Torquay United welcome Wealdstone tonight

Plainmoor’s Torbay Weekly Stand

Plainmoor’s Torbay Weekly Stand - Credit: Archant

A fitness test for centre-forward Josh Umerah will be key in manager Gary Johnson’s selection before Torquay United get back to National League action against Wealdstone at Plainmoor on Tuesday night (7.45pm).  

Left out of the squad for last week’s 2-1 home defeat by Altrincham, former Charlton and Ebbsfeet striker Umerah justified his recall by scoring the first goal in Saturday’s 2-0 FA Trophy win at Southport.  

But he then picked up a ‘dead leg’ and limped off midway through the first half.  

“The impact was high on the inside of his thigh, not the usual place for a knock like that, and you never know how quickly people recover from those. But we hope that Josh will be fit,” said Johnson.  

All teams are reporting increased injuries in the face of demanding Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday schedules, and the Gulls are no different. Danny Wright, Liam Davis, Andrew Nelson and goalie Lucas Covolan are all out for several weeks, or much longer.  

Defenders Gary Warren and Fraser Kerr are also sidelined, although right-back Ben Wynter is close to a full recovery from his hamstring injury.  

The Altrincham defeat helped to cut United’s lead back to nine points, ahead of games this week against Wealdstone and away to Woking on Saturday. Woking will also be the Gulls’ destination in the FA Trophy Quarter-Finals (Feb 27), which will be the 13th meeting between the two clubs in the last five years.  

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But Wealdstone pose more pressing business. They’d made a flying start when United beat them 2-1 in west London with two Billy Waters goals on December 1, but one win in ten games has sent them tumbling down the table and prompted the departure of promotion-winning manager Dean Brennan last week.  

They’ve also come off the back of another long trip at the weekend, to NL North Darlington where they lost 4-1 in the Trophy.  

“Every three points now is more vital than ever,” said Johnson. “We are having to manage the squad carefully, which we did at Southport, but at least I saw more of our true game there than against Altrincham.”  

One thing’s for sure – it will be distinctly ‘parky’ and not for the faint-hearted...