliser (cruel but not surprising). But we held up well, with strong character all round the park showing Gary Johnson may be onto something after all these months of toil. The form table shows us in good health, and after enjoyable win I think we’re all feeling more optimistic. Follow it up with something similar on Tuesday at Dorking and a leap out of the bottom four awaits. For now, this was an afternoon to be savoured, keep going lads.







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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.

2 thoughts on “TT MATCH VERDICT – TUFC 2-1 Barnet FC by Dom Roman

  1. Living in Exeter I rarely get a chance to get to Plainmoor but simply ignore the smug comments from ECFC fans and continue my support for TUFC. It is moments like this that I enjoy and the regular fans plus the Torquay Talk crew deserve every plaudit .

    Liked by 1 person

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