Seeking the 'Torquay Game' in attack

Torquay United players applaud their fans after the National League Match between Chesterfield and T

Torquay United players applaud their fans after the National League Match between Chesterfield and Torquay United at Technique Stadium on 25 Sep 2021 in Chesterfield, England (Photo by Lexy Ilsley/PPAUK) - Credit: Lexy Ilsley/PPAUK

'Gary-time' points against Southend (1-0) and Chesterfield (2-2) have cheered Torquay United fans up over the past couple of weeks, but two decent results don't transform a season and the priority now is to get some real consistency into the Gulls' campaign. 

"When you put three or four or five results together, that becomes a run," says manager Gary Johnson ahead of Saturday's home game against Wealdstone. 

It won't be straightforward, because United follow Wealdstone at Plainmoor with, on paper at least, tricky away games at top-ten duo Boreham Wood on Tuesday night and Bromley next weekend. 

A 90th minute winner against Southend and goals in the 89th and 95th minutes at Chesterfield may have reinforced the ongoing belief at United that they are never beaten, but Johnson stresses: "It wasn't me who gave it that name (Gary-Time). 

"I want Gary-Time to be the first five minutes, not the last five minutes all the time. 

"Away from home, I thought defensively we were quite sound at Chesterfield. 

"But I want to see what I call that 'Torquay game' in attack more - I've seen bits of it, but I haven't seen it enough. 

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"The more new players you bring in, the more time it takes, and we will have to see how the next couple of games go. 

"We've still got five loans available when we need them, and there are a lot of players out there at the moment who are being pushed in our direction." 

Having overcome one old adversary in Southend's Phil Brown a fortnight ago, Johnson now comes up against a man whom he coached earlier in his career. 

Wealdstone manager Stuart Maynard was a teenage prospect when Johnson was head of the Vicarage Road Academy in the late 1990s. 

"Stuart was a player under me at Watford, and we've kept in touch over the years, so I know him well," said Johnson. 

Two more members of the Stones' party everyone at Plainmoor knows well are striker Josh Umerah and midfielder Matt Buse, who both signed for the west London club after leaving the Gulls in the summer. 

"We know they'll be up for it, as all lads coming back to their old club are," said Johnson. 

Wealdstone are just above United in the table with a team overhauled by Maynard in the summer. 

They have beaten Altringham and King's Lynn, but perhaps their best result has been a 2-2 draw at early leaders Dagenham & Redbridge. 

Ex-Woking duo Jack Cook and Charlie Cooper were key signings, as were Umerah and Buse. 

Maynard also has experienced National League performers like Dan Wishart and Andy Eleftheriou in defence and Dennon Lewis and former Dagenham favourite Medy Elito in midfield. 

Although striker Ira Jackson Jr, signed from Grimsby recently, is suspended, the Stones have just brought in young Charlton Athletic forward Charlie Barker on loan to bolster their attacking options. 

Saturday's referee will be Lloyd Wood from Essex. 

This weekend also sees the Third Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, so United will learn their 4th QR opponents in Monday's draw. 

The next round takes place over the weekend of October 15-18 and among the clubs who will be in Torquay's southern half of the draw are, intriguingly, Jersey Bulls of the Combined Counties League.