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Fan Zone 09/02/2024



SATURDAY’S  DEFEAT  TO  ST  ALBANS  WAS  A  NEW  LOW  IN  TORQUAY’S  HISTORY


FANS  VENT  THEIR  ANGER  AT  THE  MANAGER  AS  HUNDREDS  WALK  OUT


NEW  MANAGEMENT  SEES  TORQUAY  WOMEN  WIN  THREE  CRUCIAL  POINTS



“You’re not very good, we lose every week”, sang three 7-year olds as they ran behind the St Albans goal mid-way through the second half as those in the Family Stand sat in stunned silence as a dreadful defeat unfolded in front of us.

It might have been semi quiet in front of the Directors’ Box but those on the Popside and many in Bristow’s vented their fury at mostly the manager but owner Clarke Osborne and CEO George Edwards came under fire too.

With the Gulls 0-2 down two bright yellow tennis balls found themselves on the pitch and a couple of ‘Johnson Out’ banners were unfurled before stewards were seemingly sent in to confiscate them.

Talking of the Directors’ Box, sat in there watching and listening were Gary Johnson, serving his touchline suspension, son Lee, recently sacked from Fleetwood and Mrs Johnson. When matters ramped up during the second half - there was a 60th minute walk out from over 100 from the Popside - Johnson son and mother left, probably advised to do so for their own safety.


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Johnson Snr made the post match press call and whilst repeating that “the boys didn’t play well”, he unfortunately didn’t apologise for what was an abject performance. The defeat making the ambition to finish second that much harder as Worthing stretched their lead over Torquay to eleven points.

There were a number after the game who felt there should have been a club statement to address supporters’ concerns, all this ironically on the day when the outline details of the promised steering group were announced.

The fans’ anger didn’t stop inside Plainmoor as a large group assembled outside the club’s offices and entrance chanting for a good twenty minutes. It was enough for the club to shut the Gulls Nest early as there were concerns for the safety of club employees.

The majority of United supporters are usually the type that just shrug their shoulders when things are bad but we now live in an age where demonstrations are becoming the norm. Fans around the country have seen what angry people can do with examples this season at Everton, Southend, Scunthorpe and Reading not to mention marches in London over the Israeli war.


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What about the match itself? It was a joy to see a high octane side entertain with fast, slick football, great awareness on and off the ball and with players who know how to score - all reminiscent of those heady United days only a penalty kick away from an EFL return - but sadly the team turning in a match winning performance were St Albans. That the score was only 4-0 masks what really should have been an even worse scoreline. This from a part time side without a manager after David Noble moved on to take over at Wealdstone.

And what a missed opportunity to gain new younger fans as the club’s praiseworthy Community Day for Years 7, 8 & 9 had to witness such an abject display.

Final thought on Saturday’s debacle, there was no leadership on the pitch although as the senior pro, keeper Mark Halstead was given the armband until Asa Hall took over late on. It was not a heavy defeat local lad Austen Booth would have dreamt about the night before as he made his debut after buying out his contract at Taunton.


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Where does the club go from here? Based on evidence so far it will be ‘business as usual’ no matter what supporters feel.

The steering group has the potential to bring supporters and the club closer together but only time will tell if it’s going to have any positive influence.


*****


What do National League Kidderminster and Torquay Women have in common? Back on January 14 Kidderminster were bottom and changed their manager appointing experienced Phil Brown while Torquay Women appointed their own new management team last week with player Tracey Cross and Jake Ellis taking over. Result? Kidderminster have now won their last four games and look as if they could climb out of the bottom four. Meanwhile, the Torquay Women, one league win all season, defeated visitors Southampton Women 2-1 at Coach Road with a stoppage time winner from Emily Eaton.

United’s Under-18s had a comfortable 4-1 league cup win over Swindon Supermarine to take them into the semi-finals.


*****


Non-League Crowd Watch: Southend 6,372, York 4,667, Kidderminster 3,298, Scunthorpe 3,285, Maidstone 3,119, Bromley 3,026, Macclesfield 3,005.


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So, on Tuesday night it was a daunting trip to FA Cup giant killers Maidstone United who have been transformed by a rooky manager George Elokobi. Before their sweet victory at Ipswich in the last round Elokobi addressed the fans before the match with a rousing speech - that’s the way to get supporters on your side. Whilst it was a spirited performance with new addition Arkell Jude-Boyd from QPR showing how to play at right-back, it was yet another disappointing loss.

For those who felt the need it was possible to watch the match on the National League streaming service but from this month they have said, due to a low take-up, only selected North and South fixtures will be shown live on a match to match basis.

United have another home match on Saturday with Slough Town the visitors. They sit twelfth only two points behind.


What are your thoughts on the current situation at Plainmoor? Send to: fanszone.tu@gmail.com.



COYY





TUST board members Rick Williams, Michel Thomas and Rob Dickinson with TUST sponsored players Tee Kapstein, Emily Eaton, Lexi Watts and Emma Hollingsworth prior to last Sunday's victory over Southampton.








 


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