United manager Gary Johnson was left frustrated, after seeing his side fail to take their chances in the 1-0 home defeat against Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday evening.
“We had the first chance in the game, we hit the crossbar from the corner, and they went up the other end and scored their only opportunity in the game,” said Johnson.
“I don’t think there were any other opportunities. The lad does well, we lost him, and that’s that clever ‘fox in the box’ if you like, that someone who knows what he’s good at, and can lose you.
“First half, I thought we were poor, and didn’t really get to grips with their wide men. We had a good first 20 minutes, I should say that really – it seems a long time ago now. Then they had their time, but we gave them oxygen with some of the silly mistakes and opportunities we were missing. Obviously the lad got sent off, and at that point we thought just a bit of quality would win the day. We got quality into the box, but couldn’t finish any one of our chances.”
A whole host of chances were created – and missed – by his side, notably during a one-sided second half, as The Gulls slipped to their first home defeat of the season.
“I don’t know how many chances there were – twenty, maybe – That’s the disappointing thing, the fact that we were camped in their half. I know we had a man extra, but I thought we were using the ball quite well up until the penalty area, but then we couldn’t finish. Forwards, midfielders, people having shots outside the box, not getting them quite past defenders, so they were blocking them.
“We were a little bit slow getting our shots away, a little but slow getting across people, a little bit slow getting a header in. I’m disappointed, absolutely, because its a game to be won, second half, when you’ve had that many chances. They’re all feeling a bit down and disappointed with themselves because we’ve had a word. Some of them had to grow up in the first half, and really get to grips where we are in the league, and second half they had to get a finish, it’s a simple as that.
“It was just a ridiculous game of how many six yard box chances that we had. We’re in tomorrow, and we’ll review it. I’ve let them know how I feel, and we’ll see how they react.”
The Torquay boss was pleased with the backing his side received throughout what turned out to be a difficult evening, with the visitors producing something of a smash-and-grab performance at Plainmoor to emerge with all three points.
“We appreciate that. We’ve seen it when teams come here and scores the first goal, it’s very difficult to break them down, because they are not in any grandeur that they are going to come out and get the second goal and leave space. It’s the time wasting that is always disappointing. You accept it because you know that that’s what teams are going to do, and we’ve got to quicken it up when they are trying to slow it up. That is the frustrating part, when opposition teams go 1-0 up and sit back, they have the right to, but it’s taking their time over everything all of a sudden, and the crowd aren’t getting value for money.
“It’s good that they did keep going, the crowd, because the opposition was trying to take a lot of time out of the game. The referee has got to see that I think, he has to see how it went, how many subs there were. He kept pointing at his watch, but he only gave two minutes in the first half, and five minutes in the second.”
Despite the setback, United’s record of ten wins and two draws from fourteen games is enough to see them through to the festive period in pole position, ahead of Tuesday’s FA Trophy trip to Chesham. With his men now clearly in a position to be shot at, Johnson is eager for his team to face up to the challenge ahead of them.
“We’ll praise them when they’ve done well, and if I feel they’ve been below standard, I’ll let them know why. We didn’t play like a top of the league team. You’ve got to be scoring five in the second half, you’ve got to, if you’re going to win the league, games like that, with that amount of chances. Balls that we were putting in there were quality balls, but the amount of shots that we had, we didn’t really get a really good shot in that the keeper had to make a save, and we probably had ten shots.
“We’ve got the Trophy, and we’ve got a little bit of time before the next game, but Yeovil will also be good at what they do, the ‘dark arts’ if you want to call them that, so we’ll have to see what they do when they turn up, but we’ve got to turn it around quickly, and show why we are top of the league again.”