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  • Writer's pictureTUST

Fan Zone 29/09/2023




As a manager, you have many tools and I make sure I use them. You do it in groups, with the team, individually, you do it over video, you do it in personal talks. I always tell my players we attack with 11 and defend with 11.”

“When one or two are not doing their jobs then it’s like a pack of cards.”

Gary Johnson after a mad three minutes at the end of Saturday’s defeat at Hemel Hempstead?

No, the manager speaking was Erik ten Hag of Manchester United before their 1-0 win at Burnley.

But what on earth happened in Hertfordshire? 84th minute Ross Marshall puts United ahead, 85th minute Hemel equalise. 86th minute Hemel score the winner.

We’ve now reached game ten, a yardstick many managers, Johnson included, use to assess how the season has started.

Whilst no one is foolish enough to think Torquay, being full-time, will go through the season unbeaten, another defeat, and in those bizarre circumstances on Saturday, was hard to stomach.


Fortunately I went to watch Taunton Town take on Havant & Waterlooville under new manager Steve King whose first game in charge this was; King is an experienced manager at this level and above.

His side were clearly not a ‘bottom of the table’ side which is where they started the day. Despite there being no goals there were moments of drama. King was booked for persistently questioning the referee and linesman’s decisions.

Then Taunton’s Nick McCootie missed a penalty in the dying minutes, had they won they would have gone joint top. Then Havant had a player sent off.

Playing for Havant was loan signing Dylan Crowe who, under a different manager looked a different better player. It would be no surprise should his move become permanent.

Incidentally, buying a ticket online for the Taunton match was so much easier and quicker than Torquay’s outdated system.


Taunton are a growing number of clubs using Fanbase, a new online set up using up-to-date technology to make it easier for fans to purchase match tickets for a variety of sporting events including football, rugby and basketball.

The benefits include, for fans, Fanbase taking the stress out of buying tickets as they can be bought within 30 seconds; for clubs, there is increased revenue, staff time is saved and importantly there is increased fan engagement.

In the past year Fanbase has gone from working with 40 clubs to 110. In Scotland these include Berwick Rangers, Clydebank, Cowdenbeath and Dundee United whilst in England National South sides Aveley, Hampton & Richmond, Taunton Town have joined and EFL sides Crawley and Exeter City use it.

Seems Fanbase is the future! And one of its founders, Jerome McCarthy, is a lifelong Torquay United fan brought up in Plainmoor. Maybe someone at TQ1 will take a look.


And whilst at it re-visit no cash on the turnstiles. Age UK have published data showing 2.7million older adults in the UK do not use the internet. Seems cash transactions are important for these adults.


Southend’s future still remains uncertain although a consortium led by Justin Rees is keen to buy out owner Ron Martin. Meanwhile the Shrimpers Trust have submitted an expression of interest through the Community Ownership Fund. The fund which is administered by the Government’s Department for Levelling Up can provide up to £2m of capital for the purchase of assets.

The Trust, who organised a protest march of 500 on Saturday, are looking to increase membership to 1906, which was the year of Southend’s formation.


Non-League Crowd Watch: Chesterfield 7,301, Oldham 6,400, Southend 5,823, Bury AFC 3,317, Macclesfield 3,012, Maidstone 2,243, Hereford 2,222.

In the Women’s National League Exeter City Women defeated Moneyfields 5-3 in front of 1,550 at St James Park. In the same league Torquay’s women’s team suffered a 5-0 home defeat to AFC Bournemouth. They are finding life tough in this higher division.


Spare a little sympathy to followers of Cheltenham Town in League 1, after nine games they are still waiting to see their side score a goal this season. Eight games lost no goals scored and one drawn - yes, 0-0!

United’s Under-18s kept up their unbeaten start with a 3-2 win at Mangotsfield.


The annual Football Contents Awards have announced the finalists in the Best in Non-League Editorial category and TorquayTalk are included alongside nine others. The finals are at Anfield on November 16 and you can vote for TorquayTalk at


In the Premier League under the new directions that are seeing games go on and on, the average match length is 101 minutes and 43 seconds. Also, there have been 22 stoppage goals in the Premier League so far.


This Saturday it’s back to the FA Cup with £5,625 for the winners. United take on recently relegated from the National South Hungerford Town now 15th in the Southern League Premier South, the same league as Tiverton and Plymouth Parkway.

But next up, on Tuesday night, was the St Luke’s Cup match at Ivybridge Town. With six full-time professionals playing it was disappointing that United lost in a penalty shoot-out after Luke Pearce had grabbed a last minute equaliser.

What are your experiences of buying a ticket for Plainmoor? or X: @FanszoneT.





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