Teammates and fans rally to support Gulls captain Armani Little

Torbay Weekly

Torquay United fans have rallied round midfielder Armani Little after he scored both goals in a 2-1 win over Dover Athletic at Plainmoor, yet some supporters booed when his Man Of The Match award was announced.

Little, who is also captain in the injury absence of club skipper Asa Hall, equalised for the Gulls from long range in the first half and then, after the sponsors' choice had been announced, scored a 90th minute winner with a volley into the roof of the net.

The fans' reaction was more to the MoM verdict, and a below-par team performance, than to Little himself, but he was visibly disappointed until his teammates gathered round him.

Manager Gary Johnson has led the backing for Little, who has been one of United's most popular players over the last two-and-a-half seasons, and he reported: "Armani knows that we all think about him and, happily, the reaction on social media has been very supportive."

It's more remarkable that the former Southampton and Oxford United player is the Gulls' top scorer with seven goals, and he also leads the club's goal 'assist' list.

"I'm pleased that the fans have reflected a bit since the weekend," added Johnson.

"We didn't play our best as a team, but Armani is a competitor, he never 'hides', he's always trying to find a key pass and he wants to win football matches - there isn't a million of them about.

"Everyone around the club respects him as a player and as a person, and we made him captain because we wanted him to know how he is appreciated.

"I think it's shown how important it is for us all to stick together, especially when things aren't going well."

The Dover win came at a cost, with Chiori Johnson (hamstring) and Dan Holman (knee) joining currently injured duo Danny Wright and Hall.

But attacking midfielder Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, who missed last weekend's game for family reasons, hopes to return for this Saturday's trip to Barnet and Aldershot Town away next Tuesday.

United will also welcome back loan striker Sinclair Armstrong from international duty (Eire) and Dan Martin after suspension.