A win is a win, any win is a good win; and we won!
Good day for me having watched Anthony play this morning for Arsenal Development in a game where he played in unusual positions for him...................left of midfield (although he has there occasionally for A Class) and then in the second half at the back. Makes no difference to him he just gets on with winning and then passing the ball rather than hoofing it and taking advantage of his two footedness. We say goodbye to him on Tuesday (his birthday) when he goes off with Arsenal on a mini tour to the Southampton area for two games, training sessions and three nights away.
The Gulls are now nine points safe with that superior goal difference, let's look to everyone to settle down a bit more now.
Massive victory for us today and great to see the "useless" Kevin Nicholson back in the team. As far as Jake Thomson is concerned, it is not a case of seeing "issues" when there are not any. There obviously is an "issue" with this player because he has not been included in the squad at all since the player himself stated that he had played his last game for us. To suggest that he is back with his home club "being freshened up" is in all honesty quite hard to believe. Anyway when I turned the radio on just before half time it was very disappointing to hear that we were losing yet again, but gratifying to hear us turn it around spurred on by a brillaib pefrormance by Carayol by the sound of it.
A vital 3 points for the Gulls today and for the first time this season we won after coming back from a losing position. Over the full match it was a thoroughly deserved victory. Crowd over 3,000 including the watching Paul Sturrock and Steve Perryman, a decent turn-out of around 400 from Shrewsbury. Sponsors MOTM Carayol playing on the right wing continued with his impressive recent performances showing great close control and skill and had the beating of the Shrews defenders.
The first 20 minutes Torquay started brightly and at times played some enterprising football spreading the ball around well creating space. The first half summed up Torquay's season however. We had a few chances but did not convert them. Zebroski hit a long range dipping shot but their keeper tipped over well. We had other chances but Wroe and Rendell should had done better. Shrewsbury had a decent spell of pressure and there were warning signs for Torquay. On one occasion a Branston covering header just went wide of his own post and was very nearly an own goal and Bevan had to parry a shot from 20 yards. Shortly afterwards Shrewsbury did find the back of the net. Following a corner there was a bit of a scramble that ended with the ball hitting off Beven into the net. A bit of a messy goal to concede and Torquay did not look assured defending corners. Personally I like to see defenders covering both posts at corners, we let a soft goal from a corner at the near post last week as well ! Bevan made a great save getting a firm hand to push the ball away to keep the score at 1-0. Torquay got back into the game again but at half-time you could not see where a goal was coming from.
Ellis was the answer scoring just 2 minutes after the restart from a Nicholson corner. I certainly took me by surprise as I had popped to the toilet and missed the goal ! Torquay really upped the pace in the second half and was putting good pressure on Shrewsbury. Torquay's star today was Carayol who constantly sliced open the Shrews defence to setup chances. Torquay's winner was a messy goal from another Nicholson corner, Ellis won it then Robertson and Rendell got the finishing touch from close range. Torquay nearly got a third on a couple of occasions. Benyon through on goal hit it well but their keeper parried it. Carayol later hit a low, hard shot that was destined for the corner of the goal but their keeper made a sharp save down to his left to get his fingertips to it.
The last 10 minutes were quite nervy at 2-1 as Shrewsbury pressed hard for an equalizer but we held out this time for a vital win. Stevens came on for Carayol with about 10 minutes to go and in the 4 minutes of added time Charnock replaced Benyon.
So a vital win in the end and Torquay mixed it well over the 90 minutes. It was a good attacking display passing the ball well at times, using the wings well particularly Carayol, and ofcourse there was good old Nicholson again. His deliveries from his throws and foot again were second to none. Up front Benyon and Rendell stuck at it well. I thought Rendell had a strong second half, and Benyon again put himself about really well. In defence Branston again bossed things well. Last mention, I thought the Plainmoor crowd did its bit as well and there were jubilant scenes at the end with chants of "the Gulls are staying up". I am beginning to believe them
A richly deserved win against a decent Shrewsbury team by a couple of messy goals. The first one from Ellis seemed to take a good 5 seconds to get into the net and for the second I was looking to see if the Linesman or the ref was going to disallow it for some reason but thankfully he didn't.
The first half was a full blooded affair. Both sides went close but Shrewsbury probably just edged both possesion and looked particulary dangerous from corners.
But in the second half we were excellent. Mustapha Carayol ran like the wind. Benyon and Rendell ran their socks off, Branston and Ellis looked nice and solid. Mansell had a good second half. Nicholson gave us throw ins and decent corners and wasn't caught out defensively.
A word on today's referee. He had a good first half and then had a lousy second half giving some mystifying decisions.
But in all in all a very deserved and a rather important win.
Proper game. Proper result. Proper relaxed for a change!
Definitely deserved win against a desperate Shrewsbury who needed nearly as much as we did, just as predicted. Full credit to all the players who gave it everything particularly in the second half and it could quite easily have bee four or five for us if we had taken all our chances. At half time I was stood at the back of the Pop trying my hardest to numb my emotions as it looked like it was going to be another one of those days - loads of chances and the odd one to them and they take it. But we didn't give up for a second and with the outstanding Mussy Carayol constantly terrifying there full backs it was a delight to watch at times. Why has it taken so long for him to make the side? The lads has come of age and is a future star if he continues to perform at the level he showed today. A natural talent who has really upped his game. Nicho, what a waste not playing him the last few months we all know his shortcomings and lack of pace but they are far out weighed by his other very valuable attributes played very well considering he has had little match practice in recent months. Why has it taken so long for PB to realise it!! Zebs I suppose was the one to suffer most with Nicos inclusion as he was obviously tasked to cover for Nico and covered miles of ground and help nulify the threat on that side. Rendell was superb second half and won plenty of ball both in the air and on the ground and got better as the game wore on along with Elliot who did his usual and ran and ran till he dropped. Wroe again a bit disappointing for me looks to be lacking in confidence the season looks to have taken its toll on him and looks lonely without a "Hargreaves" to pass to. The back pairing deserve a mention Ellis was dominant in the air and very determined not to make another costly mistake and also popped up with that vital goal, Branston is what he is a stopper - no pace, no finesse but just what we need at times like these and you would want him along side you in any trench warfare! Robbo and Manse played well without being spectacular. Most importantly we really looked a threat second half I just hope we can carry this through until the end of the season now and I can enjoy the hot dry summer that is on the way!
My education started when I left Highweek School for boys..
At last..........this bloody frustrating team realize that to win games in this league.......you have to give everything, we won this game because we wanted it far more than a talented but rather lightweight Shrewsbury side.
1st half really typified this season for me, plenty of possession, loads of corners yet their keeper had very little to do.........we lacked belief around their box and three or four of them were definitely not giving it their all, thankfully due to a half time rocket from the manager all 11 of them upped their game in the 2nd half and we brushed Shrews aside, with some better finishing it could have been more comfortable.
We conceded another soft goal, when we were slow to react to a corner after 20 mins first, when we lost the 1st header which was flicked to the back post and secondly, when we allowed Holden, Shrews excellent RB, the time to fire the ball across a crowded goalmouth.......og 0-1. Thankfully the center halves were much better as the game wore on.
We got the perfect start to the 2nd half, when Nicho's 10th or 11th corner on the money.......was finally attacked by a Torquay head, Ellis heading home well via a deflection by a defender on the line. We then tore into them in search of a second.....with Carayol running at them with pace and purpose, Benyon hassling their defenders and Rendell playing like a proper CF........Muzzy probably shaded MOM due to the fact that he should have got it last week but in my book Rendell was excellent today, he gave every drop to the cause and his link up play and physical presence was superb in that second half. The 2nd goal came from another Nicho inswinger......played deep to Ellis who powerfully headed back across goal for Robertson to nod towards the line and Rendell apparently getting the last touch to force it over the line despite a desperate clearance from a Shrews defender.
5 mins later, Rendell played Benyon in brilliantly for a 1 on 1, he shot straight at the advancing keeper unfortunately and the chance to clinch the game at that stage went.....
Despite several substitutions.......their was no way back for the Shrews in the last 25 minutes and we played out the game, still on the front foot, reasonably comfortably.
Those of us in the Nicho camp - will feel vindicated today, how we've missed those throws and corners........he looked fit and sharp and Shrews were never a threat down his side, he easily looked a League quality left back today. Branston was great at the back, he's so dominating in the air, we must try hard to sign this guy for next season, i do wonder though, why he stays back for corners?......perhaps its his "breather time". Wroe and Mansell in midfield were so much better today, Wroe kept his passing simple and Mansell was everywhere.......not a lot of skill from Manse but what commitment he showed. Benyon gave his all as always and ran himself into the ground........he teed himself up well 3 or 4 times in and around the box only to have his shot blocked.........if he just had that extra yard of pace, extra split second of speed of thought, we would have some player on our hands......so frustrating!
So the gaps now 9 (effectively 10)........finally our 1st win when coming from behind this season............the table looks much better reading tonight and hopefully the team will take confidence from this game and not give us heart attacks for the final month of the season........we're not the finished article yet by any means, the guts that were shown today need to be repeated far more often.
My thought process was exactly as outlined by Chris Hayes for both of our goals- even with our players celebrating back to the half way line the ref was still not filling me with confidence that he had given the goal!
In general terms I thought that was a really open and entertaining game - easily the best I have seen this season - against a team that have quality and at times can be easy on the eye. Rather like Swan Gull, I feared for us at half time as I could not see how we would score. The effort was there, but little quality other than hoping for something from a Nico long throw or corner. The signs were there from Carayol, but too often in the first half there was no end product. Once the Shrews went ahead, they seemed to grow in confidence and I thought we would be beaten by two or three. At a crucial time, Bevs made a decent low save to keep us in it to HT.
Fair play to Buckle's half time team talk - we came out and took the game by the scruff of the neck in the second half. We should have made it more comfortable for ourselves, as Muzzy ran them ragged - this time with a more composed end product. There were the usual panic stations in the last ten minutes or so, but we saw the game out quite well. Would be interested in seeing the penalty incidents again, as I fully expected one of them to be given. I agree that the ref lost the plot in the second half.
Other general observations:
Other than in carrying out his defensive duties Zebs had a shocker - his first touch was well off, but he did well to keep on going;
Muzzy looked a constant threat throughout the second half and they couldn't handle him and he should have been offered more protection from the referee;
Rendell and Benners ran their socks off all day today. That is the best I have seen Rendell play;
Buckle sensibly continues to leave out Jake Thomson allowing him to recharge his batteries after a tiring 45 minutes six weeks ago.......and why on earth should be believe anything else?! We must remember player burn out factor for these type of youngsters. Buckle's excellent managment will see Thomson being a very effective non playing squad member well into his 50s! Anyone who swallows the club line on that would have us believing that Chris Roberts is going to build a nice new stadium on the sea front for us! He is a talented player for this level. He should be in the squad or back at his parent club for good.
That said, three vital, vital points and a second half performance we can at last be proud of. Well done to all concerned. Anything from Northampton now would be great.
What a great day at Plainmoor and made all that more special with a pre match carvery in such fine company and so great to meet Ospelgull (Rob) and his two friends who are over here with in from Holland. Rob was in the stand for the first half but left his mates and joined me in the enclosure for the whole of the second half.
I had made my mind up a few days ago that while the popside is my home really, if I watched the game from there and we lost, I was sure to get some stick and be blamed, so it seemed the safest bet to stand in the enclosure next to Paps mum as we get along just fine me and that dear lady.
It made perfect sense to start Nico and once again he showed just what a good footballer he is and apart from Branston and Zebs in the team, all the other players are the ones who were here at the start of the season, so maybe most were good enough as all the other loan players seem to be no longer first choice for the starting eleven.
There was plenty of effort from our players and I did feel for a while it might be the case that we would end up with nothing from the game, due to not taking any of the chances we did create in the first half. We started well and Benyon was doing a good job up front and chased every ball, but a mixture of our players not getting their shots away quick enough, or simply blasting them over the cross bar meant we did not take the lead our efforts deserved.
As soon as we kicked off Benyon got the ball and was so blatantly pulled back and the ref who was half decent in the first half and mind boggling in the second, produced the first yellow card of the game.
On 3 minutes Shrewsbury had a good chance, the ball was quickly played up to the edge of our box to their forward who laid the ball off to his left to a player who was in acres of space, he shot at goal but the shot lacked any real power and Bevan saved it with ease.
Around the 10 minute mark we saw another good passing move by Torquay, Robertson played a good ball up to Benyon who was finding space so many times to receive good balls out from the back, he played it back to Wroe who in turn played the ball to Zebs, he cut in toward the goal and hit a powerful right foot shot that took a defection, looped up and forced the keeper into a good save pushing the ball over his crossbar.
Two minutes later and the same ball again played up to Benyon who looked up and saw Wroe on the edge of the box in plenty of space, Benyon picked him out with a fine pass, Wroe took the ball inside the box but was forced to turn and as a result fired a very tame shot at goal.
Zebs then picked the ball up just outside our box and went on a great run to the edge of the Shrewsbury box, he went out a little to wide and if only his shot had matched his great run, it would have been a great goal, but instead he hit the shot well over the bar.
Shrewsbury were still always a danger and one neat passing move saw the ball played to the feet of their No 2 Joe Skarz, who hit a good hard shot that forceded Beavn to drive and push the ball our for a corner.
The corner came in and Branston who had another fine game for us, got his head on the ball, only it went the wrong way and only just missed the left hand post when it looked like it was going to go in. From that corner it looked to me and I could be wrong, that this time Rendell got his head on the ball and that also was goal bound and forced Bevan into a save and the ball dropped down close to our goal and a Shrewsbury player blasted the ball that then hit Bevan and up into the roof of the net
Our fans did not over react and kept on singing and cheering the team on and we were still creating chances only not taking them, Wroe found himself inside the right hand side of the Shrewsbury box and hit a terrible shot that rightly got a few moans from those standing around me.
At the other end and Bevan made a wonderful save and very timely as we really could not afford to go in two goals down at halftime. We did come close to scoring before the end of the first half, a good run by Muzzy ended with him being brought down just outside the box. Nico looked like he was going to take the free kick, but instead stepped over the ball and Wroe stuck the ball forcing the Shrewsbury keeper to tip the ball over the crossbar.
So the end of the half and I felt we did not really deserve to be losing the game and felt we were very much in it and could turn things around in the second half. We did not have to wait very long to draw level and it was a Nico corner that saw Ellis rise above everyone else and head the ball into the net, only it took so long to get there for some reason, but who cares as after the goal we started to get firmly in control of the game and there only looked one team who would go on and win the game.
Benyon was very honest when he ran into the Shrewsbury box, he was clipped and could have gone down and might have won a penalty, but he stayed on his feet and only managed to toe poke the ball at goal and just where the keeper was stood.
Muzzy was tearing the Shrewsbury defence to bits with some wonderful runs, at times not always having the ball fully under control but still managing to keep it at his feet. While Zebs who was having to track back to help ad cover for Nico, started to be less effective for us.
Then from another Nico corner Ellis rose and headed the ball further into the box, Robertson headed goal ward and the ball ended up close to the goal line where Rendell forced it over. We fully deserved to take the lead and the only fear was we would start to drop deeper and at times we did as Shrewsbury were looking for the equalizer. Bucks kept on at then not to drop so deep and I think we all feared we might fall to another late goal.
Benyon was played in well by Rendell and should have scored and that would have settled our nerves, but he hit his shot down into the ground taking any power out of it and made the save easy.
Muzzy then went on yet another great run and this time took the shot himself, the Shrewsbury keeper had to dive to his left and push the ball out for a corner. Then the ref really got things all wrong, we were passing the ball around nicely in the Shrewsbury half and were in a good attacking position, when the ref stopped the game for a player who was still on the ground in our box. As soon as the ref got near him up he jumped as right as rain. The ref restarted the game with a drop ball uncontested by us so that Shrewsbury could hit the ball back toward Bevan.
Branson got booked for a foul right on the touchline by the dugout, boy you should have heard the thump as Branston's challenge from behind sent the Shrewsbury player flying, he is one big strong and tough cookie for sure.
So a much needed win and so great to leave Plainmoor smiling and feeling we really should be staying up this season and can then regroup and ensure the mistakes are all learned form this season, to make the next one so much better than this one.
Today was so much better, when we played the ball on the deck. I have never ever understood the long ball especially for Torquay United as we have Elliot Benyon. He is to weak and to small to be playing the long ball. At times we played the ball nicely around the park on the floor and looked really good, but when we play the long ball and lose it we are crap. Muzzy was class today and well deserved MOTM. Zeb was a waste of space today simply because of he is no good on the wing, he should replace Rendell, he is a nancy boy and a lazy boy!! Na na na na na na.....usless nicky wroe more like he is awful at the moment, when he was with hargreaves he was class as he had a great partner which did the play making and stucking in, yes manse does that but he likes going forward aswell which leaves a gap in the middle then a break is through luckily today there wasnt a break as shrewsbury were crap. Nice to see nico again he played ok. The long throw in is a god send but we need somone on it to score.
Even though pretty much of what I said is pretty negative a win is a win and a few points away from grimsby!!!
But we are playing rochdale next week :/ :/ :/
Get in and COYY!!!
The gulls are staying up, The gulls are staying up, & now ur goanna believe us, & now ur goanna believe us, & now ur goanna believe us, The gulls are staying up!!
Nice post Enzo. Did you mean to put the second to last paragraph in it?
It was sounding so positive eh!!
Carayol ran them ragged and they couldn't cope - Think what an on-song Thomson would have done had they been working in tandem. I do find it very frustrating that we have found and signed a player who is very effective for this level - and then watch as his performances and attitude decline the longer he stays with us. The crap written on the O/S merely treats supporters as idiots. I remember when Markl Loram was out for a month with the dreaded Brixham flu according to the official line. That wasn't true either!