FANS' ZONE 09/04/2021
AN EASTER EGG-CITEMENT AS TWO LATE GOALS GIVE UNITED SIX VALUABLE POINTS TO STAY IN TOUCH AT THE TOP
Yellow Army fans are Happy Easter bunnies after two late goals on Good Friday and Easter Monday foiled Woking and Wrexham and saw the Gulls hunt down six precious points to see them close the gap on the top two, setting up a mouthwatering match at Sutton next Tuesday.
Woking proved to be stubborn opponents but a decisive pass from Adam Randell led to a sublime finish from the returning Danny Wright to seal the win. Whilst on Monday, although United rode their luck, as the hosts came close on several occasions, a 93rd minute strike from Sam Sherring was the icing on the cake as his drive hit the roof of the net to record a most important victory. To be fair Torquay had thirteen attempts on goal with five on target showing that the early season ‘shoot on sight’ is returning at just the right time for the promotion run-in.
The win at The Racecourse was United’s first there for sixteen encounters since the Gulls won 3-2 in February 1988, in fact the last time Torquay secured even a point was March 2017.
With eleven games to go it’s all to play for and, although Benji Kimpioka went off with a hamstring injury not the same leg as kept him sidelined before, we can only hope that the likes of Cameron, Nemane and Whitfield will be available to play some part in the remaining league fixtures and, if necessary, the play-offs.
Monday was deadline day for the other 64 National League clubs to register their support of Maidstone United and Dorking Wanderers’ call for a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the chairman and board as was announced last week.
Clubs understood they needed 10% of the weighted vote to call an EGM and then 75% of the vote to pass a motion of no confidence.
In the end 25% of clubs across the three divisions lent their support, that’s only 17 out of 66 and that news came after National League chairman Brian Barwick announced he would be stepping down at the end of the season.
So will it happen or should it happen? Is there not a danger that such a move could upset the EFL?
Next Tuesday night’s opponents, current leaders Sutton United, who have a blank Saturday with their Dover fixture expunged, have confirmed recently that their plastic pitch installed six years ago will be replaced with a hybrid grass surface to meet EFL standards shelling out up to half the £900,000 in future revenue they will receive if they win the National League.
Of course, Harrogate Town had a similar problem last year ripping up their 3G surface and with the work taking ten weeks they had to play a number of ‘home’ fixtures at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium.
And it’s not just the cost of paying for the new pitch that will concern Sutton but as importantly the need to alter their business model making changes to their daily revenue streams.
Back to the forthcoming match and spotlight on Sutton’s playmaker Harry Beautyman with his eleven goals this season worth 21 points, scoring winners when his side’s either been drawing or losing. Beautyman is in his second spell at the club joining from Stevenage in 2017 with previous teams including Welling, Peterborough and Northampton after joining Sutton the first time in 2011 from Leyton Orient.
Before next week there’s the challenge of Weymouth to overcome on Saturday and since the turn of the year we’ve seen teams come to Plainmoor putting ten men behind the ball making it difficult to break down especially with no Yellow Army in attendance to act as 12th man.
This column, in the past six months, has brought to your attention the growing demand for research into the connection between heading and dementia.
A landmark study to analyse the dangers of heading is due to start next week with academy (Under 23 and Under 18) and women players from Liverpool and Manchester City spearheading the research through wearing special mouth-guards which measure the forces involved in heading.
Experts have suggested provisional limits of 20 headers per day and at least two days between training sessions. The FA and Premier League now acknowledge that heading is one of the most likely risk factors of an increased dementia risk.
With 33 points at stake between now and May 29 it’s going to be a roller-coaster ride so are you up for it? So for this week let’s return to ‘Three Word Fun’ - can you put into three words how you feel about United’s run-in? Send your three words to: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter: @FanszoneT
Last week the request was for United to follow the rule of six, which they duly obliged with six valuable Easter points.
To all the Yellow Army look after yourselves, hang on to your hats for the journey ahead and, when offered, get your vaccination.