Make-or-break fortnight for Torquay United

Torbay Weekly

The next fortnight could prove to be a make-or-break spell for Torquay United as they try to close the ten-point gap which separates them from the National League Play-Offs.

Gary Johnson's Gulls have lost only two of their last 14 matches, but a combination of four successive draws and results elsewhere, as teams have made up the games they had in hand, still leave United as 'post-season' outsiders.

The next two weeks include games at one-from-bottom King's Lynn Town (22nd) this Saturday and home to Aldershot Town (20th) and Weymouth (21st), with promotion-chasing FC Halifax Town away thrown into the mix.

United have a pretty good record against some of the top teams in the division, but if they cannot make the most of those fixtures against three of the bottom-four, it'll be a fair old ask to do it against the likes of leaders Stockport (A) and Notts County (H) early next month.

Johnson will have to make at least one change, to cover for Joe Lewis' pre-match suspension.

He has options - Ben Wynter and Dean Moxey both played well as centre-backs against Bromley (0-0) last weekend, Ali Omar is keen to come in and prove a point and there are high hopes that Asa Hall, close to fitness last Saturday, will be available this time.

Coincidentally, Hall was harshly sent off at The Walks last season, when United had to settle for a 0-0 draw.

Relegation-haunted Lynn have come to rely on their home form in recent years, but it has deserted them this season - only two wins and two draws in 15 games there.

But they have become harder to beat since Tommy Widdrington took over from the long-serving Ian Culverhouse in early December - they've drawn four of the last seven, including the holding of FC Halifax Town and Grimsby Town away.

But Weymouth and Dover are still the only teams the Linnets have beaten in the league since October 2, and they are currently 13 points adrift of safety.

That run included a 2-0 defeat at Plainmoor, where Joe Lewis and Sinclair Armstrong scored for the Gulls.

Former Cambridge and Southend defender Josh Coulson, 33, is the key man at the back, and in midfield the talented Michael Clunan was recently joined by ex-Bristol Rovers starlet Cameron Hargreaves, son of former Gulls captain and manager Chris Hargreaves.

At South Devon College, Paignton, on Saturday morning (10.30am), leaders United under Chris Todd are due to meet second-placed Bridgwater United in a match which should go a long way to deciding the SW Counties Youth League title.