A League 2 blog with an overwhelmingly pro-Torquay United bias
While I didn’t make it up to Gateshead yesterday, between working for the Conference’s official data partner and the comprehensive – if slightly one-sided – highlight reel below, I got a pretty good sense of how the game unfolded:
A long away trip to last season’s play-off finalists was bound to be one of the toughest tests of the season, so a defeat is far from disastrous. We now have a run of seven league matches against sides that finished in the bottom half of the division in 2013/14, so we have an inviting opportunity to build some momentum.
While we had fewer chances, this is to be expected from an away side and they were from better positions than Gateshead’s on average. If our penalty had found its way in and Marcus Maddison’s spectacular second goal had ballooned harmlessly over the bar, we’d have escaped with a somewhat fortunate 2-2 draw.
While it would be easy for me to ascribe our defeat to an element of luck – pointing to our saved penalty and two well-hit Gateshead efforts from outside the box – it was the hosts who were more fluent overall. Our opponents carved out more chances and restricted us to sporadic attacks, while our defence looked uncertain. We’ll have to hope that a run of easier games will allow a better understanding to develop.
We’ll need that added fluency if we’re to trouble the tougher sides in this division. After a flurry of promising chances early in the second half (annoyingly absent from the highlights above), we then didn’t get a single shot away for almost half an hour until Briscoe’s late equaliser.
Finally – why on earth did the referee allow Martin Rice allowed to play in a jersey that was only a few shades different to our away strip?