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Fan Zone 14/03/2024

FAN ZONE



TUST's Chair, Nick Brodrick's column in this week's Herald Express - updated for the latest news.



IT’S  A  DARTFORD  CROSSING  AS  UNITED  ROMP  TO  A  RARE  VICTORY


TAKE-OVER  ISSUES  INCREASE  AS  TEN  POINTS  ARE  DEDUCTED


TAUNTON  HUMILIATION  SO  NO  MORE  MR  NICE  GUY



It was February 22, a Thursday, when the news broke that owner Clarke Osborne would no longer fund the club and that he had filed for administration. That triggered a 10 business day period to see if there were any interested parties willing to take over. There were initially 50+ but that number is now down to low single figures.

With the initial 10 day period running out last week, there is now another 10 business days to flush out a serious new owner with the next deadline being March 22.

There is no secret that TUST has been talking with three interested parties and these discussions are on-going. Conversations are also going on at club level as if a deal is to be done before administration it is the current board of directors who will decide.

There’s also speculation that maybe somebody inside the club is looking to put in a bid.

So, it’s all to play for especially now it’s been confirmed that the club has been docked ten points.


And it’s all to play for on the pitch too with the priority to avoid relegation.


*****


The first game after that bombshell Osborne announcement saw 3,600 show their love and support for Torquay United.


On Saturday, although 1,200 of that previous attendance did not return, those who did eventually saw the Torquay United who entertained us in that ‘oh so close to returning to the EFL season’.


Fast, attacking football with thrills and spills - just the way to bring back the crowds.

If the game had been a special meal out, the first half was a mediocre hors d’oeuvres with visitors Dartford going into the dressing rooms feeling they should have been ahead. They were clearly keen to impress their new manager, Ady Pennock, whose first game in charge this was. But the second half was a feast with three stunning goals in seven breathtaking minutes.


Not sure what interim manager Aaron Downes said, maybe the threat of a transfer down under or eat a Vegemite sandwich, or what refreshments they had but United were transformed.


Plainmoor was rocking, if not entirely on all four sides, despite the Family Day filling some of the Wollens away end, it was certainly rocking on three sides. The feel good factor had returned and, although the defence contrived to give Dartford a consolation goal, the fans went home with big smiles on their faces. When was the last time that happened?


United’s return to form was as welcome as the sea front seeing the 40 felled palm trees back in their rightful place.


*****


So, what a contrast on Tuesday night when Taunton taught Downes and the players a real National South footballing lesson. It was a painful watch and one of the worst for many, many years.


When you’re in charge of something you can never please everybody and whilst Downes might not be everyone’s favourite, his style of management has been a breath of fresh air along with the ‘all in it together’ attitude amongst the fan base.

His pre-match Press Calls and his honest, candid assessments of what happened in a match in his post match interviews are well worth a listen. Two draws, a long awaited win and an horrendous defeat under his stewardship mean in this crucial run-in ‘no more Mr Nice Guy’.


And what a fillip it was to see fan favourite Leroy Rosenior back in the ground on Saturday as he was given a hero’s sung welcome at half-time and I could swear with him sitting in the directors’ box, as he did, that he sucked the ball into the net three times!

And everyone’s favourite Kevin Hill was there on Tuesday.


*****


Brad Ash might have been the sponsor’s Man of the Match on Saturday, Aaron Jarvis made the Vanarama South Team of the Day but what about head-over-heels Arkell Jude-Boyd’s second goal in two games?

On Tuesday night the players should have hung their heads in shame.


*****


Torquay Women, also desperate for points, had a rewarding long trip on Sunday to Sussex to play bottom club Selsey Women. Thanks to goals from Tracey Cross, Georgia Chapman and Emily Eaton the Women came home with a precious three points after a 3-0 win. They have another match at home (Dawlish) to Bridgwater United on Thursday.


*****


Congratulations to ex-Gull Damon Lathrope who has been appointed assistant coach after Watford sacked yet another Head Coach.

What an unlikely set of results in National South on Saturday: Weymouth had an unlikely win at play-off chasing Aveley, Taunton’s first win in 13 games was at promotion hopefuls Worthing still recovering from losing their manager, Adam Hinshelwood, to York City but the biggest shock was leaders Yeovil’s first home defeat to lowly Welling and another home defeat on Tuesday to Chippenham.


*****


Non-League Crowd Watch: Southend 8,216, Chesterfield 7,782, Yeovil 3,285, Exeter City Women 2,660 at St James Park on Sunday, must be time for Torquay Women to host a fixture at Plainmoor.


*****


TUST, through money left over from the Premier League Fan Zone, has helped member Joe Barlow to buy balloons, streamers and confetti for the Family Stand for March 23.


These are still crucial and worrying times in the history of Torquay United so, what are your current feelings?


You can send your thoughts to: fanszone.tu@gmail.com.


COYY










 


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