Torquay United come into Saturday’s home game against Weymouth with half an eye on the challenges ahead as they try to get their road to the play-offs back on track. Four successive draws and a loss in Halifax last weekend put the Gulls behind the goal set for them by manager Gary Johnson.
But Tuesday’s sparkling 4-0 victory over Aldershot at Plainmoor has put a spring back in their step, and they know a win over Weymouth would set them up well for the run-in. Weymouth, however, will have other ideas and come to Plainmoor to fight their own battle to avoid dropping to the National League South.
Nine points from safety with games flowing quickly, the Terras will take to the field Saturday afternoon knowing nothing less than a win will do for them. Johnson told reporters at his weekly press conference that he was delighted with his side’s performance on Tuesday, when they took a 3-0 halftime lead and finished the game despite a rally from Aldershot in the second half.
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“The boys saw the game well,” he said. “We had to change the form right at the end when they brought in their subs and got a little sharp.
“It was a good performance by everyone.” He said his team defended well and looked “comfortable”. Their finish had been clinical, he said, and added: “Our goals were perfect goals for us.
“Those were all things we had been working on. We had worked to be relentless, and we were. I was really happy with all the goals. Johnson paid tribute to ever-present full-back Ben Wynter, who made his 150th appearance for United on Tuesday and has also been called up to play for the England C side.
He and team-mate Armani Little will be in the England squad to face Wales at Caernarfon next Wednesday. And Wynter has an even better reason to remember this week, as he became a father for the second time on Wednesday morning.
Johnson revealed his full-back took his wife Holly to hospital ahead of Tuesday’s game but she insisted he play. After the game, he ran to be with her, and baby Leo was born early the next morning.
With the game scheduled for Stockport on April 2 postponed due to the county’s successful run in the FA Trophy, Torquay have a blank weekend, giving them a fortnight after Weymouth to prepare for Notts County’s visit to Plainmoor on April 9. The last time Notts County played Torquay was in a thrilling play-off semi-final last season, a game which Torquay won 4-2 to book their place in the final.
“It gives us time to prepare for what could be a very important game for us,” Johnson said. “It will give us a chance to get everyone fit.
“We want to be able to play against Notts County in almost the same vein as the play-off semi-final last season.” National Lottery players will get the chance to see Torquay United in action on Saturday as part of a ‘Buy one get one free’ special.
The Weymouth game is part of the National Lottery football weekend. Promotional tickets can be purchased from 2 p.m. on Friday until 1 p.m. on match day. Offer cannot be purchased after 1pm on match day. It is valid only for those who purchase adult and discounted tickets, and is reserved for local supporters.
Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone on 01803 328666 between 10am and 2pm until Friday or via the club shop between 10am and 2pm until Friday. Buyers select tickets as usual, then add the promo code NL to the “View Cart” step of the transaction. They will then be asked to enter their national lottery ticket receipt number to qualify for the offer.
Season ticket holders can also take advantage of the promotion by entering the NLS promo code before entering the receipt number.