Post by longeatongull on Jan 23, 2010 16:51:39 GMT
Looking forward to the match reports later cos sounds like they have seen some action!! 5 mins to go and all I can do is hope and prepare!!!!!.....knives will being sharpened in the UK and elsewhere ;D Pleased I am going out later so can keep away from the normal ramblings....no doubt will be all the questions but none of the answers
Post by ohtobeatplainmoor on Jan 23, 2010 17:14:34 GMT
Just about to drive home, should have set-off when they equalised (so should half of the team!)! Dreadful performance, although perhaps if we'd have gone 3-0 up. I think the'social networkers' will be livid after that........
Hats off to Burton (even without 11 players) were the best team by far and we were a very very very poor second. I would go as far to say we weren't good enough to come second that we were an awful third. Burton were quicker, had more muscle and wanted it more. Outstanding players for them Penn and Taylor.
Couldn't understand the wall of stewards on the pitch prior to the final whistle - scared in case the fans stormed the pitch with pitchforks.
Would post a report but I'm going out for a beer and a curry with my sister.
For anyone not at the game, my verdict . It was awful. No desire - started slowly which is a recipe for disaster as we all know, and Burton dominating from the start . Then surprise surprise we go up the other end and score. Ok thought I we should be able to go on from this and improve, guess what we were still second best all over the pitch but once again break from the back and score another. Now once that one went in my usual thoughts are we can get more from this game and perhaps get a hat full against a side fielding their reserves and a keeper who will soon be queuing up for his pension but no after going 2 up my my only thoughts were that we'd be lucky to scrape a draw. And so it proved to be. From the back line through midfield to the front line we were second best from start to finish whether that has anything to do with recent events I am not so sure but one things is certain and that is Burton were hungrier and wanted it more than us and that's been a rare event in our recent history. Even the dependable Poke was very average today and for their goals the way the back line and midfield backed of was ridiculous. When Nicky Wroe isn't at the races and a certain Wayne Carlisle is injured the middle of the park we simply get outgunned and over run and that's what happened today. All of there goals were easily preventable for the first the midfield and defence allowed Penn so much room he had time and space to pick his spot from over 25 yards a good hit though. The second was similar backing off the edge of the area again allowed Harrod in and the third was when there right winger left Hargreaves for dead in midfield waltzed down our left and cut and again had to much time to hit a low cross shot easily beating Poke. One bright spot was the introduction of Danny Stevens who made an impression immediately he was introduced and we had chances to get back in the game but in all honesty when you start a game like we did today you just know your in trouble, the pattern is set for the ninety minutes and going 2-0 up simply added to our problems and the players thought they were going to stroll it. Disappointed with so many of the players today non more so than Thomson who I thought would be our saviour but the shortcomings in his game are becoming more and more apparent. He cant head a ball and doesn't know ho to defend and may be at this level he may just be a bit of a luxury. Greavsy was MOM and yes he put himself about and gave his usual 110% but on this showing we need much more than an old head with no pace.
A very sobering result this one. And forget about the push towards mid-table, we are still very much in a relegation battle. We have now lost our last 3 league games and on today's performance I fear another losing run around the corner. Crowd 2,629, around 100 from Burton and sponsors MOTM, you've guessed it, a certain Chris Hargreaves.
As I took my seat about 2.45pm I saw our substitutes warming up and was pleased to see that Hargreaves was not one of them. I did notice our new loanee from Tottenham, Sam Cox, and was quite shocked how young and slight he looked. Not someone who looked like he could win any physical battle. As the Torquay players took the pitch after the line-up, Hargreaves took the pitch first on his own applauding the home crowd. Was this his last Torquay match, who knows ? But you felt all this uncertainty has unsettled the team spirit and the supporters in a subdued Plainmoor today.
So we started with Zebroski on the left wing, Thomson on the right with Benyon partnering Rendell up front. Burton, who apparently were severly understrength, started off the livlier and took the game to Torquay. However from Torquay's first real attack we scored on 8 minutes. Torquay's goals seem like an awful long time ago now but it was a decent goal. Hargreaves did the hard work, Zebroski floated over a cross, and Rendell headed in from close range. Torquay played well in parts and scored again on 15 minutes. Smith from outside the penalty area had some space and hit a low, hard shot which deflected off Robertson from 8 yards. So 2-0 up after just 15 minutes and Burton looked deflated and were there for the taking.
Torquay played well in spasms, as the 2 goals proved, but much of their play was laboured with passes going astray. Poor old Nicky Wroe was having one of those games where little went right. It was obvious today to me how vital Hargreaves still is to us. Committed as ever, linking play, geeing up his team-mates. Rendell was also doing a good job holding up the ball in attack. Our defence had looked solid but was undone by a tremendous 25 yard shot that beat Poke. 2-1. Torquay did have one impressive move, a cross on the right by Thomsom to the far post headed by Rendell that was superbly saved at point blank range by up-and-coming 46 year old Poole in the Burton goal. I went in for my half-time break feeling quite uncertain about our performance, and I felt the second half might prove to be a struggle. How right I was !
Torquay didn't really get going in the second half and on 56 minutes another long range effort beat Poke who was caught a little by surprise by the shot. Stevens came on the left wing, off came Benyon, and Zebroski moved up front. Stevens did have some very good moments and at 2-2 Torquay had a couple of decent chances to get the winner. Poole make another great reaction save from O'Kane's volley, it was O'Kane's first touch that almost resulted in a goal ! O'Kane had replaced Thomson on the right wing. Then Robertson had a header which looked a certain goal, cleared off the line.
Then disaster struck, Burton broke quickly down their right and hit another sweet shot on the edge of the area low to the far corner that beat Poke. You felt it was coming as just minutes before I was saying to others I would be happy with a draw. Ellis came on late for Robertson.
So another defeat but it was the manner of this one which was most worrying. In a relegation battle you need players to be counted, roll up their sleeves when the going gets tough and to fight. Yes we badly needed an injection of pace and the recent inclusions of Thomson, Smith and Zebroski was much needed. But we also need the experience of players like Hargreaves to motivate and do the "dirty" work. Without Hargreaves the team looks very lacking in experience and knowhow, with only Mansell having decent experience. So it's been a bad few days for the club over the Hargreaves uncertainty culminated in today's damaging result.
One last thing, Poke's kicking on the floor today was very poor not reaching any proper height. He was not the only uncertainty today however, there were plenty of outfield players who did not perform consistently. Let's just hope this is not the start of another losing run.
So its official, Burton reserves are a better team than Buckles first eleven and today I witnessed the very worst display I have even seen a Buckle team produce. Soulless, heartless, lacking any will to win and so disjointed with every player so guilty of constantly giving the ball away.
Did Buckle start with Hargreaves because he felt he was the best he had to play along side Wroe? Or was it because it was felt should we lose, then he would not come under any pressure and get the blame if he had not started Hargreaves. Who knows and the questions will be asked if what has been going on at Plainmoor this week, are the reason for such a poor performance.
It did not look like the players were playing for their manager, but if that was the case they should have been playing for their captain, who while was not outstanding, was our best player today and deserved to be the man of the match.
Wroe looked so uninterested and was woeful with his passing; Mansell gave the ball away so many times, our defence was nonexistent and apart from Hargreaves not one player can feel they played well or tried that hard to win a game that should never have been lost.
With no Carlisle Buckle went with Zebs on the left wing who looked as poor out there as he did in games he played when last on loan here in the second half of the season. Thomson on the right wing as he was against Brighton and once again on that side of the pitch he could not get passed anyone. Benyon upfront with Rendell who did his best and won a few headers while Benyon himself ran around and made the runs with little or no effect at all.
I drove over and thought what a nice sunny afternoon for a change and felt I would be driving home with a smile on my face as we would surely beat a Burton side with so many first choice players missing. I was talking with Jon and sundayref near the toilets under the popside when sundayref asked if we knew or not if Hargreaves was playing. We soon had our answer as we could hear the clapping and singing “There’s only one Chris Hargreaves”
The best part today was the PERFECT minutes silence before the kick-off for Mr Brad, a big pat on the back for all fans today, made me feel proud to see such respect shown by our fans.
We started like we were half asleep and I was thinking to myself if this is Burton reserves, thank god they did not bring their fist team. Young Smith was getting turned and beat with so much ease by the Burton winger and we conceded two early corners and got lucky on the second one as the low ball into the box just beat everyone and all it needed was just a boot stuck on it and we would have been a goal behind.
We ended up having to give away another corner as we simply kept failing to clear the ball out of our box and you just felt it was only a matter of time before we went behind.
Then on 10 minutes we go and take the lead and it was good gaol it must be said, Zebs had run into the Burton box but his ball aimed toward the middle got blocked and fell to Hargreaves on the edge of the box, he played it to his left back to Zebs who stood up his cross to the back post and there was Rendell to win his header and plant the ball into the net.
Benyon was still trying to make some good runs while Zebs was failing to go past anyone and was losing the ball on the left wing for fun and Wroe could not find another Torquay player with any of his passes and yet he could have got a second goal soon after our first one. Thomson sent in a free kick from just outside the box and Robertson headed over, a corner was given so a defender mush had got a touch on the ball as well.
Then on 15 minutes we did get a second goal, Thomson took a free kick wide out on the right, it looked far to long and Zebs did well to get to the ball and lay it back to Smith who was steaming toward the box, he hit a low and hard shot that would not have beaten the Burton keeper, but Robertson who must have standing close to the penalty spot, stuck out his boot and redirected the ball past the Burton keeper.
I felt at this stage that Burton would just collapse and we would go on and score more goals, but we either lost the midfield battle or simply gave the ball to Burton who always seemed to win every 50/50 ball. Before Burton got one back we nearly got a third goal, a ball that was meant as a cross by Thomson went high into the sky and looked like it was going to drop in under the Burton bar, but their veteran keeper managed to push the ball over the crossbar.
Just a minute later Rendell got his head onto a Thomson cross and forced a good save out of the Burton keeper, but just two minutes later Burton got their first goal back. The ball was played up to Penn who was given so much space, he just took the ball on a bit further and hit a cracking shot with his right foot from 25 yards that gave Poke had no chance of saving.
On forty minutes Hargreave battled to win the ball with his head on the half way line, not one TUFC reacted to it or went to the ball, a Burton player picked up the ball up with ease and played a pass to a Burton player just standing on his own on the edge of our box, fortunately his shot sailed high over Pokes bar.
So we went in at halftime lucky to still be winning the game and we did not start the second half any better than we started the first half. But we did produce a good move early on, a good ball was played out to Thomson on the right and for once he beat his man by pushing the ball past him and using his pace to get past the player and back on the ball. He send on a deep cross that Zebs headed down and toward the middle of the edge of the Burton box to Rendell, but his shot went well over the bar.
Then out of the blue Burton when and scored again, I really could see no danger of anything happening, but the ball was at the feet of Harrods who just belted it from outside the box, I thought it would go wide or Poke would save it and could not believe it when I saw the ball hit the back of the net.
Buckle then took of Benyon and put Zebs upfront with Rendell and Stevens on the right wing, Stevens at least played well and we looked a bit better, but Zebs did not seem to get into the game now he was playing upfront.
We then had another chance to try and get the lead back, across was sent into the Burton box and Thomson headed the ball to Wroe on the edge of the box, but it summed up his day when he blasted the ball well wide of the Burton goal.
Then Buckle took off Thomson and sent on Eunan O'Kane, I can’t really give my views on him as he did not get the ball that much, but his first touch of the ball nearly resulted in him scoring. Smith went on a great run, played the ball to Stevens who sent in a cross that looked far too long, but there running in at the back post was O'Kane who hit the ball first time and the Burton keeper did well to block the shot with his body.
Poke’s kicking was getting worse and worse as the game wore on and he nearly cost us a goal as he raced out of his box to get to a ball and then passed it to a Burton player, he looked up and saw the empty net, but his shot went wide of the right hand post.
I thought Robertson had scored as after Zebs was fouled the resulting free kick was sent into the Burton box and Robertson got a powerful header on the ball, it beat the keeper but was somehow cleared off the line and away to safety.Hargreaves then got a half chance on the edge of the box, a ball floated in found Zebs who headed it down to Hargreaves, but he blasted the ball over the bar.
Just when you thought a point would be better than nothing, Taylor just runs past our defence with so much ease, gets into our box and fires a shot across Poke and into the right hand side of the goal, boy after being two nil up, that goal sure hurt.
Not sure why when we were losing and with hardly anytime left, Buckle takes off Robertson and brings on Ellis, makes you wish even more that Tim Sills was still at our club and we had him to bring on.
If fans were not angry on the popside they were with just five minutes to go, a mass army of stewards went and stood pitch side, maybe they were expecting a riot? No one could see what was happening on the pitch and despite shouts for them to at least sit down or something, they just ignored everyone. I pay to watch a whole game, not have the last five minutes blocked from my view, we are after all little Torquay United and not some club with real hooligans.
Although I wouldn’t have been as generous to say that Poke’s performance was average. It wasn’t average, far from it. That said no-one achieved average today, we were poor. The worst performance I have seen from us for a while. No bite, no passion, no silky skills, not a lot at all to be honest.
At 2-0 up we had already been outplayed and I would wager good money that no-one in the ground believed we would go on and win the game from there. It was always a matter of time.
The biggest problem we had was in midfield. Wroe and Hargreaves just did not turn up today, I expected more from Hargreaves, I thought he might be out to prove a point, sadly he proved that the manager was right to tell him his playing career at Torquay is over at the end of the season. MoM he certainly was not, mind you it was difficult to chose one of them, I’d probably have gone for Penn or Macgrath. If they are only Burtons ‘reserves’ may I suggest a foray into the transfer market and snap these two up pretty quickly.
We also miss Carlisle massively, so with the 2 centre midfielders MIA and Thomson not having a good game things were made easier for Burton to run the show, which they did.
In hindsight we should have started Zebroski up front and dropped Benyon to the bench and stuck Stevens the right. We did look a little better when that happened. To be fair to Rendell he didn’t have too bad a game, but Benyon was anonymous so he had his work cut out there.
Charnock had a steady game as did Smith after 20 minutes once he realised how good their right winger was and was beaten a few times all to easily. Mansell had a bit of a nightmare, giving possession away far to much, particularly in his own half.
Overall a disappointing performance. Not enough effort, commitment or passion for my liking.
Finally what was it with all the stewards stood in front of the popside for the last 10 minutes, were they expecting someone to kidnap Hargreaves or something. They incited the crowd more than anything else today. Also, when asked if they could move out the way because they were obstructing the view they just laughed. If they have to be there could they not crouch down next to the wall so that we can still see? Just like they do at other grounds? Poor show from them I say.
If you get chance listen to Paul Buckles interview on Radio Devon, probably available on their website and the BBC's website later, I listened to it in the car on the way home and it explains about the Hargreaves situation.
Buckle explains that he didn't want him to go and still wants him to stay.
I was expecting a Hargreaves lap of honour at the end of the game applauding the fans etc, but that didn't materialise. He just walked straight over to the tunnel, probably disappointed with his and the teams performance.