According to Chelston's law of physics "We always lose when we go for a curry", I am afraid you can write this one off.
I blame Mr_W.
Last time we played Maidstone (technically a different club), manager Dave Smith needed a police escort off the ground and promptly resigned - his expensively assembled team having slipped into the bottom half of the table after a barnstorming start spectacularly came off the rails. It was left to John Impey to rescue the situation and win promotion.
The visit before that saw John Bartlett ejected from the ground for ringing his bell.
What do all these clubs have in common?
Newport County, Aldershot, Chester, Halifax, Hereford, Darlington, Maidstone, Wimbledon
I've thoroughly enjoyed the last three home fixtures especially, and overall am more than satisfied with the value for money I'm getting from my Season ticket. No police escort needed for a Plainmoor legend such as Kev, but also of course, no expensively assembled team these days. Mindful that the Riviera Ranieri has to scour Oxfam to assemble a squad, the vast majority of the home supporters give every indication of remaining sensible in their expectations.
Some tinkering today perhaps ? We're very limited as to what we can change personnel wise, as there isn't a surfeit of talent on the bench waiting to improve us. Neither would I have thought, is there any great need to radically alter our approach to home fixtures, where converting chances rather than creating them, is what has restricted our goal tally. Defensively we're not watertight by any means, but are the defenders expected to do too much too often ? and can Kev devise a system wherby the midfield can assist our defenders more without leaving us numerically short when we launch those exciting attacking moves up field ?
And if the football is no good, we'll be able to read all about the upcoming launch of 'TUST Lite' in the programme. A pleasant Autumn afternoon to get along to Plainmoor to support our team
Unfortunately i will have to miss my first Saturday home game for a couple of years due to a family wedding today. I have not read anything on the OS but am hearing the planned Fans Forum has been cancelled due to... lack of suitable dates before christmas !. There must be a reason a little more sensible than that surely. If anyone has the ear of the chairman today...a TFF exclusive would be much appreciated. Enjoy the game.
I have not read anything on the OS but am hearing the planned Fans Forum has been cancelled due to... lack of suitable dates before christmas !.
It's the first I've heard of this gullone, but IF any such thing was being contemplated then one thing we can surely say for certain is any organisation frequently dubbed the 'fans representatives' would play merry hell about this, and ensure there'd been a full retraction of any such plan to kick the Fans Forum into the long grass, by the end of the weekend at the latest.
Hopefully there's not a word of truth in this....but my advice (as always) would be to keep a close eye on TUST, as if anyone requires a 'critical friend' it's them. Just see how much of a fuss (or not ) they kick up over this. Their silence would speak volumes.
If....and it very much is still an if, what you have heard is correct, then it has Club/TUST stitch up written all over it. And the give away will have been in one of the TUST's most recent communications
'TUST would support this view' yes I bet they would
Again, let's not pre-judge, but if the Club announces that the working parties will only be open to card carrying TUST members then a complete shut out for non TUST fans will be upon us. The recent calls by TUST members would you believe, on the fans forums bemoaning the delay in a Fans Forum seemed ludicrous at the time, don't they read their own organisations communications ?....this was signalled to you !! Hector is probably already in Animal Farm mode chanting 'Fans Forums bad, monthly TUST meetings good .
It's why we must hope more than ever, that today we'll learn the club is instigating a Supporters club for those who's opinions and wishes are 'independent' of TUST and it's aims. The omens aren't good, Mr.Fleet doesn't seem the obvious choice for such a role, and the overly chummy TUST communication setting out policy 'suggestions' for an independent organisation not yet launched, also sounded alarm bells for many of us.
Enjoy the game everyone, and we'll report back later on the match, and on the TUST organised half time pitch protest demanding 'the sometime after Christmas if you're lucky' Fans Forum is not acceptable. Then again, we might see Pigs flying over Plainmoor first, each of them with a Guardianista clinging to it's back.
What do we want ?...No TUST stitch up !...when do we want it ?...Now !!
Hardly surprising, was it? I will go as far to say that the rot has now set in and it will be difficult to break out of it. It's got the same desperate feel to last season and today's latest defensive shambles had a similar feeling to last season's 3-7 home defeat to Bromley. At 2-0 down we were in disarray and the score line you felt could get worse. The home supporters were starting to turn against the team but luckily Blissett got one back when he cooly dispatched a 1-on-1 with the keeper and Torquay finished the first half strongly. Crowd 2,026 which was boosted by a decent away following of 280 from Maidstone.
Our back four resembles a disaster zone. All four of them are awful and it's more a case of who is the least worse of them rather than who is the best. Rowe-Turner all game was an embarrassment and it gives me no pleasure to say that about a professional footballer. At times he's way out of position and on occasions McGinty is covering the left back area. On one occasion McGinty ended up covering at left back and Rowe-Turner popped in at centre back. It's like playing with 10 men and Rowe-Turner's distribution often fails as well. That's not saying McGinty is good either. How on earth did he go to Man Utd for £1 million? I have never seen a defender be so clumsy on the ball and hoof it as much as McGinty. The ball then does not normally find a Torquay shirt or stay on the pitch for that matter.
However, Verma was in contention as the worst defender today the way he gifted Maidstone their first goal by "clearing" the ball right into the danger area to give Maidstone a simple tap in. The defending for Maidstone's second goal from a lofted free-kick was equally shocking. I do not know who was to blame there but it was all too easy for Maidstone. Torquay did have some good passages of play and equally there were times when our moves went astray. Maidstone nearly got a third as they sliced us open but Moore made a decent low save. Torquay were chasing the game but there was an equal chance that Maidstone might get another.
Early in the second half Rowe-Turner handed Maidstone's third goal with an awful header intended for keeper Moore that instead went to Maidstone. Moore then fumbled the goal attempt and they put in the rebound. Again Torquay had a mountain to climb. All hope seemed lost until a decent move down our left with Young and Blissett's shot was miscued but conveniently fell to Spakes who scored from close range. Torquay used all their subs in the second half and we did huff and puff. Sparkes had a decent chance in added time but put it wide and that was that.
I could not believe that Radio Devon afterwards was talking about how far off the top teams we are etc. when the reality is that people need to wake up to the fact that we are in another relegation scrap. The rot has set in and currently I cannot see where the next point is coming from. Unless Nicholson makes fundamental changes to our back four by replacing at least two of them, we are going down in my opinion. I cannot believe after the recent dismal performances nothing was changed today apart from Lathrope replacing Ward. Our substitutions, as always with Nicholson, are like-for-like replacements who add little apart from some fresh legs. At least we've got one or two decent players in Luke Young and Blissett and I still rate Moore. It must be very difficult for him with THAT defence in front of him. I do not see much communication between Moore and the defence. Just where is the leadership in defence? You would not think that our coaching team used to be defenders!
Well, what can you say after that performance? Dire, would be one of the kindest but apart from the last 15 minutes or so of the first half, it was a gutless performance cluttered with poor individual errors gifting Maintstone three points.
Anyone know what Huth is doing?
Thought that Maidstone were a big and tidy outfit. Apart from the three errors didn’t threaten our goal much; I guess they didn’t have to. Least said about the ‘sad’ launch of the Supporters club and the cock up with the microphone the better. I’m sure with such benefits as ‘Possible discounts or vouchers in the Club Shop and Bars’, ‘Free or reduced entrance fee to all Player Visits’ for Q and A Sessions and ‘Possible reduction in season ticket prices’.
I’m sure after a recent (18 months or so ago) fans’ forum or something similar they raised lots of money for a new microphone system. What happened to that money?
There were lots of Maidstone fans in the pubs and curry houses 9no vampires came near my house last night!) of Torquay last night and all bar none were a pleasure to talk with. They were complimentary about Blisset and Reid and thanked us for the three gift goals!
Five goals, though not a thriller. Damon Lathrope back in the starting eleven, but whatever assistance he might have brought towards protecting our defence couldn't compensate for errors from individual members of the back line. Maidstone United, wearing their predominantly white away strip appear to have suffered similar problems to us regarding names and numbers detaching themselves from the back of players shirts, with some temporary 'iron on' replacements pressed into position. Stones No.11 Alex Flisher for example, even having to make do with a lower case 'e' , with the rear of his shirt reading FLISHeR. But it was the lad with 'SWEENEY' on the back of his shirt who really caught the eye. Tall and upright, with the stature and ability of a younger fitter Ben Harding, there was enough to suggest that young Sweeney can continue his progress in the game, and that an 'England C' cap already indicates that his promise has been recognised.
Cap'n Courtney's passing abilities seemed to be letting him down, and he would have been particularly grateful that former armband wearer Luke Young was having a good game in midfield to compensate, though neither of them could hit the heights that Dan Sweeney was managing.
A Verma abberation for goal one, and did we get the touch that played the scorer of Maidstone's second onside ? 20 minutes gone, two goals adrift, it was tempting to take your eyes off the pitch and fill in the TUOSC application form in the programme instead, rather than watch the game or focus on the happy band of Maidstone fans dancing along to the beat of their away end drum.
Nathan Blissett broke through to provide hope with a goal before half time, and so we reached half time with a scoreline reading Gulls 1 Stones 2
It was hoped that this would be the day when an answer to the question posed in my match report a fortnight ago for the York game would be forthcoming. To refresh memories, the question posed two weeks ago was:
Alpine Joe 10/9/2016
How many other TUST grandees are currently in the shadows, ready to emerge blinking into the TUOSC sunlight on launch day ?
Was it a wind up, or were the TUST seriously in a position to boast that they'd already got one of their men into the heart of TUOSC ?. Well the first thing you learned is that the influential stuff is already cut and dried, 'A Committee for the TUOSC has already been established' announced the programme, along with 'The TUOSC will be a members club, led by a committee'. But still nothing on the 4 pages of the programme devoted to TUOSC telling us just who this all powerful appointed rather than elected committee comprised of, or what, if any, TUST influence we might find there....only a contact email address for Bernard Noble. Pre match the public address had crackled into life telling us that TUOSC would be 'making their presence known at half time'. This was surely it, now the Committee would be seen standing shoulder to shoulder on the Plainmoor pitch, spelling out their vision....errr, wouldn't they ?
But no, although old favourites such as Cedric Munslow, Nigel Tabb, and Paul Bastard were out on the pitch....had every single Committee member remained firmly in the shadows ? Today, a usually impeccable source suggests that TUOSC paid Dave Gibbins, of Spotlight fame, to turn up, and with the aid of Norman Collier's old microphone, intermittently tell us about TUOSC, the only words of which I heard clearly were 'Hull City'. 'Ah Brendan Melville....is he a committee member we wondered ?'. A nearby younger Bristow's Bencher, and owner of one of those smartphone thingy's set about a spot of detective work on our behalf. Up until this point the 'F' word hadn't been mentioned, but having noticed The TUOSC is sponsored by 'The Devon Clinic CIC', our young Poirot, having completed his investigation, looked up from his phone to utter the word 'Fleet' !!! Combining this with the other TUOSC words of wisdom in the programme that 'The lifeblood of any Supporters Organisation are the Juniors', and one wag quipped 'It's the bloody TUST in short trousers', and so for one block of Bristow's Bench at least, TUOSC is already known as 'TIST'
Who are ya ?
The 50/50 draw was worth £270. Ticket number 06984 won it for someone from Preston (the local one I'm sure). The crossbar challenge, back down to a paltry £25 prize money, gave the challenge to the holder of ticket number 06610. On this occasion the holder of that ticket was wearing an Aston Villa shirt, and also drinking coffee from his red 'Heart FM' mug. Seated comfortably, and with no real desire to make a fool of himself on the pitch...the pitch already seemingly overburdened with more than enough fools as the TUOSC launch went from bad to worse. One of Villa man's mates was sent forth, but...his three atrocious efforts made me feel embarrassed to be a left footer. The embarrassment index continued to rise as the great TUOSC launch fiasco bumbled along on it's incoherent way.
Kev's Super Gulls were out and eager, a few minutes ahead of their opponents, champing at the bit to get the second period underway and that deficit overturned. Within the opening minutes of the second half Cap'n Courtney had nobbled Maidstone No.8 Dan Sweeney. At least one important part of Kev's half time instructions had got through. After treatment, Big Dan was able to continue, but his mobility and effectiveness was now curtailed. The second half also gave those on Bristow's Bench the opportunity to impart their football 'advice' to LRT. Well, he might have been listening, but LRT certainly wasn't looking where he should have been, and a calamitous header greatly assisted Maidstone in claiming their third goal only three minutes into the second half. LRT was then the recipient of even more advice, and even louder advice, although his game didn't appear to noticably benefit from this.
The big screen flashed 'TUOSC - Proud to support the Players Fund', at the very same time that pride in their team seemed to be draining away for many Gulls fans. Sparkly Dan 'Sparkles' got a goal back for us five minutes later, and almost snatched us an equaliser in the fifth minute of added on time, but his effort went wide.
Forgetting TUST and TIST we'd played like Tossers. Home form had been good, home results had been acceptable up until yesterday. The quality, the movement, the confidence, had all deserted us.......a viewpoint I suspect, that's also unanimously held by the TUOSC Committee
1. The curry was fantastic 2. Hats off to the ref - a very impressive performance 3. Ditto the Maidstone fans. It was a pleasure to mingle with then in the Hole in the Wall. 24 years ago they had no club. One said to me he had loved his two visits to Plainmoor in the League and it had been his dream that one day he would be able to return with the phoenix club. How long will it be before he gets the chance to come back to Torquay?
1. Hapless defending for first goal 2. Hapless defending for second goal 3. Hapless defending for third goal
As Oscar Wilde once said to "To throw away one goal may be regarded as a misfortune, to throw away two looks like carelessness but to throw away three is a f***ing shambles".
What was the game like if you take out the three glaring cockups? You can't really say, can you? It would be nice to think we would have won 2-0. In reality, Maidstone may have moved up a gear if they had not been gifted the game on a plate.
Interesting formation shift to a 4-2-3-1 with Richards and Lathrope holding, Young in the hole and Reid and Sparkes playing either side of Blisset. Chaney took Young's place when he came on with Young dropping back into Lathrope's.
When you defend like that, it doesn't really matter how the front half shapes up.
I have had doubts over whether Gerring is National League quality. None of the back four against Maidstone was as good as Gerring.