Gulls starting the New Year at Yeovil

Torbay Weekly

Armani Little may be suspended, but Torquay United hope to have several recent absentees back for Sunday's New Year derby return against Yeovil Town at Huish Park (3pm).

The Gulls' leading scorer picked up his fifth caution of the season in Tuesday's 2-1 defeat at Eastleigh, which still irks manager Gary Johnson.

Little was yellow-carded for his celebration, after his tenth goal of the campaign gave United the lead at the Silverlake Stadium.

But Johnson, who also disagreed with the decision to award Eastleigh an equalising penalty, said: "Armani had two members of his family in the crowd behind the goal, and he went over to give them a hug. He wasn't trying to waste time.

"Over the weekend, players have been celebrating with their fans all over the country and not getting booked, but he was."

Torquay also had to take off Little's midfield partner Tom Lapslie just before half-time, but Johnson reported: "Tom had a problem with his groin, but we got him off early to give him a chance of playing again soon."

On-loan striker Sinclair Armstrong and new signing Joe Felix are available after Covid isolation issues, and also back in training is winger Byron Moore, who's been out with a hamstring problem.

Only 48 hours after their 3-0 win over Yeovil on Boxing Day, United faded in the second half at Eastleigh, but former Glovers boss Johnson says: "We'll have had enough time to recover from the Eastleigh game.

"Games against Yeovil are always going to be competitive, but if we can win there, two points per game will have been not a bad Christmas.

"It would be four wins and a loss from the last five (league) as well."

Yeovil will be without Sonny Blu Lo-Everton and goalkeeper Grant Smith, both sent off at Plainmoor, and right-back Dan Moss, also suspended for five bookings.

Meanwhile, former Gulls winger Kalvin Kalala, who has been playing in the fifth tier of French football, is back in England - he's joined National League South side Dartford, making his debut in a 2-2 draw at Braintree this week.

Kalala, who turned down a new contract in 2020 after two years at Plainmoor, has signed to the end of the season initially.