Dom discusses talking points ahead of the NL game
The unlikely win at Boreham Wood on Tuesday gave the Gulls a little life in this fight to avoid relegation, but 23rd placed Scunthorpe away is now definitely do or die. Wins for Gateshead and Dorking sullied the positivity from Meadow Park, as a glance at the table showed we are still (just in case anyone thought otherwise) in need of footballing miracles. Talk from GJ had been about mid-40s being enough points, but now it looks instead like 50, and that’s a huge ask for Torquay United. All we can do is win the next game to keep us alive, bringing me onto the most nailed on must-win game of the season and two old Football League teams duking it out, sadly with both on the brink of heading into the clutches of regional football.
The line-up pretty much picks itself, with one question, do you recall the returning Tom Lapslie? We’ve polled this to the Yellow Army, and the consensus is unsurprisingly yes. Tom after all is a very popular player and undoubtedly one of the best we have at Torquay United. If fit and firing he brings an awful lot to the table, from boundless energy, to winning the ball back and helping to create opportunities for the strikers and more, we know his assets very well. The question is ‘Do you tinker with a winning team?’ Not a question Gary Johnson has been asked in a while! The obvious one to drop out for me would be Lewis Collins, who has not made much of an impression in the last two games, and could be a useful option from the bench. Otherwise you keep status quo, and use Lapslie around the hour mark to help drive the team on. Rare for the manager to have decisions to make in this poor patching up season.
Aaron Jarvis returns to Scunthorpe United this weekend, and has a point to prove after a dreadful time at Glanford Park between 2020-22, as Scunny struggled towards the bottom of the EFL and he found goals hard to come by. Well this is a different Jarv in 2023, a player who has galvanised himself at United and looks like he could return to the EFL at some stage (just not with Torquay). 14 goals in this abject Torquay United team is an impressive tally for the strong striker, and he will be a key man as we travel up north. The partnership with Nouble is another different one for Aaron, strike partnerships have continued to struggle in recent years for the Gulls, this one needs to click straight away to give us any hope.
Scunthorpe United, much like Torquay United, should not be on the periphery of regional football. They are an old EFL team with excellent support, and I think any football supporter was glad to see their existence saved by new owner David Hilton in January. Former Peterborough Sports manager Jimmy Dean was given the job of salvaging the season, and despite a number of incoming players and some good results here or there, the Iron remain in deep trouble. Their supporters have attended games in terrific numbers (like the Yellow Army), and there should be a noisy (if desperate) atmosphere at tomorrow’s game. At least they have new owners who, you would assume, will face regional football head on, and will be desperate to ensure they are only down there for one season. Things feel much more uncertain at Plainmoor.
7 GAMES LEFT
7 games left and with other results going against us, it looks like a mammoth 5 wins are required. The win at Boreham Wood on Tuesday made me feel joy and anger at the same time. Joy at actually winning a game for once, but anger that the Gulls are in this situation. We have been close in so many games this season, fine margins again and again swaying towards the opposition rather than us. Bad decisions made by management and players costing us points that could have made us safe in a league that is very low in quality. For all the faults of this squad, this miracle we now need feels so avoidable, a squad full of triers and a manager who definitely could have done better, and that’s hugely frustrating.
One thought on “PRE-MATCH TALKING POINTS – Scunthorpe United (a) by Dom Roman”
Whilst agreeing mostly with what you say I do take issue over your view on how poor this league is.
I believe that the overall standard of this league is in fact higher but is distorted by both Wrexham and Notts County being probably League 1 standard.
Torquay have repeatedly been beaten by one goal in matches where their odd mistakes have resulted in goals and I believe that even with our reduced standard of player, no argument on that, we are on a par with probably 90% of the teams in the National League.
Our supporters are, on the whole , genuinely behind a team which despite its standard is being run by no more than one or two professionals, the “ board “ being virtually non existent🙄
I still hope for an unbeaten run of at least five or six matches and if we can escape without further injury or suspension who knows.
Forever the optimist
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