Following last week’s superb ten-man win against Dartford, United face up to another team fighting for a play-off place as they travel to Essex to face Concord Rangers.
Who’s the boss?
Sammy Moore was appointed as Concord player/manager in May last year, following a successful spell in charge of Leatherhead. After making his Football League debut as a teenager with Ipswich Town, Moore enjoyed a successful career as a midfielder with the likes of Brentford, Stevenage and Wimbledon. A 6th place Isthmian League finish in his first managerial position at Leatherhead was enough to convince the Concord Rangers board of his suitability to replace the departed Adam Flanagan.
How are they doing?
The Beach Boys are in 8th place, with 55 points from 35 games, just three points behind Billericay Town in the final play-off spot. Concord’s season was rocked in January as they were deducted three points for fielding an illegible player in the 4-0 win over Hampton & Richmond. To their credit though, they have refused to let that setback define their season, and they head into the final eight games of the season with a place at the play-offs still well within their grasp. Their excellent home form has seen them lose just one of their 17 matches, and they are also unbeaten in their last 10 fixtures, however their role as the division’s draw specialists has stemmed their progress somewhat, with 13 of their games ending all-square.
Players to watch
Whilst The Gulls can boast the most prolific strikeforce in the division in the form of Jamie Reid and Saikou Janneh, Rangers have their own goalscoring duo in attack. Although now 35 years old, Assistant Manager Jack Midson followed Moore from Leatherhead to Essex, and he has continued to prove his worth on the field with 14 league goals this season. A prolific marksman throughout his career, United fans will remember him most for his hat-trick in Oxford United’s 4-3 win over Paul Buckle’s Gulls at Plainmoor back in 2011. His partner up-front for Concord, Alex Wall, leads the way in the goalscoring charts with 18 goals, and has previously represented the likes of Maidenhead, Luton Town and Bristol Rovers.
United and Concord’s only previous clash resulted in a 4-1 win for the Gulls at Plainmoor last November. Torquay raced into a 4-0 half-time lead, courtesy of Janneh’s first senior hat-trick and a 30 yard thunderbolt from Reid. The second half was a less spectacular affair, with substitute Ahmed Abdulla notching a late consolation for Rangers.
National League South | Concord Rangers Vs Torquay United | 23/03/19 | The Aspect Arena, Thames Road, Canvey Island, Essex SS8 0HH | The United Travel Club will be running a coach for supporters wishing to make the journey, further details can be found here