Captain Asa 'would give anything' to lead Gulls to promotion

Torbay Weekly

Having the season of his life at the age of 34, Torquay United captain and leading scorer Asa Hall says he 'would give anything' to lead the Gulls to promotion and back to the Football League.

Described as 'a fantastic skipper' by new April Manager of the Month Gary Johnson, Hall has hit 13 goals from midfield in his fourth year at Plainmoor.

It's the biggest seasonal tally in his 14 seasons and 476 games as a pro.

The former Birmingham, Luton, Oxford, Shrewsbury, Cheltenham and Barrow player captained Torquay to the National League South title in 2019, and his form this season has made him a strong contender for the club's Player Of The Year award.

Hall revealed this week that a 4-1 defeat at Maidenhead on March 16 changed everything for United.

"The start we had was brilliant, but we lost quite a few key players, we were trying to figure out a way of playing without them and that's why we had a dodgy spell," he said.

"Then Maidenhead was the wake-up call.

"We went back to basics, back to 4-4-2, worked hard on it and we've been much stronger in defence since then.

"We had to put it right.  It took a lot of character to come back from that night and put together the run we've had."

United's record since that loss reads: P13 W10 D2 L1.

Hall says: "I've tended to be a holding midfielder for the last couple of seasons.

"But I've always scored goals in my career, so when the ball has gone wide this year, I've thought 'Why not get in the box - at least as fast as I can these days!'

"I've been on penalties, but I have scored quite a few from open play, and some important ones as well."

Johnson says of Hall: "Asa is not a shouter and bawler, but he will definitely have quiet word when it's needed, he leads by example and he's a fantastic captain."

Hall adds: "The gaffer always says 'seize the moment'.

"With 16 games to go, who would have thought we would put in such a run?

"There's only three games left now. No-one wants the season to end and we believe in ourselves.

"I would give anything to get us over the line."

Meanwhile, it now looks like a home-straight duel between Sutton United and Torquay United for the National League Championship.

Sutton regained the leadership this week when they pipped lowly Woking at home 3-2, while third-placed Stockport County could only draw 1-1 with Dagenham & Redbridge.

The top of the table now reads: Sutton 78pts/GD+32, Torquay 77/+29, Stockport 72/+36, Hartlepool 70/+20.

The Gulls, who left the door open to Sutton by drawing 0-0 with Bromley at the weekend, travel to Stockport this Sunday (12.15pm BT Sport) before fans are allowed back to Plainmoor against Barnet (May 22).

The last three games of the contenders are: Sutton - Maidenhead A, Hartlepool H, Barnet A; Torquay - Stockport A, Barnet H, Altrincham A; Stockport - Torquay H, Woking H, Yeovil A; Hartlepool - Aldershot A, Sutton A, Weymouth H.