FL2: Torquay United v Cheltenham Town - 21 September 2013 Sept 22, 2013 13:18:49 GMT
Post by Alpine Joe on Sept 22, 2013 13:18:49 GMT
If you can't get to many games, then as long as you attend the home match versus Cheltenham each season you won't go far wrong. For quality of play I'd pick out the home league match v The Robins as a highlight of 2011/12; The precocious teenage talents of Billy Bodin being the abiding memory as he skipped past a couple of challenges before firing a low shot into the corner of the net for a super goal. Bodin seemingly already displaying that he was too talented for League 2. Forward to last Season and the Cheltenham game was our first home match of the season. I went along resigned to the fact it couldn't possibly be as good as the previous season, yet it turned out to be better, with skilful football from both sides as the game yet again finished 2-2.
So here we are in season 2013/14 and for the third season running Cheltenham turn up and score their regulation 2 goals.This time however they managed to concede 4. Much easier for the Cheltenham fans to pinpoint where they've developed a particular weakness, as they've still got a potent attack. In the latter stages of the game they summoned Cureton off the bench whereas we brought on Benyon.
A crowd of 2407 at Plainmoor yesterday afternoon, including some of the crew of HMS Protector, taking in a final match before a 2 year stint on patrol in the Antarctic. Unbeknown to us at the time, Felix was embarking on an uphill expedition, in the hope of reaching the summit by 3pm. Luckily he was able to plant his flag on Bristow's Bench just in time and was duly rewarded with an entertaining match.
The early goal made all the difference. How much better the Hartlepool 0-0 might have been had the away team had to chase the game from early doors. With Benyon safely off the field and unable to again chalk off Callum's efforts, the loan man struck twice in the first half. The talking point however, concerned the validity of the Cheltenham goal scored in the 13th minute. A clumsy challenge from Captain Fantastic was penalised, and Chelts took their free kick quickly knocking it out wide to the Popside. A cross came over and an unmarked Harrison casually nodded it into the net. With no offside flag materialising, and no Dickie Dusting available these days to sweep up, we have to conclude that a less than fully alert defence must admit they should have done better.
With kick off having been slightly delayed to allow Felix to get his breath back we're ready to go, and the six goal thriller can commence.
The crowds flock to TQ1 to see if Knill has actually sorted it out yet.
The late first half goal by Callum Ball brought us to the interval with the scoreline reading: Gulls 2 Robins 1
Jim McNichol, still shaking his head at the thought of the Cheltenham goal, came onto the pitch to draw the 50/50 prize winning ticket. Jim selected ticket No.57742 which was worth £300 to the fortunate holder. Mike from Torquay also came onto the pitch, and after removing one shoe tried his luck from the penalty spot. Fluffing all his attempts at getting the ball through the necessary holes in the sheet, he won't be winning the end of season holiday to Ibiza.
Karl Hawley isn't getting any younger or faster, but his quickness with two strides to get to a through ball that really should have been the defenders, emphasised Hawley's speed of thought and reactions. It set up a little move that when the ball again came back to Hawley shortly after, he was able to drive a hard low shot that evaded a forest of legs and flew into the goal to give us what was starting to look like a comfortable lead.
It didn't feel so comfortable when Terry Gornell found himself with the ball at his feet and slotted it between Martin Rice's legs to reduce our lead to just the one goal.
The worry was that Cheltenham would pour forward and pressure us into conceding again. It was vital we gave them something to worry about, and force them to keep men back. Enter 'EFB' in the 71st minute! Benyon's fresh legs scampered around in the usual fashion and although he didn't manage to get onto the scoresheet, he contributed adequately to the last 20 minutes or so, the highlight of that time being the finely worked goal which saw Jordan Chappell notch number 4 for us a few minutes from the final whistle.
I had an extra spring in my step on the way back to the car, and just as I was about to barge an OAP off the kerb in Warbro Road, I noticed it was Frank O'Farrell making his way home. Canvassing Frank's opinion on the game, he was particularly effusive about our fourth and final goal.
We've not been transformed into a team that can chase for promotion, and we'll rarely have the fortune to play against a defence that is as rocky as the one Cheltenham currently have, but recalling Frank's final words to me yesterday: " If you win and score four goals, you know you've had a good day".