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Reids between the lines

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Garry Hill recognised the thin dividing line between equalising and conceding in the second half at Harrogate Town and now has to hope the fine lines separate in Fleet’s favour over the next two home games.

Much of that could depend on which one of the Reids is celebrating come full-time on Tuesday night, with Torquay’s hotshot Jamie Reid going up against Fleet’s joint top scorer Alex Reid.

Jamie Reid was the man who scored the only goal the last time these two sides met at the Kuflink Stadium – back in October 2017. And fast-forward almost exactly two years and the roles are almost exactly reversed.

Then, Torquay were bottom of the table against a Fleet side in the Top 10; now Fleet prop up the division while Torquay sit in ninth position.

Sean Shields finds no way through the last time Torquay came to North Kent

“There’s a dividing line from being on top and inches away from scoring or equalising to have momentum,” Hill said on Saturday evening. “With two home games coming up and if we play like we played against Barnet, with that commitment, we can get some reward. Other results only help if you do your own job, that first goal’s always important and hopefully we can get some goals this week.”

Fleet expect to welcome Josh Umerah back after he was rested on Harrogate’s 3G pitch but Alex Lawless, Aswad Thomas and John Goddard could yet be a few games away from a return.

Josh Payne is likely to get the nod to make his home debut while ex-Dagenham and Hartlepool striker Tomi Adeloye got almost 25 minutes to impress at Harrogate following his signing late last week.

Torquay arrive in Kent off the back of a late win over AFC Fylde on Saturday, a 93rd minute goal giving them a 2-1 victory – although reports suggest they weren’t firing on all cylinders in that one.

Jamie Reid, who scored 29 league goals last season, has nine already this campaign and is clearly the man the Fleet defence will need to keep quiet – though midfielder Jake Andrews has an eye for goal with five this term.

The Gulls have a couple of injury concerns, with Connor Lemonheigh-Evans and Opi Edwards nursing ankle complaints while midfielder Asa Hall has sat out recent games. Striker Ruari Keating wasn’t in the squad either on Saturday but midfielder Armani Little, signed from title rivals Woking in the summer, returned as a substitute.

Torquay have won three and lost three of their last eight games, defeats to Chesterfield and Eastleigh contrasting sharply with the 4-0 first-half thrashing of Stockport recently plus victory over Harrogate.

Manager Gary Johnson has kept the bulk of his title-winning squad together this season – Torquay’s first league title for more than 90 years – but has underpinned that with a couple of loanees from the likes of AFC Bournemouth, Bristol City and Swansea City. Gulls pair Frankie Vincent and Ben Whitfield played with Fleet’s Jordan Holmes and Tyler Cordner at Bournemouth, while loanee Joe Lewis will know Botti Biabi from their Swansea days.

The match is not segregated and Torquay fans are free to use the Fleet social club. Car-parking is available at Ebbsfleet International Station Car Park C for £3. Drivers are advised to avoid parking around the premises of local business and to avoid leaving cars on the Thames Way clearway near the roundabout as that runs the risk of being ticketed.

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