TT MATCH VERDICT – TUFC 1-2 Bromley FC by Thomas Kelly


Thomas Kelly


Tom discusses the game at Plainmoor


Bottle jobs. That’s what this team Gary Johnson and his recruiting staff have so wonderfully graced the loyal support with this season. A pathetic team who once again capitulated soon after getting back into a game where the Gulls should have got at least a point out off. Some put a good effort in, but the depressing reality is that the majority just aren’t good enough at this level.

Gary made two changes to the side that threw away a point against Southend, Kieron Evans returning from suspension and Lewis Collins in for Dillion De Silva & Jacob Mensah.

The truth was, there was very little quality from both sides over the 90 minutes. Halstead made a good stop from Louis Dennis from distance early on before good play from Tope found Collins in the box, but from close range he skied his shot over the away terrace.

We paid for that miss on the 35th minute. United once again failed to mark with any confidence, allowing Omar Sowunmi to glance home the opener from a corner. Awful.

With the wind behind them, United saw more of the ball in the second half and Evans was looking our most skilful player to get us back into the game, with some great play from the Cardiff loanee forcing a smart stop from Charles-Cook.

Marshall saw his header from a Gulls corner hit the crossbar and Lawrence was denied on the rebound by the Bromley keeper.

United kept pressing and just like they did on Saturday, got themselves level. McGavin’s free kick on the right side was latched onto by Jarvis at the far post to get the Gulls back in the game with 12 minutes left.

Then, the implosion. An utterly farcical moment from Halstead who inexplicably threw the ball straight to a Bromley man and Donnellan made a reckless challenge in the box to give the visitors a penalty. The kick was well taken by Marriott to slot home past Halstead and restore the visitors lead. Don’t believe the official club report, it was a clear penalty. To even suggest it wasn’t is laughable.

What a joke.

Bromley easily saw out the game to condemn Torquay to another devastating defeat. A “Gary Out” banner at full time, loud boos from the 1400 Yellow Army and the trapdoor to regional football opening that little bit wider. Our club is a total shambles.  


1. Mark Halstead 5 – GK

Gifted the ball straight to Bromley just after we were level, which leads to us conceding a penalty and losing the game. I say it often that I wish he would take an extra second or two to evaluate his options as he often just hoofs the ball forward. Didn’t have a lot to do in truth but he started the chain that lost us the game.

21. Dean Moxey 5 – LB

Went off injured midway in the first half.

19. Nico Lawrence 7 – CB

Once again, you can tell he is head and shoulders above the rest of this shower. He had an occasional moment in the first half where he nearly let Bromley in but after that he was very good. Big things coming in his future for sure.

6. Ross Marshall 4 – CB

Would have to watch back the opener to see if he should have done better.  Saw his header hit the crossbar in the second half but another I don’t rate highly.

16. Shaun Donnellan 2 – RB

Another difficult game for Shaun, was always going to be a pen the moment he went in for that stupid challenge and after some good performances in the middle of the season, I’m struggling to see many positives out of him now. Left far too much space for Bromley to run past him.

11. Kieron Evans 7 – LW

Back in the squad and at times showed great skill. Tried his best to create something in a game lacking quality throughout. Looked our best outlet to force something.

4. Tom Lapslie 5 – MF

A very average evening for Tom. Hard running as ever but didn’t seem to impact the game in midfield. Taken off as a precaution with about twenty minutes left after taking a knock.  

14. Brett McGavin 3.5 – MF

I’m not a fan of Brett at all, his tracking back is just lazy and pedantic. His set pieces very rarely hit their intended man but he did finally get one right for Jarvis to slot home, right before he was going to be subbed and had one moment where he had the beating a few of the Bromley defence. His limitations though are there for all to see.

31. Lewis Collins 6 – RW

Started very well but became less effective as the game wore on. Had to hit the target in the first half when Tope played him in but showed glimpses of what he could do.

9. Aaron Jarvis 6 – ST

Did very well considering he was walking on a tightrope with the early booking. Did well to score from the free kick and deserves to have a squad around him that don’t throw the game away every time he gets us back into matches.

10. Tope Fadahunsi 5 – ST

I really do like Tope but he was outmuscled a lot against a physical Bromley side and was rather lacklustre in the second half. Is the partnership between him and Jarvis going to score us enough goals to give us a chance?


15. Ben Wyatt 5 – LB

I’m not a fan of Wyatt but I think he did alright. Nothing spectacular. His long throws caused some issues in the first half. I had higher expectations though.

27. Dillon De Silva 3 – RW

Came on, made a couple of good runs, then…nothing. Is it the formation? Is he not trying as hard as he used to? Another disappointing performance.

7. Ryan Hanson N/A – MF

I’m sure Wadey was happy to see him on. No rating with such little time left.


Considering our defensive fragilities, Nico again showed that he will be playing at least in the Championship in the coming years. He does make the odd mistake, but he’s young and is eager to prove himself and it’s clear that Southampton have a great academy set-up. Puts most of our defenders to shame.


Kieron Evans got into good areas, took on defenders and made some decent passes that were generally wasted. Lewis showed glimpses of what he can do and was a threat for most of the game for Bromley. He’s definitely one of our stronger options we have out wide, just needs to work on his finishing and final ball. Also to the lovely Rachael Malloch on her birthday. Good old Torquay United being the party poopers.


Seemed to take forever to book a player in red but once he did, I think the officiating was fine and fair. Didn’t stand for Bromley’s time wasting which was good to see. I wish most other NL officials did the same.


Started 4-4-2, but at times it was hard to tell. Some occasions we seemed to go 3-5-2, sometimes 4-3-3. I honestly give up. What stood out however was how narrow the defence were. Bromley exploited huge gaps out wide for a lot of that game and we got lucky that the referee broke up counters when we conceded free kicks.


You know what you get when it comes to playing Bromley. Tough to break down, physical and overall, I found them very poor considering they are fighting for a play-off spot. We gifted them two very soft goals and they saw the game out comfortably. We kept the dangerman Cheek quiet and saw a Bergkamp on the hallowed Plainmoor pitch, but I think both sides would have accepted a draw was the fair result once Jarvis levelled.  Full credit to the 30 odd fans who made the journey down.


What else is there to say that hasn’t been said many times this season.

From Dorking, Southend and Bromley we’ve taken a grand total of ZERO points. It’s a miracle that despite our incompetence both on and off the pitch, we are only four points from safety with thirteen games left. The worry is that with our remaining home games, we only play one side (York City) that are in the bottom half of the table. With trips to Boreham Wood and Chesterfield in our future as well as ending the season at home to Wrexham, I honestly cant see us getting enough wins to get us out of trouble.

Whatever happens with Gary, it’s far too late in my mind to change what’s going to happen and that’s relegation to the NLS. The mood has turned so sour within the majority of the fanbase now it’s almost beyond repair.

To concede a goal like we did soon after getting ourselves level just highlights what a losing mentality we have at TQ1 and I am fed up of the BS Gary spews every week, the owners lack of engagement, care and lack of investment and the majority of the players just being Southern League Level and gifting cheap goals away every single game.

As the Popside sung, “We’re on our way, we’re on our way, to the National League South, we’re on our way”.







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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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