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  • Writer's pictureTUST

Fan Zone 08/12/2023




It might not have been the fast, flowing football which was the hallmark of Gary Johnson’s earlier Torquay teams but it was a welcome home win and three points closer to leaders Yeovil who were on FA Cup duty.

It certainly wasn’t a memorable win with minimum entertainment but there were three excellent goals. United’s first from a peach of a cross from Lewis Collins to an accelerating Dillon de Silva lashing the ball home at the far post.

Tonbridge’s equaliser was a great strike but surpassed by an immediate response from Brad Ash which turned out to be the winner.


What is it with referees at this level? Many of them appear card happy. On Tuesday night at Eastbourne - where United scored four cracking goals - the referee was showing them in numbers  and one home player quickly picked up two to end up having an early bath. His departure didn’t affect the result as the Gulls were 2-0 up.

Then on Saturday Mr Martin began brandishing cards. Are they trying to impress the assessor sitting in the stands? They must believe they have to do this to progress up the leagues. It would be a lot better if referees were not the centre of attention and just showed common sense.

Tuesday’s referee, Mr Robinson, was another card happy one but allowed some horrendous tackling eventually sending off one Weymouth player. It was, though, another welcome three points.


And what about these new directives of adding on time? Saturday’s match ended in the 100th minute. Admittedly there were injury stoppages but in total there were an extra sixteen minutes played. And with matches on Saturday - Tuesday - Saturday it’s taking its toll on players’ performances and we know at Torquay there are key players who need to be carefully managed.

Asa Hall and Tom Lapslie spring to mind.

One older player who is defying his age (well in football terms) is Dean Moxey who had a standout game on Saturday rightly making the National South Team of the Day. He is so calm on the ball and for any lack of pace he makes up with his experience and positional skill.


Last month was a busy one for those of us on the TUST board. Early in November there was the Fans’ Forum at which a vote was taken to hold a protest following the Tonbridge match. Yes, maybe only 100 - 150 stayed behind, predominantly on the Popside, but the point was made and ITV Westcountry reported it in their Sunday afternoonnews programme.

Then there have been three big announcements from the club, initially a statement within hours of the conclusion of the forum which has resulted in 60+ new members joining TUST and with more joining over the weekend we are in touching distance of a milestone of 500.

Last week another local paper published an interview with owner Clarke Osborne. Whilst a rare occurrence Osborne opened up about himself but not enough about his intentions for the club with key questions fans would dearly like to ask being unasked.

With TUST trying to see if communications from the club can improve the club issued another statement outlining the creation of an independent steering group as well as reinstating meetings with TUST. We have responded to these offers this week and await developments.


Non-League Crowd Watch: Due to the weather there were many postponements but in National North best crowd was at Hereford v Scunthorpe 2,870 and in South 1,850 at Plainmoor.

Torquay drew their last National League fixture 1-1 with Wrexham but this season they have gone 25 league and cup games without drawing. Some kind of record?


So, what was going on in National South last weekend? While Yeovil and Maidstone were on cup duty little old Hampton & Richmond crept up to second with a 2-1 win over Hemel but helped by Aveley surprisingly going down 4-3 at home to Farnborough and Bath City also losing at home, 2-3 to Chelmsford. It’s topsy-turvey league especially when you note following their mid-week success at Eastbourne, United went from 12th to 6th.

Then bottom club Havant & Waterlooville sacked their much travelled manager Steve King in the week and after eight straight defeats ended that dismal run with a thrilling 4-3 victory over fellow strugglers Dover.

On Wednesday night Yeovil snatched a late winner at Bath to stay ahead of the chasing pack.


This season this column has brought to your attention: added time, Var debates, three-up, three-down in the National League now the latest idea comes from the International Football Association Board (Ifab). They are planning to trial 10 minute sin-bins for dissent and cynical fouls in the professional game, rather like the system in rugby union.

And Exeter Chiefs director of rugby feels this is tinkering and a danger of opening Pandora’s box.  Baxter said, “Introducing yellow cards and removing players from the pitch is something I would be very careful of.”

So, what’s your view? A good idea or please don’t? Send your opinion to:


Torquay’s Women’s team went down 4-0 on Sunday to third place Swindon Ladies. It’s been a tough learning curve for Steve Elswood’s side in the higher division.  They have a small squad not helped by injuries to key players but they look forward to 2024 and taking points from those teams around them.

Tomorrow, with a team made up of players still standing, it’s off to Frome Town for an FA Trophy tie.





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