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Buckle aims to beat deadline

By This is SouthDevon  |  Posted: March 22, 2010

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WITH on-loan Lloyd Macklin returning to Swindon Town and resident winger Wayne Carlisle about to undergo knee surgery, Torquay United manager Paul Buckle says he needs to add at least one signing before the March transfer deadline closes next week.

Despite quashing speculation over United's reported interest in Histon centre-forward Danny Wright, Buckle hinted strongly that he is still looking for another striker to aid the Gulls' fight to avoid relegation from League Two.

"I am looking all the time, and we have been trying to add since Ashley Barnes went back to Plymouth," said Buckle.

"We've lost Wayne Carlisle now, probably for six weeks.

"Lloyd Macklin is going back to Swindon, and Barnes was recalled.

"We've still got Kieran Charnock and (goalkeeper) Michael Poke out injured for another week or two.

"So on numbers alone, we're well down."

Of Swindon's decision to take Macklin back, Buckle said: "We've got Lloyd fit again and now he's going back, but that's the risk you always run with loan signings."

From being effectively 10 points above the relegation zone before Saturday's 3-2 home defeat by Lincoln City, United are only seven points clear now.

Grimsby Town's last-minute 3-2 home win over promotion chasing AFC Bournemouth has upped the 'ante' with nine games to go.

Cheltenham Town, who separate United and one-from-bottom Grimsby, also picked up a point in a 1-1 draw with Port Vale.

The Lincoln defeat ended United's six-game unbeaten run.

Captain Nicky Wroe equalised Davide Somma's early goal for the Imps.

But Cian Hughton, the son of Newcastle boss Chris Hughton, and on-loan Leeds striker Somma scored in the second half before Chris Zebroski narrowed the gap.

United laid siege to the City goal in the closing stages, but they could not stave off an eighth home defeat this season.

The result also left the Gulls with only two wins in 15 league games.

Frustrated over defensive mistakes which helped Lincoln to become only the second team to score three times at Plainmoor this season, Buckle said: "I feel we have thrown away our good run.

"We really gifted them their goals.

"We need to get back on again next week."

United travel to mid-table Morecambe on Saturday.

Although bottom club Darlington are doomed to Conference football next season — the Quakers sacked manager Steve Staunton yesterday — the second relegation spot is up for grabs again.

Grimsby's next match is away to leaders Rochdale at the weekend, when Cheltenham also travel to Macclesfield.

Hereford, who beat Bradford 2-0, Barnet — they won 2-1 at Darlington — and Lincoln all earned themselves precious breathing space on Saturday.

Macclesfield also play their game in hand at home to Rotherham tomorrow night.

Unless Torquay can put some more points on the board quickly, their trip to Grimsby on April 17 could turn into one of those all-or-nothing matches which the club seems to have specialised in over the years.

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  • Profile image for This is SouthDevon
    Tony, Kent  |  March 23 2010, 12:09PM

    Doug And the Mrs let you use the computer as well (or doesn't she know yet)

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    Julian Head, Newton Abbot  |  March 22 2010, 1:09PM

    Saturday was appalling, Lincoln were not very good and should have been there for the taking. Even Guy Branston wasn't up to his usual standard, the one place where we have been quite tight is in defence but they played like they had their heads in the clouds. I am not one for clamouring for the head of the manager or the CEO and at this stage believe it is too late to effect too many changes any way. However, inspiration is required from some quarter and quick or we will be heading back from whence we came. A good start would be to make Branston or Mansell captain, drop the ineffective Wroe and get a bit of energy and creativity running through the team.

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    Doug Aldrich, Kingsteignton  |  March 22 2010, 12:19PM

    Geoff, My morale is low as well. My missus said I could go to the match, I live about 6 miles from the ground, have a season ticket - so it wouldnt have cost me a penny.....but I thought I'd rather stay at home...and so I did. Sad really, but there you go. I refuse to go along when they play the likes of Rowe-Turner and don't play Smith or Nicolson (although I see they did play on Saturday). I don't like the fact that we've got rid of the very players that got us promoted and failed to replace them. I don't like it when we set up for a draw at home - against Crewe we sent Branston forward for no corners at all - even one in stoppage time. I'd rather see attacking football in the conference, than poor "hold on for a draw" matches in the league. I really don't see how the team has improved. Guy Branston is a quality signing, but is in a way a reminder to the days of Steve Woods and Craig Taylor - good centre halfs! We really have dropped away and are now in grave danger of the drop.....

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    geoff, bodmin  |  March 22 2010, 10:31AM

    1 point from 2 home games against lowly teams should be enough warning to the Board that some urgent action is needed to ensure we avoid that last relegation spot. I hope it is not just being left to PB to sort, as the confidence in that direction is just about at a all time low ebb.