LEAGUE 2 : TORQUAY UNITED - MORECAMBE
United had a big, confidence boosting win over runaway league leaders Gillingham in midweek and they can follow up today against a Morecambe side who are short of some key offensive options.
I heard conflicting reports of the Gulls midweek win, some said the visitors were unlucky, others saw it differently, but the consensus was that United played well, they certainly put in a better defensive performance and with the goals flowing at the other end of the pitch, nine in their last four, they can look forward to the coming months. Last season, United went on an amazing run at exactly this stage, after a midweek win on October 25th, they went 13-2-1 for the next four months, averaging over 2.56 points per match. That will be hard to replicate, but we should definitely keep an eye on them in the next week or two.
Boss Martin Ling will have increased options at the back today, with the return from suspension of key right back Joe Oastler, he had only missed two games in the last two seasons before the Gillingham fixture and they had performed poorly in each, so that really was a noteworthy win and the performance of his young replacement, Daniel Leadbitter, was such, that there is some debate over who will start, but I think that is just a smokescreen to keep the younster's morale up and Oastler will surely play.
Morecambe have collected more points on the road than at home, but lost by the odd goal in three in a tough battle at Rotherham in midweek, which will have involved 4-5 hours on the team bus, before spending another six making the journey down here to deepest Devon. Obviously no travelling at all for the hosts this week and they should strip much the fresher of the two in that aspect. The visitors arrive without suspended strikers Richard Brodie (13-2-3) and Kevin Ellison (12-3-2) and injured left back Robbie Threlfall (10-0-0), it is hard to overstate how important Ellison is, he was a 15 goal man last season and is Mr Morecambe. The offensive problems are compounded as two of the only three other options Jack Redshaw and Lewis Alessandra, are carrying knocks and were listed as doubts. 1.25 units Torquay United -0.5 ball 1.98 asian line.