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FANS' ZONE 09/10/2021


‘Performance brillante no primeiro tempo - vamos por mais was the message posted on Twitter at half-time on Saturday from Torquay United AFC Brasil, translated as ‘ Brilliant performance in the first half - let’s go for more.’ Praise indeed!

In these energy conscious times United powered to an impressive first 45 minutes - in fact almost like watching Brazil at their passing best.

And what a motor Tom Lapslie has, as he was certainly fuelled up from start to finish opening the flood gates with his header. It was high octane stuff to re-ignite the Gulls’ season sending home not only the Yellow Army happy but also Gary Johnson making the result a welcome late birthday present.

With seven points from the last nine has the tide turned? This week was thought to be a good test to see if this was correct but Tuesday night’s match at Boreham Wood was a big disappointment as United failed to turn up. Another trip to London swiftly follows to play Bromley on Saturday in front of the BT Sport cameras. And will there be any of the promised new faces?

For the time being Saturday’s goal spree improved the goal difference while the unbeaten run has had a beneficial effect on the side’s disciplinary record, though Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat knocked the edge off the goals against column.

Shaun MacDonald, who had kept two clean sheets, set a new record in BBC Radio Devon’s ‘Fighting Chance’ weekly sporting quiz, players versus pundits, when he answered correctly every question scoring a massive 56 points.

Last season for a time we enjoyed the ‘W’ scorers: Wright, Whitfield, Waters and Wynter. This season we’re celebrating an ‘L’ of a team with goals from Lemonheigh-Evans, Little, Lapslie and Lewis with his Goal of the Season rocket - worth the admission money. Lewis also made the Vanarama Team of the Week along with Tom Lapslie. Lewis and Dan Holman also featured in the Non-League Paper team.

Some United supporters have, in recent weeks, questioned the release of Billy Waters and Josh Umerah noting their regular goalscoring with their new clubs but this feeling is not limited to Torquay United.

Notts County fans are also wondering about two ex-loan players who when at Meadow Lane did not score but Inih Effiong and Tahvon Campbell came back to haunt them, Campbell scoring twice taking his season total to eight. **************************************************************************

Crowd Watch: On Saturday two more attendances better than many in the EFL, 5,913 at Grimsby while Notts County pulled in 5,807 but on Tuesday night Wrexham’s 1-1 home draw with Chesterfield was watched by a huge 9,147. Credit too to Grimsby’s 1,251 who travelled to Altrincham.

Plainmoor faithful totalled another sub 2,000 but with a return to form and entertaining football to watch maybe some of the missing will return.

As the club has relaxed its entry restriction, now allowing ticket purchase up to 15 minutes before kick-off, the next popular concession would be the return of using cash on the turnstiles. Despite a growing number of businesses and outlets turning into cash deserts there is a national campaign to keep cash alive. Why would anyone want to turn away customers in these challenging times? Supporters who like cash and face-to-face services will vote with their wallets. **************************************************************************

Who can forget the blood soaked bandage images of former England captain Terry Butcher playing against Sweden in 1989? The Ipswich and Rangers’ centre-back has joined the chorus of ex-footballers calling for the phasing out of heading.

“Eventually I want to see football with no heading,” Butcher said. The FA have already instituted changes, especially in heading practice in training, adding “Collaboration across football’s governing bodies in order to better understand this important issue collectively, and we firmly believe that areas of football should come together for this meaningful cause.”

All this follows a match between Spennymoor Town and Team Middlesbrough last weekend - a match designed to raise awareness - with heading only allowed inside each penalty box in the first half and none in the second.

It has to be said that after half-time the game slowed and passing was more measured; so no heading would take a long time to become ‘normal’. The match finished 5-5. **************************************************************************

Congratulations to Torquay United’s Women who progressed into the next round of the Women’s FA Cup after defeating Helston Athletic Ladies 3-0 on Sunday earning them an away tie in the 3rd Qualifying round at Poole Town Ladies.

Meanwhile United enter the Men’s FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round with a home draw against National South Havant & Waterlooville with a return of old favourites Joe Oastler and Scott Rendell. £9,375 to the winners. Of course their manager is Paul Doswell, previously at Sutton United.

Not to be outdone, United’s Youth side moved into the FA Youth Cup 3rd Qualifying round with a trip to Oxford City following their 5-0 victory at Bishops Lydeard. **************************************************************************

Last week we asked if you would be for or against being able to drink alcohol from your seat as the National League is likely to be used as a pilot test. There were mixed results with 40% for - reader Dave Sellman: ‘Absolutely for, we can do this watching other sport’ with 50% against. ‘Stands and terraces should remain alcohol free to prevent the hooligan element’ says Charles Pearce and undecided 10%.

This week’s Three Word Fun, three words to describe that Joe Lewis first goal in a United shirt to: or Twitter: @FanszoneT

To all the Yellow Army safe trips to Bromley on Saturday. To all others a visit to Boots & Laces to watch the TV coverage is an attractive offer.





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