Following last weekend’s defeat at Welling, Torquay boss Gary Johnson will be looking for his side to provide an instant response against relegation-threatened Dulwich Hamlet on Saturday (23/02/19 3pm).

Who’s the boss?

Gavin Rose is The Hamlet’s longest serving manager, having managed 400-odd games over seven years. Having originally represented the club as player / youth coach in 2003/03, Rose also boasted a long playing career with the likes of  Wimbledon, Charlton, QPR, Southend, Bromley and Gravesend & Northfleet. As manager of Dulwich, he led them to the Ryman League South title in 2012/13, and following many near misses, finally secured promotion to National League South via the Isthmian League play-offs last season after finishing in 2nd position.

How are they doing?

Dulwich have taken some time to adjust to their new surroundings, and are currently placed in 18th place with 32 points form 31 games, six points above the dreaded drop zone. Their season though, did receive a boost in December when they finally returned to their Champion Hill ground after spending nine months in exile at Tooting & Mitcham’s Imperial Fields ground. A mammoth crowd of 2,849 saw them secure a 3-3 draw with Hemel Hempstead Town, care of a 89th minute Decarrey Sherriff penalty.

Players to watch

Striker Dan Thompson is the man Hamlet fans will be hoping will score the goals to fire his side to safety, and the early signs look promising. Since joining the club from Braintree, the ex-Portsmouth and Bognor Regis frontman has hit three goals, including a brace in their draw with Hemel on Saturday. At the other end of the pitch, goalkeeper Preston Edwards has made the position his own since signing for the club three years ago. Capped by England at U17, U18 and ‘C’ level, the 29 year-old has also represented the likes of Millwall, Grays and Ebbsfleet.

Familiar faces

Gulls fans will be very aware of one member of the Dulwich squad – Centre back George Essuman began the season with United, before leaving the club last month to join Hamlet on loan until the end of the season. Having signed for Torquay last summer, George formed a good relationship with the Yellow Army and made 14 appearances, as well as scoring the second goal in our 3-0 victory away to Wealdstone back in October.

Previous encounters

The two sides have only met once in league competition, with late goals from Jamie Reid and Saikou Janneh securing a 2-0 victory for the Gulls in Dulwich’s last game at their temporary home of Imperial Fields.

National League South | Torquay United Vs Dulwich Hamlet | 23/02/18 | Plainmoor | To order in advance click here.