FANS' ZONE 17/12/2020
A FISH SUPPER AND A POINT IN NORFOLK FOLLOWED BY AN UPSET FROM THE DAGGERS ON TUESDAY NIGHT
A battling performance, although Gary Johnson called it a poor one - ‘I didn’t recognise our game at all’ - and an away point, on a heavy pitch, against a King’s Lynn team determined to show they belong in non-league’s top division enabled United to continue their run with their eleventh consecutive unbeaten league game . So not a happy manager, let’s hope his fish and chips cheered him up on the way home!
The Gulls’ defence had to work hard on a bleak Norfolk afternoon with Shaun MacDonald putting in a shift with several outstanding stops - no surprise he made the Team of the Day - but if there was ever an example of the team’s work rate it was in the 72nd minute when King’s Lynn broke from their own half and so did Ben Whitfield who ran almost the length of the pitch to divert a certain goal over his own crossbar from the goal line.
The match had 0-0 written all over it, for after all it was the team with the worst defensive record, 30 conceded with a goal difference of minus 13 - King’s Lynn - against a United side boasting a goal difference of plus 17 and top scorers in the league with 27.
The game’s controversy surrounded Asa Hall’s red card. Was it justified? Well the only person who can decide such matters, the ref, said it was a sending off and United’s appeal against it on Monday was dismissed. Whilst the team will miss his leadership, a three match rest is probably not a bad thing as the club has a decent squad with a number waiting for a start.
Despite the home side’s entrance and streaming prices, which had come in for some criticism, they had a healthy 625 inside The Walks with more than another 600 using their streaming service which had the Linnets chairman doing the co-commentary - a first? Wonder whether the scouts from Peterborough, Cambridge and Leyton Orient spotted any talent?
With the loans of Sam Sherring and Adam Randell coming up for review in the New Year keeping the current squad together to see the season out must be a priority.
Then we get to Tuesday night. A further increase in attendance - 1165 with plenty bringing their previously banned Thermos flasks - who witnessed one of the most one-sided second halves without a goal being scored. On another occasion there would have been a Christmas sackful to send the Yellow Army home with a Christmas song on their lips - All I Want For Christmas Is….
As the manager said afterwards, top of the league and you should be putting at least five away in such situations.
With the possibility of Sherring, Moxey and even Wynter being available for Boxing Day their return would set up the chance to avenge Yeovil Town for what happened a year ago and importantly show that the wheels haven’t fallen off the Gulls.
National League news: The rumbling saga of the criticism for the criteria for allocating the Government/National Lottery £10m funds back in October, which resulted in an independent panel being set up, may well be coming to an end this week.
National League clubs had a meeting with the panel last week with a final one held on Monday so the representatives of the clubs who are seeking answers, Hereford, Dulwich and Maidstone, expect to hear the outcome soon. The first two instalments of the funds have already been distributed, with the third due before the end of the month.
Tim Flowers is the latest in the hot seat at Barnet following his short spell at Macclesfield.
United’s FA Trophy opponents in Round 3 on Saturday were either Aveley ( 9th in Isthmian North) or Chesham Utd ( 7th in Southern Premier South) with both in the unenviable situation of not being able to play league matches as their respective leagues - part of the Three Trident leagues - agreed at a recent meeting to pause fixtures until, at the earliest, January 2021. Even then that’s not certain as the Government’s recent £14m allocation for Steps 3-6 is heavily weighted in favour of loans, not grants. This is now the subject of a review with any decision not expected until the New Year.
This delay is going to complicate matters further for do these leagues play until June or have mini- leagues? Whatever is decided these clubs have to be mindful of players’ contracts being a financial drain when there is no gate or hospitality income.
Following Tuesday night’s 3-1 win at Aveley, we now know that United’s opponents on Saturday are Chesham who have gone into a Tier 3 area. So no spectators allowed but the club is hoping to be able to provide a streaming service; we await confirmation.
Chances are the team for Saturday will include players who haven’t had much game time recently, like Covolan, Buse, Waters, Umerah, Warren and Kerr.
Last week in the Family Stand there was a lengthy discussion about having some more upbeat music for the team to run out to. Whilst A Banda by Herb Alpert and Children were fondly remembered with Children by Robert Miles still used, what would be your suggestion?
Send your choice to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To the Yellow Army stay safe - and follow the Code of Conduct.
SUPPORT TUST - SUPPORT YOUR COMMUNITY