top of page
  • Writer's pictureTUST

Fan Zone 19/01/2024




267 travelling Yellow Army vented their disgust at the end of Torquay’s FA Trophy defeat at Hereford on Saturday with assistant manager Aaron Downes taking the brunt of the anger. By all accounts it was another unacceptable performance with United outplayed by the National North outfit. Even manager Gary Johnson had to say the better side had won a place in the next round and, as Johnson outlined at his press call last week, into the final 16 and with Wembley in sight.

Yes, injuries are not helping with the better players on the sidelines but as Johnson himself has admitted, those players who are available are of a quality that should be able to step up.

However, the evidence tells another story.


In the last few weeks two players have left the payroll. First Shaun Donnellan moved to Scottish Premier’s bottom team Livingstone on a 2 and a half year contract while the most recent departure was Dylan Crowe who came on as a second half sub for King’s Lynn in National North joining ex-Gull Gabby Rodgers, who scored in their 2-2 draw.

A late surprising signing late on Friday was ex-United striker from 9 years’ ago, Duane Ofori-Acheampong, but his afternoon lasted only a matter of minutes pulling up with a hamstring problem. He talked about ‘unfinished business’ referring to his previous time at Plainmoor but this time around his short-term contract may be what it says. His arrival suggests Ash and Jarvis are still some way from a return although Ash may well be back before Jarvis.

This Saturday it’s back to league action with bottom side Dover the visitors; they secured a 1-1 draw at Taunton and presumably somebody from the club was there watching. Taunton fans, still reeling from all those player departures, have set up a supporters’ trust. And the club is now under an HMRC winding up petition.


Torquay really do now need to pick up National South points as Yeovil’s 1-0 mid-week win at Taunton puts them 18 points ahead of the Gulls. The aim must be to get back into the play-off race and try to end up second but United’s away form, in particular, is a real concern. Play-off rivals Worthing had a comfortable win at Truro but Maidstone dropped three points.


It was a great day for several lower division non-league sides in the FA Trophy: Southern League Premier South Hendon dumped National League Oldham out, National North Bishop’s Stortford hit Aldershot for six with striker Kane Critchlow hitting five of them. Two other National sides crashed out to lower league opposition, Hartlepool to Hampton and Dorking to Macclesfield.

Trophy Crowd Watch: Oldham 2,819, Hereford 2,264, Hartlepool 2,129, Macclesfield 1,833.


For football authorities, club owners and directors these must be worrying times as fans show their displeasure with how their clubs are being run. It happened earlier at Everton with fans protesting at their 10 point deduction and at Southend as fans interrupted matches to protest against their owner. Now it has gone a stage further with Reading supporters flooding on the pitch to ensure their League 1 fixture with Port Vale was abandoned.

Reading are now anxiously waiting news of punishment from the EFL. Under tougher rules announced in July 2022 fans invading the pitch would receive an automatic club ban and be reported to the police. Other sanctions could include stadium closure and potential points deduction.


There’s a growing rift brewing between fans and the TV companies in the scheduling of televised matches. In the spotlight now are the FA Cup 4th Round games coming up at the end of the month.

Fans of Manchester City and Newcastle United are particularly incensed, City play Spurs on a Friday night on January 26 with an 8pm kick-off with their travelling supporters lucky if they get home in the early hours of Saturday morning. Meanwhile, Newcastle play Fulham at Craven Cottage on the Saturday with a 7pm kick-off time.

Newcastle United Supporters Trust said, “The last train for Newcastle departs King’s Cross at 9pm, leaving thousands looking for accommodation in London with only two weeks’ notice. It’s always the fans who pay the price.”

In recent weeks a number of Premier League fixtures have been changed to suit the TV broadcasters at the expense of travelling fans.


Local football followers will be aware that successful Plymouth Argyle manager Steven Schumacher moved on last month to take over at Stoke. Recently a national newspaper published an interesting interview with him. Stoke, for many, are under-achieving following their relegation from the Premier League in 2018 and desperately need a new direction and Schumacher believes he can succeed. He is certainly a modern manager who believes in the importance of data in recruitment. He says, “If there’s information in front of your eyes you should be using it, for recruitment and game planning.”


Torquay Women played their first match of 2024 on Sunday but it resulted in a disappointing 4-2 home defeat at Wall Park despite visitors Abingdon Ladies finishing the game with nine after two red cards. After the game manager Steve Elswood resigned.

The Under-18s had a comfortable 4-0 league cup win at Fairford Town.


Are TV companies ruining football? What’s your opinion? Send your view to:

Saturday sees Dover make their second journey to the South-Week inside a week, let’s hope for three points and maybe a few returning from injury.





18 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page