I have to say that he had little to do as the midfield was generally bypassed. He does not tackle back like Hargreaves and until the red card tackle went in he showed little passion! The tackle was a late lunge which was always going to be red. I would give him the benefit of the doubt and say that it was badly timed and not malicious.
Brough's tackle was a definite second yellow. I didn't even notice him getting booked in the first half. Nor did I notice him do particularly much as we resorted to the long punt from Manse or Nico. As paulr says, the ref seemed intent on being the star of the show. Why blow the whistle once when you can blow it three times. One of them.
There was about 20 mins in the first half where I thought the switched Dsane (right) and Carlisle (left) wing play was very effective. It didn't last until half time and didn't start up again in the second half either.
Myself, I didn't think Green, Carayol or Christie offered too much when they came on. Green kept fouling his marker, Christie, probably the better of the three put himself about well for the creation of the Wroe goal, and Carayol had one moment of magic and a mare.
Their second goal was extremely poor on our part. Mansell should have put the ball out for a corner. Perhaps mindful that the ref would've wanted to get in to the spotlight again by giving them a penalty, he let their winger go right around him on the touchline. Shocking defending.
Play was broken up so much in the second half by the clown in black that it was always going to be a bit disjointed. As I said before, at 2-1 down with 10 men, I came away grateful for the point. Stevenage is now a "must not lose" game.
....A frustrating display against a battling (but v.poor) Salisbury side. In the end we have to be grateful for a point, when we should have easily taken all three.
The midfield was bypassed today, the plan was obviously to hit the channels and turn their strong but woefully slow defence. Fair enough......but why play benyon? He was rarely quick enough to get to the ball and often not strong enough to keep it, it cryed out for Matt Green today, he replaced Benyon after 75 mins (far too late).
Salisbury offered very little flair going forward, we should never in a month of sundays have conceeded twice, the defence is looking rushed and shaky and lacking in confidence. Todd is trying his best but it's obvious that he is struggling physically, the effects of fighting his illness have not suprisingly sapped a lot of his former strength, you only have to look at him to see he still needs to baulk up a bit. Robertson needs a steady partner, time to bring back Hodges for Toddy i reckon. Mansell's defending for their second was abysmal......you cant let a winger go past you like that, first down the touchline then again down the byline, he had ample opportunity to simply give away a throw or corner. The 1st 2 pens were obvious, the 3rd was down the far end, i didnt get a great view but it seemed to me that Sills was fouled while squaring the ball to Carlisle, who just had to roll the ball into an empty net, somehow Carlisle delayed and the defender got back and cleared....the ref then gave the pen. It was a good save by Bittner....as Carlisle went the same way again.
So a point and it's all back in the melting pot.......I'm away for a week to the Canaries, i just hope that we can get a win from the next 2 away games, one look at the table suggests that its going to go down to the last day.
...Yep i can also confirm that the ref was a shocker, pretty typical of refs in this league i'm afraid.
Unusual to moan about a ref who gives you 3 pens i know, but thats about all he did give us, every slight nudge he was on his whistle, 90% off the time against us. One incident summed this fool up, in the 1st half a ball was played over the top, their keeper and defender got it all wrong and collided and went down, unfortunate for them but totally their own fault, the ball fell to wroe who, with time and space, just needed to lift the ball into an empty net from 25 yards....the ref blows up and stops play! It's restarted with Salisbury allowed to boot the ball 80 yards up the pitch......ridiculous
4 goals, 3 pens, a sending off (deserved), numerous yellows but still the Ref ruined a bad game.
Well I left the game early today as I didn't want to watch anymore abject shite either from our 11 (10 later on) or that diabolical referee. As I opened the car door, Wroe equalised. As for our lot. Mostly a very poor performance. Carlisle, Sills, Dsane and certainly Benyon come away with credit. Brough was better than Cap'n Hargreaves in his last match and Wroe was ineffectual. Robertson had an absolute shocker but in general we were very shaky at the back. We invited pressure on ourselves and then got into a trap playing aimless long balls that no one got on the end of.
A valuable point I'm sure but it was a performance as good as that Karaoke kid who "sang" at half time. We're going to have to play a lot better than that. A defensive display like that only adds weight to the thought that getting rid of Woods wasn't a great idea. If Mark Ellis doesn't replace Robertson on Saturday then I will be very surprised indeed. As for Chris Todd........
No, you certainly weren't watching a different game, Paulr, but I would add the following comments.
The referee was worse than can possibly be imagined, and he further ruined a game which was already dreadful as a spectacle.
Benyon and Sills were constantly nudged off both high and low balls and in 90% of these incidents he gave the free-kick against them. He then allowed the Salisbury keeper to take the kicks 10 to 20 yards further forward. I really believe that he thought the crowd had come to see him.
The game itself was so poor that I can't think of a single worthwhile passage of play to describe. Even if we had put away the two missed penalties, there was no way that we deserved to win the game, and in the end we were honestly fortunate to come away with the one point.
The difference between the teams was that Salisbury, despite having some very ordinary players, kept the ball on the floor and put together some very clinical passing moves. We, on the other hand, persisted in firing long aerial balls, particularly from full-back, which in a strong breeze and on a very bouncy pitch, Sills and Benyon were totally unable to control.
It was only after Carayol and then Green were brought on in the second half that we started playing ball to feet to use their pace, and one or two moves looked very promising but were ruined by woeful shooting. Even Christie in his 15 minutes caused their defence more problems that Sills had done all afternoon.
Salisbury's first goal was an excellent finish by Griffin, who seemed to be very badly injured in second-half injury time, and I am sure that every Gulls fan present will be hoping that it does not turn out to be as bad as it looked.
Their second goal, however, was absolutely shocking as their left back was allowed to carry the ball from wide on the touchline and along the bye-line to set up a chance which Ademeno could not miss. I could not help but reflect on what quality we would gain by having a player like that (Ademeno, that is, not the left-back, who I thought really stood out in a sea of mediocrity).
I'm assuming that Hargreaves was given a rest, but Brough was a complete non-entity in midfield and consequently Wroe was heavily out-numbered in midfield and made a host of misplaced passes which were really not his fault.
There are serious problems in both the formation and tactics which need to be addressed urgently. Nicholson and, to a lesser extent, Mansell made no attempt to carry the ball forward and constantly lumped it up looking for Sills' head. Sills is OK at flicking on Nicholson's throws, but in every other respect has become useless and his day is done, I believe, or should be.
The other area which needs change is the central midfield, where we are so often outnumbered. Either the centre backs have to learn to bring the ball out, which none of ours apart from Hodges appear capable of doing. Or, we have to dispense with one winger and play with just the one, probably Carayol switching frequently, so that an extra midfield player, probably Thompson, can stiffen that area.
The front two, injuries permitting, should be Sturrock and Green, because we look so much more dangerous when the ball is played to feet in the final third.
Can't think of anything at all positive to say, as I was so very disappointed to watch such a poor performance after last seeing us dominate a good Kettering team.
Will we make the play-offs ? Not if we play like today in the last three games, that's for sure.
I've just read the report by Rob. Strange how we can all see a game differently. I thought that Dsane had a shocking game and it was a breath of fresh air when Carayol came on. If only he could be taught to look up during his runs, we could have a real star for future seasons.
I thought that Green also looked very dangerous but appeared to be picked on by the "referee" from the moment he entered the field. There was nothing in any of the challenges for which he was penalised and his booking for a "foul" on Bittner was a joke.
That has to go down as the strangest two hours plus of football I have ever seen, although not the first time in the last few weeks I have seen a game where a side was given three penalties and missed two of them as well.
We lined up with the usual 4-4-2 with Sturrock and Hargreaves 'rested' and replaced by Brough and Benyon, but to be honest most of the time the midfield was bypassed by some aimless hoofball of the lowest order.
There really were very few good points to come out of the game, although I thought (and so did 'Our Man on High') that Sills was absolutely superb in his new role as captain apart from missing the first penalty - and that's not a first either since the one he took at AFC Wimbledon last season has only just landed, somewhere near Norbiton Station I imagine. He gave the Salisbury centre backs plenty of trouble, despite as someone else pointed out being fouled most of the time, and was a rock at our defensive set pieces as well, certainly winning more than the very disappointing Todd and Robertson; a partnership I would like to see broken up on Saturday.
Benyon ran hard as usual and got absolutely nothing from the referee, more of whom will follow.
But at the end of the day the quality of our play was dreadful and the service to the strikers was not worthy of a team playing as a professional setup. The usually reliable Nicholson was off target most of the time and Mansell was as inconsistent as ever, often lumping the ball to no one up the right wing. Wroe had one of those days when little went right, Carlisle was okay and Dsane was fine on the left, then the right after a quick switch.
Michael Brough....well I hope he never plays for us again. Shockingly inept in midfield, can't pass, doesn't use his size to bully opponents and then, just a couple of minutes after being booked for a foul launches into a dangerous tackle...he knew he was going as soon as he stood up again. How some wag sitting along from me could claim he didn't deserve it is just beyond me - rose tinted glasses of the highest order! The fact that we played much better after he was dismissed tells the story.
Now the man in black and his two inept assistants. Well, you knew you might be in for a long afternoon when he lectured Benyon before the game about the fact that his groin protecting shorts were a different colour to his playing kit....he must have been able to see all of a quarter of an inch of the white shorts protruding from under the yellow ones we were wearing today.
And then he goes on to produce the single worst performance of officiating I have EVER seen...at ANY level of the game, including people asked to referee a match who have never done it before and didn't know a single FA rule!!
Strange to say about a game when he gave us three penalties, but to be honest Ray Charles would have had to give the first and the third ones...the second was a little cloudier but probably had to be given as well. However, why not a single booking from any of them? Is volleyballing a cross away from a striker not a bookable offence anymore? Is a defender taking away the legs of a striker when he is about to shoot on goal not taking away a goalscoring chance? Is that not a yellow card? Possibly even a red?
His treatment of the players was pathetic - explaining every little thing to them, and I had expected him to bring out a blackboard and some chalk with him in the second half so he could explain it in writing as well.
It was no surprise to see players being booked for dissent since it was quite clear they had no idea just what he was going to do next...and I do wonder whether he even played the four minutes of injury time at the end of the second half in its entirety.
However, despite my comments about the referee, at the end of the day we have only ourselves to blame for the fact that we did not win today against a very limited if battling Salisbury side. We allowed them to play at their own rhythm and did not put any kind of pressure on James Bittner - in fact I am not sure he actually had a serious save to make apart from the penalties - certainly our best chance outside them fell to Muzzy Carayol, who once again showed the composure of a legless otter in front of goal and screwed his shot wide with only the keeper to beat.
I know we seem to have the indian sign over Stevenage, but that will come to an end on Saturday if we repeat that performance and then we'll be struggling even to make it into the top five. If we miss the play-offs, I'd expect change, and Merse knows exactly who I'd want as our next manager when the time comes round - I won't have many people agreeing though!!
Ratings: Bevan 6 - little to do apart from pick the ball out of the net Mansell 5 - poor distribution and was scared to make a tackle for Salisbury's second for fear of giving away a penalty Nicholson 5 - worst game for a while Todd 4 - beaten almost every time in the air by Griffin Robertson 4 - poorest game of the season, cost the first goal as well with poor positioning Brough 0 - nothing else to add Wroe 5 - couple of good moments, but no support from his midfield partner Carlisle 6 - did okay with limited supply Dsane 7 - worked much harder than of late and impressed me Benyon 6 - given nothing by the referee Sills 8 - excellent and my MOTM by a mile
Subs: Green 4 - did nothing but seemed to be targeted by ref Christie 4 - did nothing much and seemed to be involved in the incident with Griffin that saw him stretchered off. Hope Griffin is okay Carayol 5 - so so frustrating.
Right, I'm off to do my refereeing badges. Reckon I'll be in charge of the Champions League semi-final tomorrow if I can get off work based on the fact the league seems to employ referees of the standard of today's clown!!
Good night to all TFF members and the returning 'guests'
I thought I was Dave's No 1 - in reality I was Dave's first!
Well I made a late decision to go today and really wished I had not. Here is my 5 A rating
Abject:- 1. Brought low in condition or status. 2. Being of the most contemptible kind: 3. Being of the most miserable kind; wretched: 4. Utterly miserable: 5. Lacking all self-respect
The state of our general play and most importantly our defending.
Bevan, a first half spent looking uncomfortable and displaying a lack of confidence with a tendency to drop balls.
Mansell - What was he doing for the second?
Todd & Roberston – What happened to the two heroes of just a long week ago? So outstanding against Burton and yet looking today that they had never met let alone played together before.
Nicholson – Aimless balls launched forward, only one tactic on corners, deep to the far post, no other ideas.
Asinine:- 1. Utterly stupid or silly: 2. Of, relating to, or resembling an ass
The referee, yet why should we complain, he did give us three penalties!
Brough – Stupid challenge in the middle of the pitch to get himself sent off
Those few Torquay fans who failed to properly observe at an early stage the seriousness of the late injury to Griffin
Appalling:- 1. Causing dismay, horror, or revulsion 2. Very bad
The fact that Salisbury played way the better football Our failure to score from 2 penalties The lack of any plan B or initiative to switch formation or try something different The fact that at half time I thought our two best players were Benyon and DSane!
Alarming:- 1. To fill with alarm; frighten. 2. To give warning to.
The lack of any single player able / willing to take some control of the game from a Torquay perspective. The disappearance of Nicky Wroe, until he scored The lack of influence of Carlisle Our prospects of even making the playoffs
Atrocious:- 1. Extremely cruel or wicked 2. Horrifying or shocking 3. Informal very bad
The fickle finger of fate that allowed Burton to lose after going a goal up and all the other results this afternoon The fact that our only solution is to put on two forwards who have not played for a while and when we have no reserve team in which they can gain some match fitness and practice and expect them to make a difference in the final minutes (Green and Christie)
I loved the way you did your report Andy, was it only just over a week ago we had such a great match day experience at the TFF carvery and then enjoyed a great two nil win, what a difference a week can make