Tall order for Torquay United

Asa Hall, Captain of Torquay United battles for the ball with Kyle Hudlin of Solihull Moors

Asa Hall, Captain of Torquay United battles for the ball with Kyle Hudlin of Solihull Moors - Credit: Dave Crawford/PPAUK

They did it twice last season, and Torquay United may again have to counter the threat of Britain's tallest pro outfield player when they take on Solihull Moors at Damson Park on Tuesday night (7.45pm). 

Centre-forward Kyle Hudlin is 6ft 9in tall - several big clubs have him on their radar - but the Gulls marked him well enough to do the 'double' over the Moors on the way to the Play-Offs last season. 

The pressure is now on to tighten up in defence after conceding 14 goals in the first five games of the new National League campaign. 

From having an almost fully-fit squad a couple of weeks ago, manager Gary Johnson has several concerns ahead of this game, with Jake Andrews (illness), Tom Lapslie, Armani Little and Dan Holman all doubts. 

Holman had to go off with a 'dead leg' in Saturday's 3-1 home defeat by Grimsby Town, so he might recover in time as United, who have lost their first three home league games for the first time in 60 years, try to follow up more encouraging away performances at Notts County (1-1) and Maidenhead (4-3). 

Possibly the biggest worry is midfielder Little, who had to withdraw against Grimsby with what appeared to be a recurrence of the hamstring trouble which has plagued him over the past two years. 

United are still assessing the injury, but they are hoping it is not as bad as some similar issues he has had in the past. 

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Johnson feels that, although he was impressed with Grimsby, things might have been very different on Saturday if Joe Lewis had not blazed over at 1-0 up and his second-half header at 1-2 had been ruled over the line as United believed it was. 

But he stresses: "No one can say, even when we lose, that our lads haven't tried, and they definitely did against Grimsby. 

"Like every team in this division, Solihull have players who can hurt you if you let them.  We've done our homework as always, and we'll be ready." 

Like Little with his three goals so far, it's a midfield player, Joe Sbarra, who leads Moors' scorers with three of his own. 

The former WBA and Burton Albion player has made a loan move permanent, but his strikers have yet to Solihull, now under ex-AFC Wimbledon and Notts manager Neal Ardley, have fared similarly to Torquay - they've yet to win at home, but broke their 'duck' when they beat Aldershot away 2-1 at the weekend. 

Gulls centre-forward Danny Wright is returning to the club he last played for before his move to Plainmoor in 2020. 

The referee is Alan Dale from Suffolk. 

The Covid pandemic is still never far away, and both Altrincham and Woking have been forced to call forthcoming games off - they were due to entertain King's Lynn Town and Bromley respectively this midweek - because of positive tests in their teams.