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FANS' ZONE 03/09/2021


A shell-shocked Gary Johnson and the Plainmoor faithful went away after a Blank Holiday drubbing at the hands of a Woking side that controlled the game from start to finish as the Cards dealt United a bitter home defeat.

Contrast that gutsy showing on Saturday with Monday’s even though, on paper, Johnson fielded a stronger starting eleven, two down after four minutes and another player sent off after 24, it was always going to be a mountain to climb.

The manager cut a predictably dejected figure in his post match interview stating, “We have to turn this lot around or with another group.”

Ryan Dickson, as summariser on BBC Radio Devon, highlighted the Gulls’ lack of physicality against a much stronger side as well as singling out Joe Lewis as United’s best player.

So, two home losses, with seven goals conceded, and no sign of ‘Fortress Plainmoor’. What’s also worrying is the team’s disciplinary record - now two reds and eleven yellows.

Can we expect some transfer activity this week? In Thursday’s press call Johnson confirmed he’s looking to bring in centre-back competition.

Also of concern is the reaction of regular supporters, some of whom are posting comments not just about the poor form but stating they will not be returning in the foreseeable future adding in the continuing rumbling disquiet about no ticket sales an hour before kick-off as another factor.

But 48 hours earlier it was a different story.

Masters of the dark arts? Referees ignoring the tricks of time wasting. “It’s a terribly contagious disease, 92nd minute cramp,” the commentator said during match coverage. Torquay’s tactics at Notts County on Saturday? No, it was Chelsea’s draw at Liverpool after playing the whole second half with ten men.

Gary Johnson made a point of criticising Altrincham’s time wasting on the opening day but conceded that all teams will do it if allowed, from the Premier League downwards.

Several United players went down with cramp though not surprising given how long they played after Ali Omar’s sending off. Although no-one tried Chelsea’s Thiago Silva delaying tactics who pulled at his securely tied laces, wasting time before doing them back up again.

At Meadow Lane with 360 Yellow Army singing their hearts out - or was it 630 as some claim? - it was a heroic rear guard display. Let’s look at other numbers - only 62 days pre-season, 60+ minutes with a man down, 45 minutes either side of half-time without Notts finding an equaliser, six minutes of added time and then only 48 hours before the Bank Holiday fixture. After the opening day this was a battling performance that answers your critics. No wonder Johnson felt it was a victory. ********************************************************************

A few week’s ago TUST officials were pleased to present Sam Sherring with his Ian TwitchinTtrophy. Sam has sent the following message: “ Thank you very much, it was a pleasure. Would like to say a massive thank you for all the support you’ve shown and how well I was treated at Torquay United. Great club with great fans and I absolutely loved my time. Wish you all the very best for the future, with the gaffer there you’ll always be in good hands.” ************************************************************************

Tracey Crouch’s Fan-Led Review interim report contained recommendations for strengthening Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) between clubs and their supporters’ trusts so it’s no co-incidence that there have been several agreements signed recently with Swindon Town being the latest. Swindon, under new owners, have agreed an MOU which details the club’s commitments to engage with fans, the local community and media outlets. It also outlines how supporters will be consulted during meaningful changes to the cultural aspects of the club or ownership.

MOUs help formalise the relationship between fan groups and their clubs, setting out key terms of reference for how the club engages with its supporters on a formal basis. TUST provided a legally drawn-up MOU several years ago and still awaits the club’s response. Regular readers will recall the row over the second funding allocation to the National League - was it a loan or grant? Back in February Ollie Bayliss, who hosts the non-league show on BBC local radio, submitted a Freedom of Information request for the minutes of meetings between the Dept. for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the National League. This was rejected but not until July. Bayliss has now appealed that decision and so the matter rumbles on.

TUST would like to reassure fans, particularly exiles, that it is still exerting pressure on those decision makers regarding live streaming as it’s an issue requiring a swift decision.

Are you a passionate Gulls’ supporter with the desire to join the TUST board? We have a vacancy we’d like to fill, maybe someone who could represent the younger element of our membership or even with marketing / PR skills. Further details are available, contact

************************************************************************* Title favourite was last week’s question. Chesterfield were top choice followed by Wrexham and Stockport but don’t discount Dagenham & Redbridge or even Boreham Wood.

The Yellow Army are off to Berkshire hoping that Gary Johnson’s side can get the season off and running, avoiding a repeat of last season’s embarrassment at Maidenhead.

Performances can only get better and there’s still 41 matches to play so optimistic or pessimistic? What’s your view? Send to: or Twitter: @FanszoneT

To the Yellow Army keep believing and stay safe. COYY!




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