Plainmoor - Credit: Torquay United

Preview: Torquay United vs Chesterfield

Torbay Weekly

If Torquay United were going to look like a team that's packed up for the season, it would surely have happened at Dagenham & Redbridge last weekend.

It didn't, so Gulls fans have good reason to expect that Saturday's final home game against Chesterfield (12.30pm), in front of BT Sport cameras, will spark a similar performance - with some better finishing (0-0), of course.

You'd never have known at Victoria Road that Torquay's Play-Off hopes had all but disappeared and Dagenham's were very much alive.  Gary Johnson's men were still going for the winner in the closing stages like there was no tomorrow.

As always, this may be the 'last hurrah' for one or two Plainmoor favourites who could be leaving this summer, and a chance for others to underline that they can definitely be part of a promotion-chasing team next season.

United's Player and Young Player Of The Year awards, sponsored by the Torbay Weekly, will also be announced.

It's more than seven months since the Gulls, then still trying to get a steady side together, came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 in a frantic finish at the Technique Stadium.

If they can beat Paul Cook's Spireites (7th), they'll have taken four points off Wrexham, Notts County and Chesterfield, and three off leaders Stockport County ahead of next Wednesday's trip to Edgeley Park. Work that one out, for a team that hasn't been able to beat Barnet or Eastleigh!

"We still have a big say in who gets in the Play-Offs and who wins the league," said manager Gary Johnson.

"We've just fallen short of the Play-Offs as far as the Play-Offs are concerned, but it would be nice to finish near the top-ten, or even eighth or ninth, to complete a good recovery since the start of the season."

That recovery currently reads: P23 W12 D7 L4.

Half-an-hour after the final whistle at Plainmoor, Wrexham and Stockport meet in a 2nd-v-1st showdown that should shake the foundations at the Racecourse Ground.

Switching managers in February, from James Rowe to Cook, has not proved a complete success for Chesterfield so far.

Cook returned to the Spireites after spells with Wigan, Ipswich and Portsmouth, but a run of only five wins in the last 17 games has left that Play-Off place under threat.

They may actually need to beat United and Woking at home next weekend to stop either Dagenham or Boreham Wood overhauling them.

Considering the investment which has gone in there, led off by the £250,000 signing of Kabby Tshimanga from Boreham Wood last summer, not making the top-seven would be a long way below the expectations of last August.

Tshimanga's broken leg and dislocated ankle, sustained at Weymouth just after Cook had taken over, robbed them of a goal-machine - he'd scored 25 goals in 30 league and cup games.

Ex-AFC Fylde striker Danny Rowe has also been sidelined, along with several other players, but their squad is still one of the strongest in the division, with experienced centre-backs like Gavin Gunning and Jamie Grimes, talented wide players in Calvin Miller and Jeff King and proven forwards like Liam Mandeville and barn-door targetman Tom Denton.

They come into this game after five defeats in their last eight games and, after the action at Plainmoor is over, they'll be watching closely to see how Dagenham, three points behind, get on at Solihull Moors and Boreham Wood, seven adrift but with a game in hand, fare at Yeovil.

The referee is Tom Kirk from Manchester.

Written by Dave Thomas