Monthly Review - January
This month, you can find the copy of our January fixture list towards the bottom of the update, due to not wanting to spoil what is easily the best update of our story so far. As you all know we began the month at Hartlepool but I want to take you through the FA Cup 3rd Round tie before anything.
We played Wycombe only once before and beat them 3-2, albeit in a non competitive friendly but we know we can be as good as them so there was no reason we didn't have a chance to beat them at home.
Everything was in place for a good spectacle in my biggest game yet and it was looking as though we may have peaked early when Gribbin gave us the lead on 11 minutes, only for it to be snatched away right before half time. Still, the score was level and we were looking like the better team in all departments so "same again" was the half time message to the boys.
Same again I got. Armani Little literally scored from kick off in the second half to give us the lead and it was only another 5 minutes before Whitfield got his right foot on the end of a defensive header and buried it into the top corner of the net at the goal keepers near post. It was an absolute screamer.
3-1 up, we had a foot and a half through the door. Our place in the 4th round was all but confirmed by Armando Broja's goal in the 84th minute managing to latch on to a leaping Gribbin header.
Only 2 minutes later, we had a 5th goalscorer for the game. Kevin Kalala, never one to pass up an empty net he managed to get on the end of a scrambling ball which came swinging in from Gribbin's corner.
5-1, FT. We were into the 4th round and I couldn't believe my eyes. The boys had played superbly, and gotten one of the clubs best ever results in a cup tie.
The 4th round draw was unkind, pitting us against Crystal Palace. Not one to shy away from a challenge, we welcomed them to Plainmoor knowing full well we could do the business.
It began as a cagey affair, neither side really had much of the ball in a technical sense. It was a physical game with second balls flying around after many 50/50 challenges. Due to Callum's well known free kick taking ability we know that this is our kind of game to take advantage of and as the clock struck 13' he whipped home a glorious free kick into Guaita's top right corner.
Having once again scored early we were looking to shut things down at the other end in order to wear the Championship side down to give us any kind of leeway. On 24' minutes a loose ball cannoning off Novella's legs fell right to the feet of Jamie Reid. One on one, there was only a single out come. 2-0.
4 minutes later, Callum Gribbin scored his second of the match leaving myself and the rest of the Torquay fans utterly gobsmacked. At this point, I think pretty much the entire ground was probably silent from shock.
The second half was a dull affair, and one in which neither side saw many chances go their way but some how for the 4th time in the game, right at the depth Kevin Kalala found his way in for a 2nd in two cup matches.
I still can't quite believe the outcome of the first game, let alone the second. But here we are, 5th rounders.
You won't have seen me mention much about the league because although it was another mixed batch, there were barely any games due to all of our FA Trophy replays in which we will play either York or Notts County in the quarters.
Still very much on course to win the league we're looking like we have everything it takes to see this through to the glorious end in April. Our focus was shifted to the cups this month and I believe that's why we took a small hit in league form but it's nothing to worry about just yet.
5 points clear with a game in hand does not make for bad reading, and I couldn't ask for a great deal more after the amazing start to the year that we've had. Begin as you mean to go on.