TT MATCH VERDICT – Chesterfield FC 5-1 TUFC by Dom Roman


Dom Roman


Dom discusses the loss at Chesterfield


The last time I wrote a match verdict was the Barnet home win in February, since then the Torquay United rollercoaster has been in full flight. From being full of despair to utter delight, no half measures at Plainmoor. Unfortunately the former is true tonight, as the Gulls were taken to the cleaners by an excellent Spireites team who out-ran, out-passed and out-classed Gary Johnson’s knackered looking team.

Apparently United made the trip up this morning, and for much of the game the team still looked half asleep from the journey, as Chesterfield popped neat passes around them at will. From the off, United struggled to regain possession and somehow managed to scrape through to 25 minutes without conceding. But a first goal for the home team was inevitable, and with the unfit twosome of Lapslie and Nouble losing possession in midfield, Banks picked up possession and saw a long range shot loop fortunately over Halstead. Lucky, but boy had it been coming,

With Ryan Colclough a constant menace on the left (we could not get close to him all night), Andrew Dallas scored yet another goal against United on 27 minutes and then found another on 40. United couldn’t stop crosses, they couldn’t defend crosses, to be honest they could not do anything. In between those goals Ali Omar had come on for Tom Lapslie, who had clearly been chucked back into the line-up too soon.

Half time and I doubt Gary Johnson’s team talk was anything more than ‘try and keep the score down lads’, such was the superiority of their opponents. Into the second half and the impressive Mandeville made the defence look silly and slotted a fourth in, then Andrew Dallas toed in a fifth on the hour to seal his hat trick. United had been pitifully chasing shadows, lacking any of the energy and intensity that had propelled us to five wins in a row. Thankfully that was the end of the Spireites scoring, and Brett McGavin bagged a smart volley to give the 144 Yellow Army members a very small consolation for making the trip.

A horribly sobering night at the Technique Stadium and after five wins, a game too far for the lacklustre and lethargic Gulls.


1. GK: Mark Halstead – 6

With the defence gifting space and shooting time to Chesterfield, Mark had no hope with the 5 goals.

16. CB: Shaun Donnellan – 2

A game to forget for Donnellan, the Chesterfield attackers were simply far too good for him.

19. CB: Nico Lawrence – 2

Nico has deserved the plaudits but he had a very poor game tonight. McCallum played the target man role perfectly and the whole defence was at sea.

21. CB: Dean Moxey – 2

See Donnellan!

4. MF: Tom Lapslie – 2

This is what happens when you shoehorn unfit players back into the team because you don’t trust other options (McGavin and Hanson). Not at the races at all and subbed early for Ali.

28. MF: Kevin Dawson – 3

Kevin did his best, but could not get close to Chesterfield’s quicker players, who played around him and the rest of the midfield with ease.

27. RWB: Jack Stobbs – 2

Isolated against Ryan Colclough on numerous occasions, the Spireites winger had him on toast.

11. MF: Kieron Evans – 2

Absolutely anonymous throughout, with the team struggling to get out of their half it’s no wonder.

31. LWB: Lewis Collins – 4

Collins made some decent runs and had some shots on target at least.

45. ST: Frank Nouble – 2

Frank looked like he was carrying an injury and could not move freely at all. It’s amazing that Gary Johnson didn’t sub him before 76 minutes. Sad to watch after the recent bravado and energy from the big man.

9. ST: Aaron Jarvis – 3

Barely got a kick all game and had to watch on as Chesterfield dominated possession


5. CB: Ali Omar (for Lapslie 28) – 3

Did what he could, but much like the other CBs left far too much space for the opposition to enjoy.

15. LWB: Ben Wyatt (for Nouble 76) – 3

Not much to report.

14. MF: Brett McGavin (for Dawson 67) – 5

Scored a sweet right footed volley.


Five goals and the goalkeeper is man of the match? Yes it was that type of evening. Some decent saves by Mark, let down by those in front of him. Apart from that, well done to the 144 supporters who made the trip.


A very easy game for the officials, with hardly any decisions to make throughout the one-sided game.


3-5-2 again and this time it was a disaster. Chesterfield exploited the lack of defensive capabilities that Stobbs and Collins possess on the flanks, and toyed with the Gulls time and time again. In hindsight our only chance was going very defensive and parking the bus, but without the energy and intensity to get close to the opposition, you’re always going to get turned over.


Paul Cook’s team were impressive throughout, quick to move the ball around, quick to get crosses into the box and quick to support each other. This was progressive football on a different level to what Torquay United can achieve, and it could easily have been 7 or 8-1. A very dangerous team (Colclough, Mandeville, Dallas and McCallum standing out especially) heading into the play-offs on that form.


After all the joy in recent weeks, this was a thoroughly a grim evening. With Aldershot winning at Wealdstone (I’m blaming you Corie Andrews!), the Great Escape task just got even tougher. There was always a strong chance we’d lose tonight, but the manner of the defeat is very concerning, with defensive frailties exposed again, players like Lapslie and Nouble struggling for fitness, key man Hall missing and no decent squad players to call upon, Altrincham (a) suddenly looks a mightier task than before. But there is still hope, there is still a chance, we should not give up on this team who have done so much in the last weeks and TT will be at Alty supporting the lads on as always. You never know…







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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.

One thought on “TT MATCH VERDICT – Chesterfield FC 5-1 TUFC by Dom Roman

  1. Didn’t see this coming (rose tinted specs) but knew that Chesterfield can play and that we never seem able to stop Andrew Dallas scoring🙄I think that once again fitness did us cos our “old boys” can only play once a week.
    Now have to rely on recovery and “luck” as I really can’t see us getting more than three more points🥺oh dear!
    Cmon you gulls !
    Tony Counter

    Liked by 1 person

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