TORQUAY United away is almost as big as it comes for Weymouth these days.

Only when travelling to arch-rivals Yeovil Town in the cauldron of Huish Park could the Terras perhaps claim to have a bigger match in the National League South.

The Terras last won at Plainmoor in 2009 in the National League, earning a 2-0 victory thanks to Ryan Williams and Stuart Beavon goals.

And the clubs have served up several crackers since then.

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Upon Weymouth’s return to the National League for the Covid-affected 2020/21 season, Torquay claimed a memorable 4-3 win.

Torquay went into an early 2-0 lead before Weymouth hauled themselves level at 3-3 in the second half, only for Connor Lemonheigh-Evans to steal the points in the 88th minute.

Then came the return game at Torquay, when Weymouth threatened a shock thanks to an Andy Dallas penalty.

Torquay drew level in the second half and then again broke Weymouth hearts with a late winner.

Guess who the scorer was? That’s right, Lemonheigh-Evans again.

Weymouth were again unlucky not to take points off the Gulls two years ago, when Brandon Goodship’s equaliser proved in vain after Sinclair Armstrong’s winner.

Torquay’s 3-0 win over the Terras, who were facing relegation, ended a 13-year wait for a two-goal margin of victory between the sides.

So, on the recent head-to-head record at least, Weymouth appear to have a decent sniff of taking a positive result back home with them, given the problems they have caused the Gulls.

Add to that the well documented unrest at Torquay towards owner Clarke Osborne and manager Gary Johnson, and Weymouth could feed off the Gulls’ negative energy.

There is further discontent at Torquay when compared to their fellow relegated sides from the National League in Yeovil and Maidstone.

Those two teams currently occupy the top two positions and Torquay are in sixth, already 11 points behind leaders Yeovil.

However, the Gulls have already lost eight matches, with only four teams losing more in the entire division.

It seems the chances of a Weymouth victory, if not earning a point, are higher than one might expect when comparing the size of the two clubs, one of which was in League Two 10 years ago.

But what does Weymouth manager Bobby Wilkinson make of the Terras’ chances?

“I’ll tell you what we need right now,” Wilkinson said. “We need to go and beat one of these top sides.

“Over the years we’ve always done this. Last year we beat one of the big sides.

“We’ve shown how good we are against one of the big sides (Aveley) last week. I know we didn’t get the win but we competed and were outstanding.

“Now we need to go away from home and pick up, not a shock result, but one where people go: ‘Wow, Weymouth are properly here fighting and trying to win points’.”

By the time Weymouth visit Torquay, the Terras will be on the second leg of a five-stage cluster of away days in December.

Such a punishing schedule could serve to demoralise or inspire the Terras depending on results.

On that basis, how valuable could a win or a draw be to Weymouth on the English Riviera?

“It just helps us out with these five away games,” Wilkinson said.

“This is a real challenge for us, it would be for any team.

“When you’ve got a squad like ours that are quite young, this is going to be a daunting but challenging road ahead.

“We’re going to have to take one game at a time and be prepared for whatever is thrown at us.”

The fixture also pits the likes of Keelan O’Connell, now at Weymouth, and Torquay’s Brad Ash against their former sides.

Ash was a particularly sore loss for Weymouth this summer, given he ended the 2022/23 campaign as the club’s top scorer with 24 goals.

But can Weymouth lean on O’Connell for some extra insight into the Gulls? Wilkinson appears to be sticking to his guns on that front.

“No, we’ve done all our homework on Torquay and will continue that on Sunday,” he insisted.

“We’ve had Torquay watched and I’ve watched some videos. We know quite a lot about them and know this is going to be an even tougher game than all the other ones we’ve had.

“They’re one of the big, big boys in the league with the budget and who they are.

“But we don’t fear that, we’ve proved that when we went to Yeovil, especially the second half.

“If you want to win against one of these big boys you’ve got to do it for 90 minutes and that’s what we’ll be trying to do.”

It seems a win at Torquay really would be as big as it comes, then.