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  • Writer's pictureTUST

FAN ZONE 21/10/2022

Updated: Oct 24, 2022


United’s fans - and manager Gary Johnson - owe a huge debt of gratitude to the side’s two latest loan recruits. QPR winger Dillon De Silva, whose family had driven down from North London to watch him from the Family Stand, breathed new life into a faltering Torquay attack with jinking runs down the left wing, twisting and turning and putting in a delicious cross for Donnellan to head home the equaliser.

Then second loanee Chin Okoli made the goal line clearance of the season so far to deny, what in truth would have been, a deserved winner for visitors Hampton & Richmond Borough.

That United are still in the FA Cup is a minor miracle as against pretty average National South opposition United showed no signs of improvement with even simple passes going astray.

In fact when Hampton increased their lead in the 70th minute those fans in the Popside, in a crowd of 1,264 - the lowest home FA Cup attendance in the club’s history - were beginning to wind up their chants of ‘What a load of rubbish’ but were silenced with Brett McGavin’s one piece of skill as he struck a ‘worldy’ into the top corner. But for that there could well have been some ugly scenes. That goal, though, somehow transformed the ponderous Gulls into action taking them into Tuesday's replay in leafy Hampton in Middlesex at the club’s compact, homely Beveree stadium.

With the winners playing at home to Derby County from League 1 in Round 1 what an incentive, not to mention professional pride, to win the replay.


Tuesday night’s replay win, as the Gulls came from a goal down to turn the tie around, came after they went down to ten men and a generous refereeing error - did the ball actually move for the indirect free kick before Moxey drilled it into the net?

No matter, United are now at home to Derby County in front of the ITV cameras on Sunday November 6.


The only United team to have cup success over the weekend were the Under-18s who, on Friday night, ran out 5-0 winners over Bishop’s Cleeve in the FA Youth Cup with goals from Ben Aldous, Jayden Gilbert, Brandon Quinn and two from George Collins. While on Sunday the Women’s side in their much anticipated re-match with Exeter City Women in the Devon FA County Cup went down 2-0.


FA Cup Crowd Watch: Top crowd of 5,342 saw Oldham Athletic draw at home to Chester; Notts County surprisingly lost at home to Coalville Town in front of 5,063. The much anticipated Somerset derby Yeovil v Taunton went to a replay but 3,083 were at Hush Park and 2,347 were there to see Taunton giant-kill with a 1-0 win over Chris Hargreaves’ side. Isthmian League

South-East Beckenham Town had 1,661 but visitors Dagenham & Redbridge hit them for seven.

On the rise Bury AFC lost to a late York City winner but 2,069 were there.


With United bottom of the National League they are second in the Fair Play table - but not for the right reasons as this is based on red and yellow cards.

Here’s the Top Five: 1. Eastleigh 39 pts (Y34 Double Bookings 0 Red 1), 2. Torquay United 38 pts (Y33 DB0 R1), 3. Woking 36 pts (Y31 DB0 R1), 4. Wealdstone 35 pts (Y25 DB0 R2), 5. Dorking Wanderers 35 pts (Y30 DB0 R1).

Across the division to date there have already been 523 yellows, 15 double bookings and 12 straight reds.

And the ‘cleanest’ team? Aldershot Town 14 pts (Y9 DB1 R0).


This column reported a few weeks back that the National League board had been working behind the scenes with BT Sport and sponsors Vanarama to restore live streaming as long as it’s not during the Saturday 3pm blackout - on a start date still to be announced.

Now, we hear that the EFL is keen to see the removal of the 3pm blackout with streaming allowed for all Saturday fixtures as they re-negotiate their TV deals.


Last week we brought the news that the Premier League was to distribute £9m amongst the 72 National League sides over the next three years on infrastructure so it would be good to hear from individual clubs how and when this funding is to be distributed and used. What will happen at Plainmoor?


A club that might well be in need of funds is Southend United who, not for the first time, have been issued with a winding-up petition by HMRC and this is due to be heard in the High Court on November 9. With big rugby clubs like Wasps and Worcester going into administration these are proving to be tough times for a lot of sporting organisations.

And will there be any more teams following Mansfield Town and bringing forward their Saturday start times to avoid using floodlights so as to cut back on expenses?

In a recent survey of non-league fans conducted by the Football Supporters Association (FSA), in conjunction with the Non-League Paper, 47% responded saying they would support their club starting fixtures earlier and 27% said they would ‘somewhat support this measure’.

An FSA spokesman said, “Fans are basically supportive of clubs’ attempts to address the impact of rising costs and the FSA encourages clubs to communicate regularly with their fans and consult on any proposed changes to the usual matchday arrangements.”

So, here’s your chance for the Yellow Army to have their say. Are you in favour of having an early kick-off on a Saturday? Send your view to: or Twitter: @FanszoneT.

Results next week.


General consensus is that refereeing standards are generally poor across all football with a few notable exceptions. It’s just the inconsistencies of the refereeing teams, for both sides, that causes fans to be irritated.


TUST sends its condolences to the family and friends of BBC Radio Devon and passionate Plymouth Argyle fan Gordon Sparks who died over the weekend.


This Saturday it’s back to National League action with Altrincham at Plainmoor in front of the BT Sport cameras for a 5.20pm kick-off.

A first win at home would be a very welcome tonic, otherwise it’ll be back home afterwards to add a touch of gin to it!





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