Gulls have chance to earn some revenge in FA Cup-tie against Crawley Town

Torquay United manager Gary Johnson goes into the match 'full of confidence'. Photo: Steve Bond/PPAUK

Torquay United manager Gary Johnson goes into the match 'full of confidence'. Photo: Steve Bond/PPAUK - Credit: Steve Bond/Pinnacle

Nearly a decade - and what an eventful one it’s been - has passed since Torquay United and Crawley Town locked horns in a fortune-changing FA Cup-tie at Plainmoor, and tomorrow (12.45pm) the Gulls have a chance to earn some revenge for that painful 1-0 defeat.

The circumstances - this is the First Round instead of the Fourth - and all the characters have changed, but the Cup still retains the magic it had in January 2011.

You could hardly have a bigger contrast in managers than Gary Johnson over Paul Buckle for United and, even more definitely, John Yems over Steve Evans for Town.

While Torquay were in League Two and Crawley in the Conference, the current situation is reversed.

And, of course, Plainmoor will be empty tomorrow, instead of jam-packed as it was before.

It’s history that Crawley’s victory - ELEVEN cards were shown in 2011, including two red - earned them a Fifth Round tie against Manchester United which set them up for years to come.

United went on to lose that season’s play-off final against Stevenage at Old Trafford.

Most Read

But that was then and this is now, and the Gulls are trying to carry their flying National League form into a surprise result.

“Crawley are a good League Two team - not a poor or an average one,” says Johnson, “but we go into this game full of confidence.”

Few envy Johnson’s selection decisions.

He has nearly 20 players to choose from and, as defender Kyle Cameron said recently, some serious quality could find itself in the stand tomorrow.

For instance, will centre-back Fraser Kerr or new striker Billy Waters feature for the first time? At least there are seven substitute spots, instead of five, to broaden Johnson’s options.

Crawley, whose home form sees them eighth in League Two, have on-loan Southampton midfielder Jake Hesketh suspended, and there must be a doubt over experienced goalkeeper Glen Morris, who had to come off in their midweek 1-0 defeat at Walsall.

But United will have to keep in-form strikers Tom Nicholls (Exeter, Peterborough, Bristol Rovers) and Max Watters (Doncaster) quiet if they want to be in Monday evening’s Round Two draw.

The match is being broadcast live via the BBC Sport website and iPlayer.