TT TALKING POINTS – Chesterfield FC (A) by Rob Dand


Rob Dand

Rob discusses the loss at Chesterfield


Our clear gameplan was to try and withstand any early pressure, smash any round object that moves into orbit and generally avoid having to make any forward movement in groups of more than two. Only the latter was executed with any real conviction, and although we were lucky not to concede much earlier than we did, there were too many misplaced passes, lazy attempts at tackles and gaping holes in the midfield. Once the first goal went in, you always felt it was going to be hard to find another way to answer the Chesterfield threat. If there’s one thing you could say about the Torquay United of the past couple of years, it’s that we cling to our Plan A like a child clings to a favourite toy.


What is it about Torquay United that inspires such brittle bones? You’d be hard pushed to find an interview from Gary Johnson (or his predecessor) where injuries are not a talking point. Whether it’s simply a symptom of small squads pushed to the limit, ageing pros a year or two past their physical peak, substandard physio treatment, having to take a chance on injury-prone but talented footballers, poor preparation, or all of the above – something is not right. Tom Lapslie (or ‘Laps-leh’ as the local commentator so pleasingly prounced his name) is a likeable player and when fit a very important part of our midfield, but he was clearly off the pace last night and ideally wouldn’t have played. But with Asa Hall also missing, Gary rolled the dice and unfortunately it didn’t pay off. He looked spent after about 45 seconds and was substituted midway through the half – and as the game wore on, others seemed to flag a little too easily. Hopefully we’ve got time to recover before the important trip to Alty on Saturday.


It might seem a bit like standing up at funeral and reading a eulogy dedicated to a still-living relative of the deceased, but some of this week’s column inches should be diverted in the direction of last night’s opposition. Chesterfield were quick out of the blocks (just like Dom said they would be – suspicious), and had several creative outlets through which to test our shaky defence. On another night, in an alternate universe perhaps (where Darren Deadman is reborn as a mayfly and Mustapha Carayol lives happily in London), we might have gotten away with some of our early shortcomings. As it was, our misplaced passes and lazy attempts at tackles were punished at every turn, and it was only a matter of time before we conceded. From that point on, with the Spireites refusing to relent, it was always going to be 5 or 6.


Almost 150 faithful fans made the trip ‘up North’ (i.e. somewhere beyond Newton Abbot), on a lukewarm Tuesday night. The commentator quipped early on that there were ‘not very many of them’, but that is a wonderful effort and I’m sure there will be more than that at the weekend too. Kudos to all of the hardy souls in attendance – whether a ‘consolation’ goal from Brett McGavin and a glimpse of Aaron Jarvis’ lovely beard in the Golden Hour light is enough reward is up for debate.


I’m a fairly steadfast realist in most aspects of my life. It stops me getting too high or too low. Unfortunately, being rational does not always lend itself very well to being a football fan and this is often mistaken for indifference – but enough about me! There are two games to go, the odds remain stacked against us just as they have been for the past few weeks, but while there is still a chance, we all have to believe that survival is possible. None of us dared to dream that we’d go on a five-match winning run, for one thing (and who could have predicted that we’d end that run still inside the relegation places?). Nothing is written in stone, and if the players think for one second that they aren’t capable of beating both Altrincham and Wrexham, then there’s no point stepping out past the white line. Two games to go. 180 minutes to keep us up. COYY.







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