A League 2 blog with an overwhelmingly pro-Torquay United bias
Tomorrow the Gulls host Shrewsbury Town, who are just 5 points away from the playoffs despite having lost their last 4 games without managing a single goal in reply. Given that this poor run culminated in a 2-0 reverse at home to basement club Darlington last week, tomorrow’s match seems winnable despite Torquay’s own stuttering form, which has dragged them perilously close to the drop zone.
Even if we ignore the Shrews’ recent dismal performances in front of goal, this contest looks winnable given that Torquay have actually scored more goals in the league this season (48 to 47) despite their lowly position. Torquay can usually be relied upon to find the net – it’s the porousness at the other end that prevents them racking up more points.
I’m going to stick my neck out and go for a 1-0 victory here…
Interestingly, 3rd placed Bournemouth (30 points better off than the Gulls) have also scored 48 in the league, which points the finger squarely at the defence for Torquay’s current predicament. The absence of Chris Hargreaves (who, along with fellow Wembley hero Tim Sills, should have been allowed to see out the season at Plainmoor) has coincided with a lack of decisiveness under pressure in a midfield that now sorely lacks an enforcer.
A solitary league clean sheet in 2010, compared with 7 between August and December, tells its own story. In December alone, Torquay’s 6 matches in all competitions resulted in 16 goals and 4 clean sheets – few Gulls fans would predict a similar finish to the second half of the season.
Paul Buckle will be hoping that Northampton can take all three points at Grimsby today – a home win for the Mariners would slash Torquay’s safety margin cut to just 3 points and set up a crucial relegation six-pointer when Torquay travel to Blundell Park in a fortnight’s time.