Post by Alpine Joe on Oct 7, 2015 11:36:17 GMT
Well that injury time goal was a bit of a kick in the teeth, and desperately disappointing for the United players who had given a whole hearted performance against a very good Dover side who deservedly occupy one of the play off positions - only two points behind Aaron Downes table toppers.
While it has to be admitted that the 'Kevolution' may be getting off to a bit of a slow start in terms of points gained, our inspirational new Manager knows there's a long way to go between early October and the end of the season, and last nights game showed that none of the players have thrown in the towel, even if one or two of the supporters have.
As Chairman Phillips remarked in his programme notes: 'Having watched a number of his training sessions over the past week myself, and also gauged the opinion of others, there is a real positive vibe about his methods and approach to the job. As such, it is only a matter of time before the benefits are seen on the field'
Chairman Phillips also took the opportunity to make mention of one of his favourite players: John Bond, and you couldn't help wondering whether Phillip's had some of Nico's early critics in mind as he stated: 'Bond wanted to manage Torquay in the wake of the departure of O'Farrell, but the Directors thought he had no experience for the role and so he went to Bournemouth and promptly took most of our best players with him. As it was he carved out a very successful career in management, with the likes of Manchester City and Norwich City'.
A flight down to Exeter airport, then the luxury of the Exeter Chiefs coach to make the short journey over to Torquay....no wonder Dover were showing no signs of tiring as the game reached it's closing stages. Toby Ajala returned to Plainmoor, but being unable to beat the Gulls left back for pace, had a rather subdued game and was unsurprisingly substituted during the second half. The pick of the Dover players for me was their No.9 Ricky Miller, who is possibly a lad who doesn't confine causing trouble only to opposition defences. According to a local rag in Kent, it's 'Miller time' in court a little later this month. link - Miller In Court
We gave as good as we got in the opening exchanges, Louis Briscoe playing a lovely diagonal ball that lead to a cross that Fisher was unable to finish. Briscoe's fitness wouldn't have given any cause for concern based on last nights performance. He even had the energy for an ongoing niggly tussle with Chuka Umunna/Thierry Henry lookalike Richard Orlu throughout the game.
Dover gradually got a grip on the game and pressed forward. We struggled to clear our lines and the ball came straight back with worrying regularity. After a bit of desperate defending a ball was knocked back into the centre for an oncoming unmarked player to sweep it home and put the visitors in the lead.
On about the 38th minute Cap'n Angus was harshly adjudged to have committed a foul with what looked like a good strong tackle. The Dover free kick that followed was charged down by Courtney Richards and cannoned upfield and was picked up by the sprightly James Hurst who ignored my advice to centre it to Louis Briscoe, and instead drove it hard and low just inside of the far post for an equaliser.
H.T Gulls 1 Athletic 1
The club CEO, with shirt tails flapping in familiar fashion, informed us that the holder of ticket no.17322 could come forward and help themselves to £120, and Harry from Torquay promptly took him up on the offer. The bigger sum of £200 had attached itself to the crossbar challenge. A female spectator holding ticket no.17824 came onto the pitch, and then from what I could deduce, was given the option to select an 'Ultra' from the Popside to take the kicks for her. 'Matthew' duly obliged, whacking the bar with his second attempt.
We started the second half well, and within two minutes Briscoe was stinging the Dover keepers palms with a rasping shot from distance. We were still playing well when Dover were awarded a corner. The kick was delayed for a while for one reason or another, including the Ref intervening to stop a shoving match between Cap'n Angus and an opponent. When the kick was taken it was hit to the back post where a Dover player seemed to have the simple task of nodding it in from close range.
Fisher missed a glorious chance to head us back level, as his effort from only a few feet out nestled comfortably into the keeper's arms.
A little later a glorious cross was swung over, and this time it was James Hurst who met it, and with better direction and a little more power in his neck muscles directed it away from the keeper and into the net.
We entered injury time and Dover got a late late winner, the circumstances of which are perfectly described by Chelstongull above.
Disappointing scoreline of course, but absolutely no reason to doubt the eventual success of the Kevolution !