Hoping for a win, concerned about possibilities of a defeat so see outcome as a draw! Just hope we can sort out the centre half pairing sooner than later (why does international clearance seem to hinder some clubs so annoyingly)? Perhaps everything will fall into place once the new home kit arrives!
A hard fought win against a side that completely dominated the game for the first quarter where we struggled to get out of our half or have any meaningful possession. Ironically we had the best chance when a corner from a rare foray saw the ball come back to the corner and the second cross to the far post was just a tad too high for Gerring to control with the goal at his mercy.
The most worrying instance was when McGinty had a tussle with their striker for a through ball with the striker going down just outside the area and the ref awarded a free kick to Bromley and a yellow to McGinty when many other refs would have seen red - May be the fact that the tussle was not all one way saved us going down to 10 men?
The last 5 minutes of the half set up the course of the match. Firstly, from another corner, this time from Bristow's bench side, Gerring rose the strongest to emphatically head the ball home high in the near corner, the same spot where perhaps he had the opportunity to place the ball earlier. In the inevitable reaction, as Bromley pushed forward Verma passed back to Moore but on his right foot and he scuffed the ball more or least back to their striker in the area and his shot was very fortunate to ricochet off his "supporting teammate" with the goal at his mercy!!!
So the second half started with Chaney on for Lathrope with the former going to a right midfield position. Although Bromley were pressing, gaps started to open up at the back and we had the better chances. The first came from Williams when his run along the edge of the area ended with a thunderous shot that rattled the crossbar with their keeper well beaten and just failed to drop back down pitch side for a waiting Young. Blissett had a great chance forcing his way deep into the area surrounded by three defenders and just unable to get enough power into his shot to beat the keeper with the goal at his mercy.
A slightly bizarre incident occurred when Moore tried to kick the ball out and the striker kept getting in the way and when he indicated to the ref that he couldn't kick the ball out, not only gained a yellow for his troubles but conceded an indirect free kick in the area - thankfully the shot came off the wall but led to a spell of pressure.
Finally, we had a great chance with Young turning defence into attack and with a few one-twos, burst into the area but was unable to get enough power on his shot to beat their keeper. We held on though and are now up and running!
The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.
A pleasant evening at Fortress Plainmoor. Maximum points for the lads in stripes, leaving them one point outside the play-offs and already an impressive two points clear of Forest Green. Bromley had the better of the play in the early stages, and in addition to that they were getting plenty of men back to pack their defence when necessary. Iit was a night when making a breakthrough suggested it could be a long time in coming.
Despite their promising start, Bromley were content to take their time and would have been happy to go home with a point. We were almost up to the half hour mark before their goalkeeper was given a talking to for time wasting. Once Ben Gerring powered home a header soon afterwards, Bromley upped the pace for the rest of the game, and the contest was that much more enjoyable.
Good to see some of the new players. Williams looks quality, with a fine shot in his locker. LRT did adequately well, and McGinty is a good competitor. Of the old familiars, Moore was a touch less assured than usual but did all that was asked of him, Blissett worked hard but couldn't find a clear opening, and Luke Young who didn't look in the best of shape in the one pre season game I saw at Tiverton, looked much better and would have been my MOTM, with Gerring and McGinty close behind.
Sam Chaney came on for the second half. Extra pressure was on him to perform well as he'd selected the 50/50 ticket No.03283 which won £255 for Alan Armstrong of Bromley !! Counter attractions during the break other than watching young Sam make such a hash of the draw, were a selection of moving images from inside a Skatestore 420 being shown on the big screen, or an impressive sunset over Dartmoor, as viewed from Bristow's bench.
God and Mammon keep a respectful distance.
Crossbar challenge only offered £25, which clearly didn't enthuse Aiden from Kingsbridge who underhit all three of his left footed efforts.
No Damon Lathrope for the second 45 minutes, but his replacement Chaney acquitted himself well. Hector's protege, Jamie Reid, was given almost half an hour, but didn't get into the game a great deal, although he dd provide some nice touches.
Brendan Moore's insistance on a ten yard total exclusion zone before he was willing to kick from his hands was a bit mystifying, but Bromley couldn't capitalise from the free kick they were rightly awarded.
Well done to Kev and his super fit magpies, but I'd take a draw at home to Barrow on Saturday.
My first viewing of the Gulls this season. The first thing to say that was crowd 2,279 (with only 37 away fans) was a marked improvement from last season's disappointing crowds and the atmosphere was decent. The big screen situated in the corner between the away and Pop side showed the action of the entire match live. As there was just one camera angle and no close ups I'm not convinced this added to the match day experience.
Torquay were slow to get going and seemed a bit off the pace and many areas in the team looked suspect. Torquay had a huge let off when McGinty outside the box in a central area was favourite to win the ball but was slow to respond. McGinty was robbed and then tugged onto their player just outside the penalty area. McGinty was shown only a yellow when many refs would have given red and Bromley shot the free-kick wide. That was not the only time Torquay had the jitters. Our fullbacks, Rowe-Turner and Verma were beaten too easily and keeper Moore confirmed his right is just for standing on by clearing a right foot back pass along the ground right to a Bromley player. We just survived that one. Moore, unlike last season, also spilled a couple of diving saves.
But the good news is that this squad is far stronger than what we had this time last season and we should not be embroiled in another relegation scrap. If we can pick up a class central defender we have a very strong spine to the team. In Moore, Young and Blissett we have quality through the team. Blissett has a lot more pace than I realized and is a real danger with the ball at his feet and winning many headers. Gerring might be a bit slow at times but he defends well being at the right place at the right time with several important clearances and now we know he can finish set pieces. Gerring also had our clearest chance before the goal but headed wide but at least he was in a dangerous position.
Williams for me provided the highlights of the match by belting a shot from about 25 yards out that crashed against the crossbar and sadly bounced on the top of the net and an impressive run beating a few players. He was substituted shortly afterwards, I think he was hobbling a bit? Sparks got involved in our best passing moves and likewise Chaney replacing the injured Lathrope at half-time.
Torquay deserved their first win of the season. Hopefully the team will gel more as the season goes on and players like McGinty, Rowe-Turner, Verma will improve with confidence. The squad is thin and we currently didn’t even have a spare central defender on the bench. If we get one or two key injuries then we could start to struggle. But the spirit looks good and when we click we play some good stuff. We might have weaknesses but we are far better placed than we were this time last season.