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  • Writer's pictureTUST

Fan Zone 11/05/2023




With the upset of relegation still fresh in the minds of most Torquay United supporters, let’s focus on the club’s successful women’s side who, following their 1-0 victory over the ladies from Royal Wootton Bassett, thanks to a goal from Emma Hunt Young Player of the Season, clinched the title of the Women’s South-West Regional Premier League. Their reward is promotion to the National League.

Having lost their opening match at the start of the season Steve Elswood’s side went unbeaten to pip rivals Bristol Rovers to the championship.

The women’s side has benefitted from greater coverage and support from inside Plainmoor with their kit the same as the men’s to underline the corporate approach. They were also allowed to play at home for the first time with hopefully more Plainmoor appearances to come.

The team celebrated their achievement in the Number 10 restaurant at Plainmoor last week at which Ocean Latto was the Supporters’ Player of the Season while Most Improved went to keeper Emma Ayres. Congratulations too to Sasha Mole for club Player of the Season and Goal of the Season. Golden Boot Winner was Connie Pengelly. Manager’s Player was Rhi Bailey and Players’ Player went to Tracey Cross.

TUST was pleased to be major sponsors of the women this season.


Last Wednesday the promised retained list was announced with very few surprises. There were some who were sorry to see Ali Omar let go, mainly because of his infectious enthusiasm but not possibly for his positional ability.

With maybe the exception of Brett McGavin, who figured occasionally from the bench in the last eight games when the ‘new look’ side played in the manner fans had wanted all season, supporters were not impressed to have confirmation that Hanson, Marshall and Crowe had been given two year contracts last summer. Just because they have contracts doesn’t necessarily mean they will stay.

Another topic that has got fans hot under the collar was the news that last year’s academy players who had been given professional contracts were let go. In particular many feel Alex Moyse has been hard done-by, not having been given a chance as his pre-season displays suggested he could have a future.

Mention is made once again about the successful conveyor belt of talent through Exeter City’s academy which often results in their selling of star pupils for considerable sums. By comparison Torquay’s production line has produced zero players for the first team let alone a £million transfer!

Johnson tells us that recruitment is already under way so a decent signing soon would no doubt help season ticket sales. And, as if on cue, the club announced the big news of four signing new contracts: keeper Mark Halstead, defender Ollie Tomlinson and key mid-fielders Tom Lapslie and Kevin Dawson.

Many clubs have had their Early Bird sales going for some time and as an example Oldham announced over the weekend sales of 3,600. By comparison Torquay keep their figures firmly under wraps.


Play-Off Crowd Watch: Notts County won a thriller over Boreham Wood with 15,617 and Chesterfield pulled in 9,657. Woking’s quest for EFL status came to an end with a 2-1 home defeat to Bromley in an Eliminator in front of 5,033. Elsewhere, in the National South Eliminator Worthing beat Braintree 2-1 watched by 2,678; Warrington Town won the Northern Premier Final 1-0 with 2,550 watching. On Sunday National North and South semi-finals: Chester 4,479, Dartford 3,234 and King’s Lynn 3,002 were the outstanding numbers.


There’s been a great fanfare applauding Wrexham’s and Notts County’s mammoth points tallies but three other clubs have matched them: Brislington won the Toolstation Western League Division 1 with 110 points while Ascot United won the Cherry Red Combined Counties League with 102 points and Plymouth Argyle finished with 101.


The final National League Average attendances for 2022-23:

1. Wrexham 9,973, 2. Notts County 8,303, 3. Chesterfield 7,043, 4. Oldham 6,662, 5. Southend 6,040, 6. York City 4,827, 7. Scunthorpe 3,259, 8. Woking 2,734, 9. Yeovil 2,730, 10. Bromley 2,585, 11. Torquay 2,422.


Down Memory Lane: May 4 1996 United finished bottom of League 2 with only 29 points, Goals For 30, Goals Against 84. But were saved from relegation due to Stevenage’s ground failing to meet the minimum requirements.

May 8 2004 United needed to win at Southend on the last day and Huddersfield not win at Cheltenham for promotion from Division 3. Early goals from Steve Woods and David Graham saw United edge home as Huddersfield drew.

May 9 1987 United’s last day Great Escape with a 2-2 draw against Crewe thanks to Bryn the Police dog.


Saturday’s National League Final at Wembley puts the team who finished second, Notts County, up against the third finisher, Chesterfield, after both clubs won their semi-finals 3-2 after extra time. Both were pulsating watches with late goal dramas, lengthy added times and at Chesterfield play suspended for a drone hovering over the pitch.

With two huge sides in the final, only one can go up and so underlines the case for three-up from the National League - and surely this change has to come soon.


More woe at Southend. Having successfully negotiated a High Court winding-up petition two months ago, the club finds itself back there next week. This will be their 18th petition over the past 25 years the club has been owned by Ron Martin.

The Shrimpers Trust, along with a number of other groups, have said that Martin’s position is untenable. He has recently put the club up for sale. Currently the club is under a transfer embargo stopping them from offering contracts and signing players.

By contrast there’s good news for those following Bury FC. After months of wrangling the Shakers Community and Bury FC Supporters Society have voted to amalgamate.

The motion to adopt Gigg Lane Stadium as the football club’s home playing venue was approved by 97% of the vote.

The motion to adopt Bury Football Club as the playing name was approved by 92%.


Congratulations to our friends up the road as Plymouth Argyle are promoted as champions from League 1 but now we will be four divisions apart.

Seems there are mixed feelings about the club’s season tickets ranging from those who say no we’re not renewing to those who feel the prices are too high for National South. At the end of the day people will have to make up their own minds.

So, which team deserves to go up with Wrexham, Notts County or Chesterfield?

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