Top of the league again!

I’m just leaving Torquay on a very contented Alliance coach, with my Torquay unbeaten record maintained, the Reds top of the League, and another exceptional performance witnessed. Torquay United were lucky to get one, and with a little more composure in front of goal we could have scored half a dozen. Oh, and I learned that the Torquay boardroom does great cake. Thanks for that, Ben Smith!

We had a fairly smooth trip down, only marred by a traffic jam on the M5 and an hour of torrential rain, but by the time we got to Plainmoor the sun had got his hat on- and he never looked like taking it off for the entire afternoon. By the way, Travel Ken, I was robbed in the coach football quiz; I should have got an extra point for knowing the history of the Hartlepool monkey hangers. I am Jeff Stelling, and I claim my free travel ticket for Southend!

The match saw Thomas and Davies start, Tubbs and Neilson on the bench. I must admit to being a little baffled by that selection for all of three and a half minutes, which was about how long it took for Davies to wallop the ball into the top corner of the Torquay net. My apologies for doubting your wisdom, Mr Evans. From then on we controlled the game.

There were many impressive first half performances, but I would single out Charlie Wassmer if I was forced to choose. First to every ball, not at all put out by being challenged repeatedly by Howe, the Torquay number 9 and a lump of a man with the turning circle of the Alliance coach, and- of course- another terrific goal. Glen Wilson said it was a rehearsed training ground move. Well Charlie certainly learned his lines well. Anyone else think he’d make a great emergency centre forward?

Second half, another early goal from Simpson; well worked and well finished. Then a scrappy goal back from Torquay, a goalmouth scramble, a Shearer save, a ricochet, and a tap in. Unfortunate, but they never looked like getting another. We, however, could have had a hatful- in fact there were occasions where we overpassed when a shot would have done. But it would be unfair to complain- overall, we were exceptional.

It’s a bit early in the season to expect to stay at the top. The competition will be stronger than it was last year. But this is undoubtedly the best team we’ve ever had, and I can only see it getting better. Man of the match- Travel Ken says Charlie Wassmer, and who am I to argue with such authority- but I’d also give honourable mentions to Barnett and Simpson, and to Shearer, who has been masterful since He had his laces sponsored!

So, roll on Palace, and if you’d like to travel with us to Cheltenham next weekend, get your bookings in now!

Take care

Ian