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FANS' ZONE 18/12/2021



PLAINMOOR FAITHFUL ENJOY EARLY CHRISTMAS PRESENT


All I want for Christmas is ….. a repeat of Saturday’s performance on Boxing Day is likely to be Gary Johnson’s wish as the Gulls were certainly driving home for Christmas with three points against title favourites Stockport County.

The Yellow Army were in full voice on Saturday as United wrapped up the three points as an early Christmas cracker of a game. It was the Gulls back to their best with a display reminiscent of the heady days of last season.

Manager Gary Johnson was justifiably pleased with his team’s performance as the home crowd not only celebrated victory but also were entertained with every player putting in a shift. It was good too to get one over visiting manager Dave Challinor after that play-off final at Ashton Gate.

Following last week’s 2-1 triumph at Weymouth, back-to-back wins, for the first time this season, are important for team confidence and morale. There were a number of stand out performances so congratulations to Shaun MacDonald and Joe Lewis for making the Non-League Paper’s Team of the Day with Lewis in the Vanarama Team of the Week for a second consequent week.

And a big well done to the Popside drummer boy - only one not twelve!

The match was a compelling watch and it was noticeable that nobody left early before the end of the game despite a nail biting six minutes of added time.

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Jake Andrews had a dream debut for new club Havant & Waterlooville hitting the post, scoring a goal in a 2-1 win and winning a place in the Non-League Paper’s National South Team of the Day.

Next up for United is an FA Trophy tie at Tonbridge Angels for a first ever meeting between the two sides. Unless you count Torquay United reserves playing Tonbridge in the Southern League in 1950.

Tonbridge football club were formed in 1947 joining the Southern League, playing their first ever match in front of 5,000 for a local derby against Hastings United, losing 2-1. The match was played at the Angel ground, formerly home of Kent County cricket club and named after the nearby pub, The Angel.

Like most clubs they’ve had a chequered history: promotions, relegations, liquidation in 1976 reforming as Tonbridge Angels FC, and several FA Cup highs reaching the First Round on several occasions including a record attendance of 8,236 for a tie against Aldershot in 1951. By 1980 they had played their last game at the Angel ground moving to their current home, Longmead. Appropriately, the last player to score at their old ground was Micky Angel.

In 2004 they were in the Isthmian Premier where they stayed for six years before winning the play-off final to be promoted to Conference South. By 2014 the Angels were relegated returning to National South five years later. They made it into the FA Cup First Round in 2020 drawing Bradford City at home but suffered a 7-0 hammering. A notable past manager was World Cup winner George Cohen ex-Fulham.

On Saturday the Angels drew their largest crowd of the season, 798, for a 2-2 draw with Dulwich Hamlet.

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National League Crowd Watch: In the North York City had 4,512 while in the South the Kent derby between Maidstone and Dartford was watched by 2,560. Lower down the pyramid South Shields from the Northern Premier had 2,015 while in the Northern West Division there were an impressive 977 at Marine.

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No match on Sunday for Torquay United Women’s team as their game at leaders Sherborne Town was postponed as was the Development side’s game.

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The dementia in football story continues as there are plans for it to be recognised as an industrial disease but the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council has decided to group its football enquiry with boxing, rugby and horse racing. However, football’s governing bodies have committed £3.6million to research and clinical advice for recently retired former players who face an elevated risk of dementia.

The FA is promising an awareness campaign on concussion and its heading guidance; permanent concussion substitutes are being trialled as the FA remains open to the sort of temporary replacements used in rugby union.

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BT is still looking to sell its sports broadcasting arm, initially to American company Dazn, but now Discovery which owns Eurosport and rights to the Olympic Games are rumoured to be interested so watch this space.

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It’s that time again for this year’s Christmas Quiz Part One, January to June. Get all 10 answers correct and one lucky winner will receive a £10 Torquay United club shop gift voucher. Next week will be Christmas Quiz Part Two. July to December and if you answer correctly both Parts One and Two you could win a £15 Torquay United club shop gift voucher.

Christmas Quiz Part One:

1. In January Joe Lewis signed from which Championship club?

2. In January who joined United on loan from Hull City?

3. Who did United defeat in the FA Trophy Round 5 in February?

4. Fraser Kerr left to join which other National League club?

5. United legend Robin Stubbs celebrated his birthday in April. Was he 78,79 or 80?

6. In April who scored United’s only goal in a 1-0 win at Wrexham?

7. The Yellow Army were allowed back into Plainmoor in May. Who were the visitors?

8. In June United’s Under-16s were crowned JPL Champions. Who did they beat in the final?

9. In the play-off final at Ashton Gate what was the official attendance?

10. What did Adam Randell win in June?

Send your answers to: fanszone.tu@gmail.com or Twitter: @FanszoneT with name and contact details. Closing date 12 noon Wednesday December 29. Good luck! Question writer’s decision is final.

To all those travelling to Tonbridge stay safe - and get that booster jab.

COYY


 

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