TT MATCH VERDICT – Aldershot Town 1-1 TUFC by Ian East


Ian East – @Easters86

Ian discusses the draw at the EBB Stadium


Torquay picked up a point but will be ruing the fact they probably should have taken all 3 after spurning a host of first half opportunities against Aldershot. 

It couldn’t have started any worse for the Gulls, just 5 minutes in and Joe Partington was left all alone from a corner and was able to steer a header into United’s net to give Aldershot the lead. After Tuesday’s debacle against Bromley it was another set piece to add to Torquay’s blooper roll of the season but to Gary Johnson’s side’s credit it seemed to burst them into life.

Just 4 minutes later they were level. A nice break down the left hand side enabled Evans to cross towards Jarvis and while the ball looked overhit United were able to recycle the ball to Collins who linked with McGavin and Lapslie with the latter finding the former in the box, and it was McGavin who rolled home the equaliser for a brilliantly worked goal.

From that moment on United made chances, Collins put in a brilliant ball that found Jarvis at the back post seemingly certain to score but an Aldershot defender just got a piece of Jarvis header and diverted it over. The same man then brought a good save from Ashby Hammond while Ross Marshall headed the resultant corner wide. The best chance of the lot again fell to Jarvis, but his free header from McGavin’s corner lacked the power to beat the goalkeeper.

Torquay started the second half in a similar vein earning a couple of early corners before Tope Fadahunsi then brought another good save from Ashby Hammond this time with his legs. 

After this initial flurry however if was United’s defence that had to stand up and be counted. Mark Halstead, basically a spectator to this point, had to be alert to push away a decent effort by Tahvon Campbell before the United keeper made a superb double save to first deny Amaluzur, before springing back up and blocking the follow up from Pendlebury to keep the scores level.

Torquay had to go to their bench firstly with Lapslie (clearly not 100%), new signing Kevin Dawson was thrown on before McGavin went down and was replaced by Ryan Hanson. The game was then fizzing out a bit, Aldershot looked the more likely but Nico Lawrence and Ross Marshall in particular were repelling any crosses or attacks they could muster while United noticeably tired in attack.

The final chance for United came and went as Hanson headed a cross over and they were forced to settle for a point that doesn’t really change anything in their quest for survival.


1. Mark Halstead 7 – GK

No chance with the goal and had nothing else to do 1st half, but made 2 or 3 good saves in the 2nd half to get us a point.

21. Ben Wyatt 5 – LB

Distribution was pretty woeful. I lost count in the 2nd half how many times he gave the ball to them but he did a reasonable job defensively although a few times it was more luck than judgement.

19. Nico Lawrence 7 – CB

Excellent as always just plays a different game to everyone else. He was put under pressure in the last 30 mins and rose to the occasion. 

6. Ross Marshall 8 – CB

MOTM – See below

16. Shaun Donnellan 6 – RB

Did OK. Defended well in the main tried to get forward when possible had a couple of opportunities to create in the 2nd half, but the final ball was lacking.

11. Kieron Evans 5 – LW

Failed to really impact the game much at all and his dallying in the 2nd half led to the Halstead double save. Not his best game. 

4. Tom Lapslie 7 – MF

Could tell Tom wasn’t 100% although helped to create the goal and he clears up the mess the rest of them make nearly all the time. Was replaced by Dawson and our performance went downhill from there which was telling.

14. Brett McGavin 7 – MF

Took his goal well, whilst his set pieces were a bit hit and miss. He’s fine in possession, I’m not sure he has the physical attributes or consistency to be relied on going forward but he’s the best of the bunch which kind of sums it up. He was good in the main however.

31. Lewis Collins 7 – RW

Mainly for the 1st half where he looked a threat and delivered a couple of decent crosses that Jarvis will feel he should have probably scored from 1 of them. Faded 2nd half. 

9. Aaron Jarvis 7 – ST

Led the line like he always does was a constant threat in the 1st half and will be a bit disappointed not to have scored 1 of his headed chances. Still our best forward player though by some way.

10. Tope Fadahunsi 5 – ST

Didn’t really impact the game at all although did have 1 good chance, but the finish lacked the conviction required. He worked hard and like many of them was better in the 1st half but ideally would have been replaced. We didn’t have anyone to bring on however.


15. Kevin Dawson: 5 – MF

Neither sub really impacted the game although Hanson headed a late chance over the bar. Wasn’t an easy one.

7. Ryan Hanson: 5 – MF


A much maligned player and I’d need to see the corner again to see what happened to allow their guy a free header. I thought Marshall was a bit indifferent first half mainly because he was overplaying at times and a little indecisive. Doesn’t sound like MOTM? Well I wonder if someone had a word and told him to just do the basics because that’s what he did and he was superb. Headed absolutely everything put his body on the line blocked crosses and looked a proper defender. I’ve thought this for a few weeks now with Marshall I think there’s a player there, he sisnt perfect and he still makes a few errors that could be costly but he’s improved dramatically playing with Lawrence and he’s someone to definitely persevere with I think.


284 away fans, again superb support for a side struggling this badly. Despite the early goal against the team, they rallied and kept going which is going to be important.


One of the best refs I’ve seen for ages. Genuinely don’t remember getting angry at him once…..which rarely happens. 


Was 4-4-2/4-3-3 with the same team from Tuesday apart from Ben Wyatt started at left back in place of Dean Moxey. It was announced Kevin Dawson had joined and he was on the bench. Ali Omar was also recalled to the matchday squad. 


I thought they were really poor and there for the taking in all honesty. I think we sensed that as well but we just ran out of steam and available options in the 2nd half to press home the advantage that we’d created in the first. Aldershot however finished the game better than we did and because of that may feel they could have nicked it. For us though that’s a bit missed opportunity to get a much needed victory.


It’s 2 points dropped ultimately in my view. We were the better side for about 65 minutes of the game but as has been the case for a lot of the season when we are on top we just can’t cash that in enough to put fellow poor teams away. We missed 3 or 4 really good chances in the first half that a decent team playing with some confidence probably take and put the game away. 

Predictably we got worse as the game went on and the 2 subs we were forced to make just made us worse and less likely to reclaim the momentum of the game. In the end Halstead had to pull a couple of saves out and we had to defend well to keep a desperately poor Aldershot side at bay. The lack of attacking options available to us really hurts us but I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Worryingly McGavin looked to pick up an injury and Lapslie was withdrawn probably with Tuesday in mind. I came away thinking we probably won’t get many easier away games than that from now till the end of the season and we couldn’t win that one so where are the wins coming from? Solihull on Tuesday? Let’s hope so but that’s seemingly always a tough game for us. Draws aren’t going to keep us up and we’ve got to find a more ruthless streak to our game. Easier said than done with time running out to salvage our season.







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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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