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  • Writer's pictureTUST

FAN ZONE 23/09/2022


Last Tuesday night was a solemn occasion with plenty of bowed heads as the majority of the 1,711 crowd filed slowly out of Plainmoor after a humbling home defeat by a rampant Solihull Moors, a side clearly not suffering a play-off final defeat hangover.

The evening began with an immaculate minute’s silence followed by a local brass band playing the National Anthem with everyone actively remembering to sing ‘King’ and not ‘Queen’.

As for the match, despite taking an early lead, a second goal of the season for the impressive Will Goodwin, one of very few who earned his wages, United were taught a lesson in mobility, pace and finishing. And when needed their defence took no prisoners and was rock solid.


It’s still early days and the first bench mark of ten games yet to be reached but the warnings are there and whilst nothing was ever decided in September, the signs are not good.  These must be worrying times for both those who run the club and the management team.

And all this on the anniversary of the manager’s fourth year in charge.  For it was September 13 2018 when Gary Johnson took over with Torquay in National South; in fact, during his first game he wasn’t afraid of hauling off a couple of players not following instructions before half-time.

Last Tuesday he might now reflect that he should have done the same but of course the difference is that when he did it four years ago they weren’t his players whereas now they are.

Go back to March 2021 when a United side played the kind of football we would all love to see now recording a 2-0 home win over Solihull Moors with goals from Jake Andrews and Adam Randell.

And this was how Torquay lined up: Covolan, Wynter, Lewis, Sherring, Law, Little, Hall, Randell, Lemonheigh-Evans, Andrews, Boden. Umerah and Waters came on as subs.

Nine of those players are now signed on by EFL clubs - makes you think.


Last Tuesday as Johnson was hoping to celebrate his fourth year in charge, he also became the fourth longest serving United manager behind Eric Webber (13 years 7 months), Frank Brown (6 years) and Mike Green (4 years 2 months). For those wondering, Paul Buckle was 3 years 11 months.

He can reflect on his first year’s success as he guided the club to the National South title, followed by that oh, so close return to the EFL. His length of service at United is not his only accolade for he is the fourth longest serving National League manager behind, in order, Alan Devonshire (Maidenhead United), Luke Garrard (Boreham Wood) and Altrincham’s Phil Parkinson.

For those thinking he could walk away after another difficult start take note of his programme column where he said, “I’m proud to be your manager and look forward to the rest of the season.”


One of the West Country’s favourite managers is Neil Warnock whose managerial career spanned sixteen teams including Sheffield United, Crystal Palace, QPR, Cardiff City, Plymouth Argyle, Notts County, Middlesborough, Leeds United, Oldham Athletic and, of course, Torquay United.

He’s recently been on tour of his ex-clubs to watch their home games and to date hasn’t seen any of them lose …. please can he come to Plainmoor soon!


Saturday’s visit to unfancied yet unbeaten Wealdstone yielded a point which on United’s first half performance could well have been a much needed three. However, as on previous occasions, despite the encouragement of the 210 strong Yellow Army, it was another backs-to-the-wall nerve wracking afternoon.

The manager promises to “get it right” and on similar occasions has done so but it’s going to take nerves of steel for supporters who had hoped for so much better after last year’s poor start.


National League Crowd Watch: Best of the day was 6,637 to watch manager John Sheridan’s last game in charge of Oldham Athletic who managed to beat Eastleigh 3-2 with a late winner.  Southend pulled in 6,266 in their drawn clash with Wrexham while struggling Scunthorpe United drew 3,758 as they scrambled a draw with York City and Bromley had a season best 3,386 local derby win over Maidstone United.


TUST’s persistence has paid off! After months of lobbying, talks with National League General Manager Mark Ives and articles in the Non-League Paper, finally live streaming is coming to the National League although it seems it’s taken an American actor to bring it about.

Regardless of this, the National League statement says it expects to have ‘a fully functioning platform launched in the second half of the season.’ So, all those Gulls’ exiles will be able to watch United’s matches that fall outside the usual 3pm Saturdaykick-offs.

Whilst the details are still to be decided, at least the project has got the green light.


Torquay United’s Women in their first home match of the new season ran out 5-2 winners thanks to goals from Emma Hunt, Danni Wyatt, Tracey Cross (2) and Ellie Bishop.

And United’s Under-18’s, under new boss Ryan Dickson, won 3-1 on the road against a tough Bridgwater United 3-1 with goals from Callum Thomas, Liam Poole and Jayden Gilbert.


Ex- Wealdstone boss Bobby Wilkinson is a non-league manager to look out for. He moved on to Bracknell Town where he revived their fortunes taking them to their highest league in their history, the Southern League Premier South where they are currently tenth. He then suddenly quit ten days ago but has now emerged at winless National South Weymouth. If he can turn their fortunes around he’s a name for the future.


Coming up on Saturday is another tough away fixture at Wrexham. With United’s mid-field trying to work out the National League, a return of Tom Lapslie would be very welcome.

Are you likely to subscribe to live streaming? Send your thoughts to: or to Twitter: @FanszoneT

Safe journey to all those travelling to Wales on Saturday.





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