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FANS' ZONE 22/01/2021

YOUNG GULLS GO FOR IT IN LEAGUE AND CUP WHILE THE WOMEN’S TEAM NET SIXTEEN IN TWO GAME Whilst Gary Johnson’s Torquay United had a blank Saturday as it was mainly an FA Trophy weekend, it was the turn of Chris Todd’s Under-18 side to step up into the limelight with two impressive victories. First was a 3-1 league cup win at Wimborne Town setting up a semi-final against Yeovil Town. This was followed by a terrific 2-0 success at South West Counties league leaders Bridgwater moving second placed Gulls only three points adrift with a game in hand. Let’s hope that owner Clarke Osborne’s support of an academy will bear fruit and some of these starlets eventually progress to first team football. *************** With these hopefuls looking forward for a successful professional career, a number of ex-players had a mixed weekend: Bedford Town’s Renee Howe notched his 22nd goal of the season, with yet another penalty; Jamie Reid scored twice for Stevenage in a 3-3 draw with Sutton United while Lucas Covolan received his marching orders - again - playing for Port Vale. Well done to manager Tim Sills’ Hamworthy United (The Hammers of Poole) for their 3-2 win on Saturday taking them into the FA Vase Fifth Round for the first time in their history, coming back from 0-2 down to visitors Glebe at half-time, joining Buckland Athletic in the last sixteen. *************** Anyone looking for a prolific goalscoring striker? Look no further than Southern Combination League Premier leaders Littlehampton Town’s Joe Benn whose seven goals in a recent league game took his tally for the season to 55! The transfer window closes on January 31 at 11pm. Could Sinclair Armstrong be on the move? There are strong rumours that Manchester City are favourites to sign him from QPR. If true we saw him here first. *************** Non-League Crowd Watch: South Shields continue to have great home support with 1,934 at Saturday’s game to see a 2-0 win keeping them third in the Northern Premier; National North Hereford pulled in 1,484, Worthing, leaders of the Isthmian Premier had 1,295 and Bromsgrove Sporting of the Southern League Central were watched by 1,011. ************** Spare a thought for Chester FC - are they English or Welsh? Their Deva Stadium is in the bizarre situation that whilst the entrance to the stadium is in England the pitch is in Wales. Under current Welsh Coronavirus Regulations - due to be lifted on Friday - attendances are limited to just 50 spectators and the club has been warned that they have already broken these rules having had crowds of over 2,000 at matches in December and early January. Chester, a supporter owned, community football club, felt they had no alternative but to call off last Saturday’s home National North fixture with Brackley Town. But Chester FC are an English club playing under the jurisdiction of the English FA. ************** Now a success story. A week ago Swindon Town had a dream FA Cup Third Round home tie with the Premier League’s top side Manchester City, going down 4-1. But go back to the Summer of 2021 and it was looking as if the club could go out of business. Swindon, recently relegated into League 2, were in turmoil, ousted owner Lee Power had left the club with no manager and only six players on the books with those staff still there not being paid. Step forward Australian plumbing entrepreneur Clem Morfumi who bought the club, appointing Ben Garner as manager; Garner, previously a youth team coach at Crystal Place and briefly manager at Bristol Rovers, had two weeks to assemble a squad - sound familiar? - for an important EFL season. So far he’s done pretty well with Swindon sitting in fourth, one point from the automatic promotion group. ************** No news from TQ1 about possible banning orders following the distasteful chanting at the Boxing Day clash with Yeovil Town about their captain Lee Collins taking his own life last March. His widow, Rachel Gibbon, mother of his three daughters, is leading a campaign to promote Mind, Body and Sole, a non-profit organisation, which raises mental health awareness. Gibbon wants to see more welfare officers at clubs funded by the Professional Footballers’ Association to help struggling players to see life beyond the end of their careers. ************** Torquay United Women: having demolished Middlezoy last week 10-3, the return fixture on Sunday saw United’s women’s team do the double with a 6-1 success. Esme Kilburn-Thompson with two took her tally to five in two games since her transfer from Exeter City; Ellie Bishop (2), Roisin Payne and Beth Everson were the other scorers. The win takes the women’s team to within three points of leaders Sherborne Town. *************** Next up for United is a trip to Altrincham. Last season both sides played out a meaningless 0-0 draw but now there’s much more at stake. United, as Gary Johnson has said, are looking to ‘come out of the pack’ to gatecrash the play-offs while Altrincham are hoping to halt a disastrous run which, in December, saw them draw at the beginning of the month and then went on to lose the next five including an FA Trophy defeat to lower league Runcorn. January hasn’t started any better with one draw and two defeats with the form table showing one point from the last 18 with goals for 3 and against 15. ************* Predictions for 2022? ‘Keep on supporting the Gulls’, ‘Yellow Army for ever’, ‘Looking for a top seven finish’ are just a few more hopes for the remainder of the season. This week it’s back to Three Word Fun. Why you support the Gulls in three words - send yours to: or to Twitter: @fanszonet. To the Yellow Army going to Altrincham, a whole coach load with the Away Travel Club, or by other transport, have a safe journey. COYY







As a long standing football supporter of Torquay United I am writing to you to ask for you to support the recently published Fan-Led Review recommendations as set out by Tracey Crouch MP and her team for the long-term sustainability of football in this country.

The report recognises there is a wide consensus on the need for change, from football fans in general and other stakeholders but it will need cross-party political support from MPs, like yourself, to ensure legislation is put into place.

I, therefore, respectfully urge you to put your full support behind this report to see that the necessary legislation is passed as quickly as possible.

Yours sincerely,




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