Once again Torquay go into a match against third place after a two week break although this time we are at home. Unlike the 0-0 at the very start of the season this should be a cracking match with both teams on a rich vein of form with Chelmsford having won seven of the last eight games only going down to a one nil defeat against Slough and coincidentally lost to Bath just before the start of this run.
Most fans will remember Rhys Murphy who has been making waves up front and has been ably supported by Scott Fenwick so we may need to get at least 2 or 3 goals to better our run of 11 wins in 12. - 33 points in a little over a quarter of the season is phenomenal in anyone’s book!
Despite Edwards been injured, it is likely that Kalala will be fit for this game and with new loan signing Vincent coming into the frame as well there are some nice but tough choices for Johnson to make. I suspect he will keep the same starting lineup for the highly successful Oxford city game with Vincent and Keating on the bench but both likely to feature at some point. There is the Niate or Sendles-White debate as well but Johnson has only really changed the team when necessary (generally being either injured or crap!)
link - I see that former Torquay player IanTwitchin is to be remembered at this game with a half time ceremony and renaming of one of the executive boxes.
As I write this, it is literally blowing a gale outside but it looks like the heavy rain will stop early to mid afternoon with only a few light showers overnight and it will be dry tomorrow so hopefully with proper provision and preparation this game will be on!
The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.
I can well understand the disappointment there will be if Saturday's game is postponed, but as far as our promotion chances go, it may not be a bad thing. A tough game on a difficult and energy sapping pitch wouldn't be good preparations when we also have a long journey for an away match as soon as Tuesday.
Game called off, and we should be fresher and better prepared to face Hemel Hempstead on Tuesday, as well as having avoided inflicting severe damage on what's left of our playing surface, something that could have a negative effect, and hinder our preferred playing style for the remainder of the season. A good surface suits us more than the opposition. A poor surface is much more of a leveller in not allowing our better and more skilful players to gain advantage from those attributes.
In addition, it's a matter of opinion whether getting Chelmsford to travel all the way down to Devon for a midweek game (assuming this one has to be rearranged) might also be the better deal for us. On balance I think it has more to recommend it than otherwise.
Two teams both doing well, a big crowd, and footy when it should be played, i.e 3pm on a Saturday....yes I'll be disappointed if we now have to miss out on that. But if it happens, there are some positives we can pull out of the situation.
Nothing from our end but Chelmsford and BBC have it up as postponed. Not surprised really today has seen a deluge in the area with more to come and the pitch as we all know has trouble coping with a shower these days. It would have been a mud bath and a lottery. Desperately need some drying weather soon or this will continue to happen. Hope we don't lose our momentum that's no match time since we beat Oxford City.
My education started when I left Highweek School for boys..
A real shame that this has been called off and while it is only the first at home, that is 3 in the last month and if this bad weather persists we could be in a spot of bother. Considering it is going to be dry tomorrow that is a sad indictment of our pitch or has it been called off too early?
So who or what is to blame for the state of our pitch? Many are pointing the finger at the Truro arrangement but in all honesty there has been an inherent and long standing drainage problem for many years now that always seems to show up Bristows Bench side for reasons we all know about (poor drainage caused by stand foundations lack of winter sun /daylight etc) Plenty of time and money was spent pre-season and If i recall the surface was stripped bare in preparation for the additional punishment it would have to take with the extra games. The pitch looked superb, the best I can ever remember but its become quite obvious that the route causes of the drainage problems particularly over that side were never addressed properly or resolved in any shape or form.
Short term we can only pray for some drying weather and hope that it doesn't have an adverse effect on our promotion push. Long term I doubt very much that the route cause of the problem will ever be resolved. We've had plenty of tries at it and its just always ended up like a bog at this time of year.
Even though the squad appears to handle the conditions well I fear It could still cost us by losing momentum or having to play games on a lottery of a pitch and the odd fluke result. Whatever we are sure to know the answer come May.
It has suffered since our groundsman was lost to Plymouth Argyle. Importantly, that also came at the same time as a home game where it chucked it down and got churned up, which was very unfortunate. Chris Ralph was a very skilled groundsman and we were lucky to have him. I understand he was on hand to give advice not so long ago, but his award winning skills are elsewhere now.
I appreciate some will read this as criticism of those of the ground staff who were left when Chris Ralph was headhunted, but that is not my intention. They will have worked their arses off to make the pitch better and are learning the role of head groundsman, number 2 etc. on the job at a shitty part of the year weather wise. As for tomorrow, though, it sounds from local reports as though the weather has been such that an already damaged pitch would never survive. One that wasn’t damaged may have fared better. But maybe not.
The pitch looked superb, the best I can ever remember but its become quite obvious that the route causes of the drainage problems particularly over that side were never addressed properly or resolved in any shape or form.
It did. And that is also a fair point. We were told it was sorted via verti-drainage, but maybe it hasn’t been or has returned.
Rob the remaining ground staff combined don't have Chris's knowledge, there was one lad being trained by Chris but he was let go then bought back then made part time so the learning wasn't maximised, one other lad knows how to operate the machinery but that is about it apart from match day preps. What with Chris leaving and truro using our ground with no one really to replace him properly then this was bound to happen especially at this time of year! 2 teams playing and occasionally training on it basically destroys any chance of recovery time. The weather and workload this time of year should have been a no brainer to not let Chris go until a suitable replacement was on the books.
I forgot to mention that Chris is possibly one of the nicest guys you could ever possibly wish to meet! He came to us a Janner, fell for our club and left with some yellow in him! He was a green keeper at a golf course just outside Newton Abbott so was a perfect fit for us, I did have to teach him some of the non gardening facets of being a football groundsman like meeting the officials pre game and answering visiting managers questions about dimensions and conditions. I taught him what I could but he knew so many more things than me, if makes any sense, I learned from Scott Duff, especially difficult task when under Buckle! The amount of times we had Barneys with opposing sides because they took the piss using already damaged areas of the ground to warm up on, the one that Springs to mind the most was the f.a.cup match against Gatwick! Steve eyeliner evens and his thingy extension! You were there, we had a bit of a bundle in the away end goal area! Fun days indeed!