FANS' ZONE 19/11/2021
KANE AND LITTLE SHOW HOW TO RISE ABOVE CRITICS AND WHERE ARE THE MISSING FEATURES IN THE MATCH PROGRAMME ?
In recent weeks many sports’ writers in the national press have written columns about Harry Kane’s poor form, particularly his lack of goalscoring for Spurs and England blaming all this on his failure to grab a move to Manchester City in the summer. Even his own fans turned on him at the last Spurs home game.
Now, yes it might have been ‘only’ Albania but Kane’s perfect hat-trick - header, left foot, right foot - answered his critics, adding four more on Monday at San Marino. And surely answering your critics is best done on the pitch.
So United’s Armani Little did the same on Saturday when sections of the crowd inexplicably booed him for the sponsor’s Man of the Match award. How did he do this? By scoring the winning goal - a searing left foot volley that dropped to him in a crowded Dover penalty area. Had it soared over the Family Stand roof nobody would have been surprised but it nestled comfortably in the roof of the net. Whilst Little’s play seems to divide opinion amongst supporters he had the last laugh when the Non-League Paper named him in their Team of the Day and Vanarama in the Team of the Week.
The manager was not the only one inside Plainmoor to express disappointment at what had been a lacklustre performance as Torquay failed to excite and entertain in front of the extra 1,000 from the NHS and care homes; a generous gesture from the club.
The last two home games, named Community Days, have seen a potential extra 2,000 into the ground so the real test will be to see how many of them will return.
United certainly made hard work of beating rock bottom Dover, the team line-up not helped by non available players. At present too many key members of the squad are injured with at least two more added to what must be a crowded treatment room. Chori Johnson must be a contender for the quickest sub subbed, lasting two minutes with what looked like a hamstring tear - certainly the way he beat the turf with his fists as he lay prone suggests he knew straightaway what had happened.
Which leads to a question. United’s subs at half-time spent the interval out on the pitch in their tracksuits / long training coats chatting and nominally kicking a ball. Surely there should be more purpose to this. And before Johnson came on did he do any warm-up?
With four home wins on the spin dare we hope for the much needed return of Fortress Plainmoor?
National League Crowd Watch: With adult tickets reduced to £5 and £1 for Under-16s Notts County set a new league record attendance of 12,843 for the visit of Solihull Moors beating the previous total of 11,085 set in 2015 for Bristol Rovers v Alfreton. Being an international weekend all matches attracted four figure gates, the other better ones being at Chesterfield 5,862, 5,821 at Southend and 5,515 for Stockport v Bromley. And in National South Dulwich Hamlet pulled in 3,334 for a 3-0 win over Bath City.
How many supporters buy an 1899 matchday programme? Guessing not as many as used to do and no doubt the number printed has fallen too. At £3 it is a glossy quality publication of 40 pages, 16 of which are full page adverts. But not having bought one for some time it’s interesting to compare today’s version with one sold in August 2019. Then there were 14 pages of adverts in a magazine of 48 pages, so what’s changed?
Pre-Covid the programme had dedicated pages for Torquay Youth now re-named United Youth, Torquay United Travel Club, TU Community Sports Trust, Torquay United Ladies (including match reports) and Coming Up, a focus on the next opponents. Of all these only United Youth remains highlighted so why are the others not featured? Especially as they all are Torquay United branded but not included in the club’s only official printed publication?
It’s the end of the Vitality FA Cup journey for Torquay United Women as they went down 2-0 at St Austell Ladies on Sunday, so it’s back to the league next week.
Latest news on the date for the release of the Fan-Led Review is that Tracey Crouch’s report is due to be published by the end of the month with the key recommendation being the establishment of an independent regulator. There will be other plans for re-structuring football’s governance but in the end it will be down to the Government to put them into practice via parliamentary legislation.
Next year is World Cup year and the Premier League has announced how the season 2022-2023 will operate, beginning on August 6, stopping on the weekend of November 12 - 13 and resuming on Boxing Day 2022. The EFL start on July 30, the Championship also stopping in November while Leagues 1 & 2 carry on.
It was personally a nightmare journey to the game on Saturday with an ‘incident’ on the M5 just before Telegraph Hill necessitating six fire engines, three ambulances and many police. Traffic was at a standstill for over an hour plus and we were finally on our way with kick-off 20 minutes away.
After parking and walking to the ground I was pleasantly pleased - and relieved - to find a turnstile still open some 15 minutes after kick-off, maybe the result of some earlier TUST pressure to soften the club’s entry procedures. Anyway, well done Torquay United!
Next match up is a trip to The Hive, Barnet, let’s hope the Gulls are buzzing to improve on the away form - the last two trips to London have not gone well.
What did you get up to with no football the previous week? ‘Christmas Shopping Started’, ‘Poppy Shirt Bid’, and ‘Saturday DIY Nightmare’ to name three. Best one came from Pete Groom with his ‘Saturday Afternoon Kip’.
This week a new twist ‘One Magic Moment’ - what’s your best TUFC magic moment? Send yours to: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter: @FanszoneT.
To all the Yellow Army travelling to Barnet stay safe.