Just six home games left and need to aim to win half of them and this would be a good one to start against a side that lost 0-4 at home during the week. Weather is looking OK tomorrow and hopefully a decent crowd will turn up to help lift the team out of this dire situation we find ourselves in.....
The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.
Firstly apologies for the match thread going up so late, I do not know why it was not put up a few days ago.
While I’m really looking forward to the game today, I just don’t know what to expect. After yet another hard and long working week, I generally look to have an entertaining and relaxing weekend. But due to the position we now find ourselves in, I do not care if this turns out to be the most boring game of football I have ever watched, all that matters is we somehow win the bloody thing.
The time for nice pretty football played the way it should be played as long since past, now it’s all about slogging it out on the pitch and getting three points. Three points that will ensure by 5pm tomorrow night we are not the strongest team in the league keeping all the others up.
I’m not expecting any bumper crowd, some fans have already given up and won’t be at the game, if ever there was a time to offer a match at £10, then this is it. If I’m honest I do not think we arte good enough to beat Oxford, but like you all, I have watched enough games over the years to know you do not always have to be the best team to win.
It’s funny how you can change your mind on things based on circumstances, before I would never have been happy with a boring clueless display by a Torquay United team with a fluke goal right at the death that saw us win the match. But I’ll take that now as I really can’t face the idea that our club could end up back in the conference again.
As I have said before, going down under Roberts was different, a dreamer who cared nothing about TUFC only trying to make himself rich. Fans will find it very hard to forgive the board if we did go down, they will say they took a gamble that did not pay off. You can not gamble when your league status is at risk, the cost to our club is simply too high.
Now is the time for fans to show their support, get behind the team and be that twelve men, I would hate for the blame to be laid upon the fans if the worst was to happen. Things as they stand are still in our own hands, that’s why only a win will do, it might be the case should be lose, that no longer will be the case.
We all know how much this club means to us, it’s been such a big part of our life for most of it, now is not the time to look who is to blame, now is the time to show what we as fans are made of. We have been here before, it’s nothing new, just it seems such a long time ago we were in such a mess.
Hope to have a chat with many of you at the game and look forward to reading your views over the weekend here on the TFF.
I beg to differ Reg I think it will a be a decent crowd considering and I feel cautiously optimistic, not really sure why mind you. Maybe Joss Labadie is the missing link we have been crying out for all bloody season. I do hope so. Having said that I now prepare myself for disappointment beforehand, its a bit of an emotional safety net. If we get nothing today I'm afraid we could find ourselves in the bottom two at five o'clock today. Just a few weeks back so many were saying we have games in hand, the squad had enough quality etc etc and now look at it. Today is crunch time we simply MUST get something. If we fail again I'm going to wear my new Yellow and Blue Clown kit for all the remaining home fixtures - just to annoy Aussie...
My education started when I left Highweek School for boys..
I'm afraid the rot has truly set in and this season is sadly going in one way. Whatever manager we have, whoever he brings in on loan, it's sadly the same effect. As I was leaving the ground at full-time I had the same feeling as I had in those dire days in the 80's. Our players are trying their best but we are simply second best. Oxford were sharper, quicker and carved us open so many times today the scoreline could have been embarrassing. I was hoping Alan Knill could improve things but the sad reality is that things are actually getting worse. I think it is a matter of time before we are relegated, my hope has virtually disappeared and I am preparing myself for Conference football again. We are simply not good enough to be a football league team, just like in the 80's under Webb. Sponsors MOTM Poke which says it all really who kept us in the game, crowd 2,504, 367 (if I remember rightly)from Oxford.
The first half was a reasonable performance and new loanee Labadie looked very good getting stuck in winning balls and laying the ball off well. There was some decent football from Jarvis, Bodin and Benyon and some decent build up play at times. That said Oastlers distribution was shocking giving the ball away virtually every time he had the ball and we made very few clear chances. However the most alarming feature of the first half was the way Oxford has THREE 1-on-1's with Poke. Poke stood up and saved the first 2 brilliantly from Constable and the third more from an angle was shot wide. Torquay created one great chance near the end. A one-two between Jarvis and Howe put Jarvis through but their keeper McCormick paaried well. So 0-0 half-time thanks to Poke.
The 2nd. half was a total disaster. Torquay did not get any momentum going and Oxford had another 1-on-1 where they made no mistake this time, Constable taking the ball around Poke and slotting in. 4 minutes later Downes has ample time to clear the ball when in possession, he lost the ball to Constable and clipped him to give away a certain penalty. 2-0 and game over. Downes did redeem himself by heading in from a corner. But Oxford were the better side and should have wrapped things up and Torquay were looking more and more ragged. Torquay did have a couple of late chances - Mansell had a shot blocked and Howe did not connect well enough and his shot was saved. Deep in added time Oxford made it 3-1 as I was making my way out of the stadium. In truth I did not even see it.
What can I say? After competing fairly well for 30 minutes we were bloody lucky to be going in at half time courtesy of Pokey with three one on one coming to nothing. Then, the same player gave the ball away under no pressure four times in the first ten minutes of the second half which ultimately led to their first two goals. We did get one back to give us some hope but were unable to take our chances and of course got sucker punched with the last kick of the game.
The match started quietly enough with hightlights including a Raynes wide header from a Oxford corner and a possible penalty shout from Mansell when he seemed through, although would appreciate thoughts from anyone a bit closer than I. Then after half hour, we were opened up three times. Oxford played the classic big and nippy striker routine and some good work between them saw Constable in a shooting position that Poke narrowed the angle and make a top quality save. Next, the off side trap was beaten which saw Constable clear and Poke came out with the shot rebounding off his legs. Finally, Potter was put through on the left and his shot from a narrowish angle went well wide when maybe he should have done better. Not sure whether this was going to be our day or a harbinger of things to come in the second half. However, Jarvis had our best chance right at the end of the half when the ball was worked cleverly through to him but his shot was well saved.
The second half started poorly. Although we were pressing forward, Oastler managed to pass the ball to an opposition player fopur times under no pressure and twice this led to a goal on ther counter. On the first occasion, a ball squared in just outside their area was behind Jarvis and the cleared ball was not dealt with by Downes, leaving Constable clean through and this time he made no mistake. Not long after, Oastler had possession near the right touch line in his own half but his pass was easily cut out and again Downes had to dual with Constable (? I think). Although Downes initially had the better of things, he tried to be too clever and was put under pressure and his tanglement resulted in a penalty which was well dispatched into the bottom right hand corner.
It left us with mountain to climb. Hope was given when a free kick nicely taken by Labadie was tipped over the cross bar from a corner. From this corner, Downes was able to flick the ball down into the far corner for a rare goal and his atonement. Game on again. Chances were rare but we did have the opportunity to equalise. Howe did appeal for a penalty when he got tangled with their defender but he was looking for it and the free kick was rightly IMO given the other way. As he had picked a yellow card up shortly before for a late challenge not the smartest trick to play. The ball did come out to him near the corner of the six yard box on another attack but uncharacteristically, didn't steady himself and although McCormick didn't take it cleanly, a big chance went begging. Finally in injury time, Saah was still up there when the ball came to him but his strong shot was just the wrong side of the post!
The last rites were again when we lost the ball and were countered with another one on one leading to a goal!
Conclusion, we lost this one due to poor passing when attacking leaving us open to the counter. The middle two of Saah and Downes has been our strong point this season and worrying that a lot of chances seemed to come from the open space behind them. Another forward is now a must as we are not taking our chances!
The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.
Whilst I realise that Alan Knill is no magician I was somewhat disappointed by our approach today which was so similar to the last eight months. Very little has changed and I ask myself is he still being influenced by Taylor. He had an ineffective. "pass it sideways play safe at all costs" Jarvis playing out wide with two natural wingers sat on the bench in Maklin and Stevens. Bodin has had his chance. He worked hard today and looked better defensively but was again unable to influence the game and was crowded out by defenders just as he has been for months and months. I think Swindon got there own back for us selling them Benners for crazy money. Should have more room and time in the Conference mind you. Benyon , despite his hard work and unselfish running is also ineffective and unable to influence or scare defenders. He should be sent back to Southend to play against us and score next week! Howe looked more up for it but has been dragged down by the whole situation and nothing is falling for him. That sums up our problems once again totally and utterly toothless going forward although I thought Maklin did at least look as if he wanted to take on a defender but by then it was all too late any way. The much derided Danny Stevens does at least have technical ability but again was left to fester on the subs bench until the ninety third minute. Baffled by that one. Labadi was fine and did as well as any one out there but isn't the creator I hoped for. In all honesty we should have been two or three down at the interval Poke saved us from another humiliation despite all our huffing and puffing and getting nowhere. Defensive mistakes up the field cost us in the end Oastler guilty of giving the ball away so many times it finally caught up with him and Downes in particular. Turned in the middle for the first and then hauling down Constable for the second. Didnt see the third I had had enough by then.
I've said it so many times now I must be sounding like broken record - We sold our only quality in the summer and then failed to reinvest a percentage of that income back into the playing squad that decision was tantamount to suicide. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater! We are now reaping the result of that intentional and naive policy. A situation that could have been remedied mid season was totally ignored despite appeals from those that could plainly see the obvious. We are now scrapping around for players that can change things but I'm afraid its all to late and today's performance just served to our shortcomings, fear in our play , lack of confidence which sadly underlines our fate. Quick fetch a priest soon be time for the last rights.
It says it all really when you are the home team fighting for survival and your keeper wins the player of the match award. It has been a very long time since I felt such a pain in my heart, that pain came when the ref pointed to the spot. It has been a long time since tears filled my eyes, but I understand why they did as I and every other fan inside Plainmoor, all felt that is it, we are going down.
It was neither my fault nor any Torquay United fans fault we lost today, we sung our hearts out, we all played our part, sadly the players could not do theirs. I can’t fault them for effort, yes they made costly mistakes, they are all great lads, but as a team they are sadly lacking and dare I say poor. Its days like today you wonder why you bother, why you allow yourself to be put through it, as I have said, its none of our faults this mess we find ourselves in.
But as fans we must try to enjoy the rest of the weekend, try to pick ourselves up and somehow find the strength to not give up just yet, if it’s hard for us its going to be even harder for our players, I bet they wish the board had spent some more money on the team. We all know who is to blame, we all know all took these almighty gambles that have not paid off and we know who has to someone find a way to save our league status.
There was talk before the game started that there was going to be a fifteen minute delay to the kick-off due to a number of Oxford fans being held up on the M5 around Taunton, the scene of a fatal crash. That did not happen and with twenty minutes to go as the fog started to roll over Plainmoor; I almost wished the game had started later. Maybe then it would have been abandoned, but that was just trying to clutch at straws as I knew we were not good enough to get even a single point from this game.
At the start of the game we did not look to bad, we played the ball around well a number of times and when the new lad took a shot from 30 yards out early on, I thought there was just a chance we might get something out of this game. But as the halftime whistle blew, I just felt we were very lucky indeed not to go in at halftime, three nil down. Poke made two fine saves, both one on ones where he stayed stood up and big and at least gave us some sort of chance second half; well that’s what I told myself.
Our only really decent chance to score in the first half came about after a smart move between Howe and Jarvis, it was a neat one two that saw Jarvis have a good hard shot at goal, sadly their keeper was in fine form also and make a very good save indeed. Why is it that the other team always seem that much quicker, get to the ball quicker and always seem to win those second balls. Why do we struggle to create good clear cut chances? Why do we make so many mistakes?
I felt sorry for Joe the second half, every ball he played went wrong for him, it should have been a simple pass to find Benyon, but it did not and as a result they broke away and punished us. Just three minutes later and we gift them a second goal, we had the chance to clear the ball but did not take it, they made sure they took the gift we gave them.
We tried to fight back and got a goal from a corner, it looked a bit of a soft goal to me but who cares, surely now we would be camped in their goalmouth looking for our second goal.
Not a chance and while we did create two further chances, you always felt Oxford had one more goal in them at least. To rub salts into the wounded Torquay United fans, they accepted another gift goal from us right at the death. It tells its own story when then home players stay near the centre of the pitch and sheepishly look over to the fans on the popside. Credit to the fans as they did not boo, did not shout out abuse, but then maybe they all walked out feeling that this club is conference bound.
Its not over yet, no one can say for certain that we will be going down, in saying that it looks likely due to the fact we are simply not good enough and that hurts so much to say, when you think how much work and effort and money was put in, to get us back into the football league.
I stood as always next to the Rev (yes he is a real one) I said he needed to have a word, if he did I would go every Sunday I promised him. But it’s more than a miracle we need right now, someone who can score goals would be a start mind you.
oxford can thank their lucky stars that they didnt have to face much opposition after their midweek 4-0 drubbing,on a low,feeling unconfident.Then along pop us,a mish mash of conference ability players at most,without any idea or know how.This as petef said a poor side similiar or worse than the dreaded dave webb era for those unlucky enough to witness that as i did.Still some positives labadie had an excellent debut,couple that with a boasted about new training ground,a new stand in the memory of paul bristow and a gleaming new big screen we are set up nicely for our inevitable conference return.Lets hope the board remember to sort that third rate pitch and third rate team on it for next season,cant wait,talk about making a pigs ear of it,all so totally avoidable and unwanted.Oh and several employees confirmed to me lingy had been sacked as well,should of happened months ago,his dire tactics and dire football mixed with the boards inability to deal with it has done for us,and we thought the roberts saga was laughable.
You know things are bad when previously reliable and stand out performers like Downes start to make goal costing mistakes. Can't really add much to what has already been said,I keep telling myself that things will turn the next game, if not then the game after that, but if we lose on Tuesday then I think that really will be it. Unless Knill can bring in 3-4 new players between now and then (and lets face it that ain't gonna happen)then I just can't see the current crop turning this round. I hate being so negative and I would absolutely love to be proved wrong but there comes a time when even the most ardent optimist must face facts. Did I even detect a hint of resignation in Knill's voice during the post match interview? Perhaps he underestimated the size of the task that he took on when he came to Plainmoor....
knill was not happy after that shambles today,his post match interview included the word disappointed several times,jeez thats after just a couple of games,us fans have had to suffer that shite on the pitch all season and pay for the pleasure of it,and its getting worse.Does anyone think having a posh training pitch is going to bother the likes of hyde?they wont give a flying fig,just go out and turn us over on the pitch.If we arent careful the club will disappear down the plughole completely if this insane ineptness carries on.And if truth be known some of this squad aint even good enough for the bsp.The board may have a lot of questions to answer before long,and at this rate the fans will almost certainly turn on them,something the board cannot have any complaints about after this debacle only 3 years into our league return and departure.Paul Bristow gave us a sound footing from which to move forward on,and they are cocking it up very bigtime,what a tragic mess,which will hurt us fans more than anyone
what a person is told is not half as important as what they think they have been told