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FANS' ZONE 17/04/2021


UNITED SUCCEED AT SUTTON WITH ANOTHER LATE WINNER AS THE TITLE RACE HOTS UP


You only had to look at the players’ reaction at the final whistle on Tuesday to see what victory over rivals Sutton meant to them and to Gary Johnson as he showed his joy to the National Obsession camera when going down the tunnel back to the dressing room.

Yet another telling cross from the ever impressive Adam Randell with the diving figure of Asa Hall giving the Gulls a very deserved precious three points was the culmination of what was a real team performance.

The scene for this top-of-the-table clash was set on the previous Saturday and United’s second half turnaround.

What value do you put on a half-time team talk? Priceless? There was no hint of hairdryers or teacups being thrown, just a few measured words from the Boss into receptive ears, as Gary Johnson revealed after the game all he had to say was,” You’ve got fifteen minutes to get the first goal.”

And who duly obliged but Jake Andrews almost to the minute, making the National League Team of the Day for the second time in recent weeks, with a rasping 25 yard thunderbolt into the bottom corner.

Johnson also praised the spirit of the side which defender Joe Lewis had earlier underlined in his interview as part of the pre-match streaming entertainment when he explained what a tight knit group he has joined with every player bonding with their team mates. Andrews equaliser against a resilient Weymouth was certainly the fillip needed to drive the Gulls on - but you can’t help but think that a partisan Yellow Army inside Plainmoor would have raised the players before his goal.

Still, Saturday’s second half performance would have had armchair viewers on the edge of their seats as yet another late goal - a great thumping header from Connor Lemonheigh- Evans who normally would have taken the corner rather than Andrews who supplied the pin-point cross.

Just shows the fine margins, especially at this crucial stage of the season, between winning, drawing and losing. And, as mentioned last week, the players have continued to up their shooting with twelve attempts, ten on target on the Weymouth goal.

With 18 points from the last seven matches United are now showing a welcome return to the style of football that wowed everyone in the first three months of the season.

On Saturday Torquay have a blank ‘Macclesfield’ weekend leaving just nine matches to play - it’s going to be a nail biting six weeks ahead!

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With a number of restrictions lifted from this week- having a haircut and then celebrating it in a pub garden high on a number of people’s lists - it’s maybe not surprising there is continuing talk about fans getting back into stadiums with a number of trial events coming up.

The FA and EFL have joined the UK’s leading sports bodies in backing the use of ‘vaccine passports’. “ All of our sports can see the benefit that a Covid certification process offers in getting more fans safely back to their sport as quickly as possible,” said a spokesman. But is this actually the answer when you consider how many millions have had at least one vaccination and from June 21 all restrictions, according to the roadmap, are lifted?

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TUST sends its condolences to the family and friends of Yeovil Town skipper Lee Collins whose life ended in such tragic circumstances before Easter. Football supporters of any club are very much part of a thriving community and although we may not know each other closely we share a common bond enjoying the banter and companionship that meeting on match days brings. Lockdown hasn’t been easy for many and as a nation we are more aware of people’s mental health so organisations, such as the Samaritans, who can be contacted on 116 123, are there to help and support.

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So, the National League are looking for a new chairman, as well as replacing three board members, after Brian Barwick announced he would be stepping down at the end of the season, a decision he had apparently made back in February and unconnected with the current clamour for a vote of no confidence at an EGM.

Whatever the rights and wrongs it’s been pretty clear that the League’s handling of the impact of Covid, the allocation of grants and the curtailment of this and last season for the majority of NL clubs has been criticised.

Now is the time for a re-set and re-think about how the NL operates. As Maidstone United’s chairman says,”Communication channels between the leadership and clubs needs to be looked at … this is the time to instigate some constructive dialogue about the future governance.”

One change gaining momentum is to allow Step 2 clubs more voting rights, at present they get four votes per division while teams in the top division have a vote each.

And regarding a new chairman, a possible contender is current vice-chairman Jack Pearce who runs Bognor Regis.

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Best answer for last week’s ‘Three Word Fun’, ‘Gulls Flying High’. In his interview Joe Lewis said he’d taught himself cooking as a lockdown hobby. So what hobby have you taken up that you intend to continue?

Send your answer, the more interesting the better, to: fanszone.tu@gmail.com or Twitter: @FanszoneT to publish in next week’s column.

In the meantime ‘Come On You Yellows’ and to all the Yellow Army, when offered, get your vaccination.


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