more of that please,for the second home game in a row i witnessed a gutsy home performance,when we hadnt done that for months.Jarvis got mom deservedly,he is a real fighter a great quality and what a goal,nothing to add regarding the match reports already written.Please board take in the recent results and returning of confidence and fan entertainment,do you really want to return to what it was like a month ago? well we dont.I really hope york survive but not at our expense though,they were a tough nut to keep down today,that may well serve them well in their remaining games
I knew we would have a half decent attendance today as parking was a bit more of an issue and nice to see a bit more of the home support turn up and Knill was very appreciative as the crowd got behind the team today. It was a horrible dark, dank, drizzly and most of all, bitterly cold day but our early play was a bright ray of sunshine in the gathering gloom.
As expected, York tried to pressurise us from the off but we had that bit more possession and won a corner after five minutes. The goal that came out of it was similar to the corner from Tuesday in that it was cleared out and an onrushing Chapelle took another shot in a crowded box and FINALLY Benyon got his first goal for us in his favoured fox in a box position. They almost did get a goal back when some good play down the left saw them deliver a cross on the button but the header from just outside the six yard box was just wide of the post with Pokey well beaten...
However, we still remained on top and from a good penetrating run Chapelle had a shot that went high and wide but on around 20 minutes we scored with an effort that may be a contender for goal of the season. Jarvis received the ball on the right and cut in to the left. He was given too much space and the defence seemed more concerned with marking the other forwards so that Jarvis was able to force his way just outside and to the left of the area, where he then checked back to his right foot and then absolutely belted it into the top left hand corner - their keeper remained rooted to the spot! I think that was Jarvis's eighth goal of the season which is pretty good from 23 starts and being on the wing for a lot of them and leaving Knill with more choice now that Bodin is back....
Unfortunately, we didn't create too much for the rest of the half and were lucky when York managed to work the ball into the box forcing Pokey to make a good point blank save with his legs! However, we got to half time with a clean sheet and things were looking good for only our third consecutive win of the season.
The second half was a bit harder going. The best chance for us was when after the ball bobbled around and was blocked in the box, Manse smashed the ball in from 25 yards that the York keeper did very well to knock round the other side of the post. However, York were slowly gaining the ascendary and after a good five / ten minute spell for them, a goal kick fell nicely for them and their striker was put through on goal and Cruise clipped him from behind for a clear penalty and red card! Cresswell was able to step up and send Poke the wrong way on 73 minutes leaving the York supporters in full cheer as they believed they could now get something from this match!
I was quite struck by the strength of our bench today with Bodin, Nico, Downes, Macklin, Lathrope and Craig giving Knill the options that he has been craving for. With Cruise off, Nico came on for the last 20 minutes and did OK although a lot of attacks and crosses seemed to come through from our left hand side. From one of these, Poke had to parry a shot but a York player hit a snap shot from just outside the area that was curling and dipping just under the crossbar but thankfully towards the centre of the goal allowing Poke to get up and just tip over - a yard either side that was in and the difference between us getting three and one point.
With only Howe up front, we did not seem to hang on to any possession and it was a very tense last quarter although we did better with five full minutes of injury time and seemed galvanised to fight for the ball and run the clock down with little mishap!
So our first double and another three points with the table looking a lot better and today we won with ten men, replicating the performance against Dagenham that turned things around from what seemed to be rock bottom! The battle is not over yet but things a looking a lot more promising that we will be seeing league 2 football again next year!
Great win and a game of two halves. Thought we were very good first half with some great passing and moving, Chappell looks a quality acqusition. Second half was more about determination and desire, especially after the red card...the last 20mins was certainly hard on the nerves! Obviously still very tight at the bottom and we are not clear yet but we are getting the confidence and momentum which should stand us in good stead. Thought MacDonald was very good again today against a very tricky and experienced Cresswell, could we sign him up for next season? I mean sign Macdonald not Cresswell!!
Thought MacDonald was very good again today against a very tricky and experienced Cresswell, could we sign him up for next season? I mean sign Macdonald not Cresswell!!
He was my man of the match today as well. Put in a really mature performance against a wily old pro and that includes sticking up for himself for the booking. Whenever I have seen MacDonald I have been impressed. First half some of the passing and movement down the left (Pop) was top drawer. Rene was popping up everywhere with some lovely and intelligent passing. As for Jarvis - rightly described by Knill as an intelligent player in his post match interview - that goal was special. I thought Nico looked quite sharp from the off when he came on. He'll want to keep his place, so we'll get a good performance out of him at Northampton, I reckon. Definite red for me, but more heel clip than lunge from my angle. It was my first viewing of Labadie. Just what the Doctor ordered and Mansell is clearly benefitting from this and the outlets of Jarvis and Chapell and a more pressing and aggressive approach. I forget Knill's words but aggression was one of them? Was surprised Knill thought we were poor in the first half, although pleased to hear it. Certainly Cruise's positioning that allowed the tricky throughout Chambers a gift of a header was a lowlight of that first 45. Benyon scoring was a big plus. I wouldn't play him away from home, but why change a winning formula?
That is the most tense I have ever been at a football match.
Here are my player ratings:
Michael Poke 8/10 Soild performance by Poke. Saved us with a great tip over at 2-1.
Joe Oastler 6/10 Once again we see the good and the bad side of Joe. One moment he does something good at then he would ruin that by making a mistake.
Brian Saah 8/10 Like Poke consistent week in week out. Soild game once again.
Angus MacDonald 8/10 Proved Knill's decision to play him instead of Arron Downes right with a great display.
Thomas Cruise 5/10 Solid up until the changing point of the game. A stupid rash tackle he didn't need to make. The player was going away from goal slightly and maybe Poke could have saved it. Even if he had made it 2-1 Torquay still would have had 11 men.
Ryan Jarvis 8/10 m.O.m What a different player he is under Knill. He now has pace, more commitment and a great shot. Would he have scored that wonder goal under Ling?
Lee Mansell 7/10 Did the expected and once again covered every single blade of grass on the pitch.
Joss Labadie 7/10 Same performance as Mansell. They are both great players in the engine room of the midfield.
Jordan Chapall 7/10 Showed great pace. Not as involved as the Chesterfield game but a good performance.
Elliot Benyon 7/10 Got his first goal in his loan spell. A great poachers goal.
Rene Howe 6/10 Did a few good things but he was a bit quiet for my liking.
Kevin Nicholson 6/10 Did well enough but got beaten for pace a few times though.
Billy Bodin ? Was not long enough on the pitch to make an impact.
Alan Knill 9/10 It is starting to look like he is going to be our hero. If we stay up I don't think I'm the only one that wants Knill to stay and Ling to go.
Ref: 7/10 I think the ref was quite good today. Had no choice with the Cruise sending off. I was quite worried at the beginning. I had bad memories of him in the 0-0 draw with Plymouth earlier this season.
Torquay fans: 9/10 Great home support. Same again for Bradford game!