No standing still for United

Ben Whitfield of Torquay United celebrates his goal during the National League match between Torquay

Ben Whitfield of Torquay United celebrates his goal during the National League match between Torquay United and Wrexham at Plainmoor Torquay, Devon on Saturday 5th December 2020 - PHOTO: Dave Crawford/PPAUK - Credit: Dave Crawford/PPAUK

Gulls v Maidenhead preview

Top of the table with 28 points out of a possible 33 makes pretty good reading for Torquay United fans, but manager Gary Johnson is still not satisfied.

Ahead of Tuesday night’s home game against fourth-placed Maidenhead United – Plainmoor’s Covid-capacity has been nudged up to 1,500 – Johnson stressed: “You don’t win leagues after eleven games.

“We’ve already told our lads this week – ‘Now is the time to push on’. If you’re standing still, in football like anything else, you’re going backwards.

“All the clubs in our league have got strengths and weaknesses, including us, and you’ve got to make sure you show more of one than the other.

“It was nice for our crowd to see a decent game against Wrexham on Saturday (3-1), and we’re hoping for a few more, but Maidenhead are quite strong too and we have got to keep the best bits of our game going now if we can. “

It turned out that centre-forward Danny Wright’s calf injury against Wrexham was a kick rather than a pull, so he has a good chance of playing, along with midfielder Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, who took at least one heavy challenge at the weekend.

Most Read

Maidenhead manager Alan Devonshire signed former Gulls centre-forward Nathan Bissett during the close-season, but Johnson has first-hand knowledge of two more players, midfielder Rohan Ince, whom he loaned from Chelsea at Yeovil, and winger Alex Addai.

Addai played for Johnson at Cheltenham and he says: “We’ve got some quick players, but he’s one of the quickest I’ve ever seen, if not the quickest – we’ve got to be aware of his pace”

Blissett may well lead the Maidenhead attack, but their leading scorer, with an impressive nine goals, is Sam Barratt, who has returned to his former club this season after two frustrating years at Southend.

Maidenhead also signed ex-United winger Dan Sparkes in the summer, but he’s injured at the moment, as has been Sam Smile, while fellow midfielder Josh Coley was sent off at Eastleigh.

Each round of matches feels extra important at the moment, and among Tuesday’s other fixtures are Sutton (2nd) v Chesterfield, Notts County (3rd) v Boreham Wood, Bromley (5th) v Yeovil and Altrincham (6th) v Woking (9th).

Stockport, eleventh but with games in hand on everyone, are away to Barnet.