Torquay United manager Gary Johnson and deputy manager Aaron Downes - Credit: TGSPHOTO / Alamy Stock Photo

Great pre-season so far for Torquay United

Dave Thomas

Torquay United's pre-season is about to get serious after the Gulls followed up a 1-0 win at Western League Buckland Athletic last weekend by beating newly-promoted Southern League Exmouth Town 2-0 on Tuesday night.

After two well-supported friendlies against lower league opposition, in which he held back some senior players and gave chances to several trialists and Under-18 prospects, manager Gary Johnson will use home games against EFL trio Newport County on Saturday and Plymouth Argyle and Exeter City next week to nail down his National League starting XI.

Speaking after late goals by Brett McGavin and young sub Brandon Quinn had overcome Exmouth, Johnson said: "We were a bit slow to get going, although we finished well and strong.

"It was a tough game against a tough team. However, that's not our first team.

"Some have done well for themselves, and some haven't. Me and Downsey (assistant Aaron Downes) have got to make decisions on a few people.

"But we go into the Newport game with most of them fit, and we've now got three great games for the players to show us who should be in the team against Oldham."

United start their National League campaign against relegated Oldham Athletic at Plainmoor on August 6.

Even after ex-Plymouth Argyle defender Ollie Tomlinson, 20, and former AFC Wimbledon striker Corie Andrews, 24, became his seventh and eighth signings of the summer, Johnson's transfer business is not over.

Goalkeeper Rhys Lovett (Cheltenham, Maidenhead), who played half the Buckland game and all 90 minutes at Exmouth, is expected to join senior goalie Mark Halstead, and there's still room for at least one more outfield addition.

Sport