Rejuvenated Gulls book a place in the next round of the FA Trophy
Torquay United manager Gary Johnson talked about redemption ahead of today’s FA Trophy clash with Yeovil, having seen his side overwhelmed by the Glovers in the league 10 days ago.
And his side responded magnificently, bossing the game and bringing Yeovil’s mighty run of wins to an end.
The visitors had won their last 11 games in league and cup, scoring 29 goals along the way, but Torquay thoroughly deserved their passage through to the next round of the trophy with a performance full of enterprise and endeavour.
And they had the man of the match in midfielder Callum Dolan, whose spectacular second half goal was the icing on the cake for an afternoon of clever touches and tough tackling.The latter finally wore away the referee’s patience and earned the Fleetwood loanee a yellow card in the closing minutes.
Johnson had hinted he might ring the changes with his team selection, and his hand was partly forced by the Gulls’ long injury list.
Rhys Lovett returned in goal while journeyman full back Dylan Crowe was given a berth on the left of a back three. Crowe responded with a crowd-pleasing performance which put him in the running with Dolan for man of the match honours.
Ryan Hanson was tenacious in midfield and Brad Ash worked tirelessly up front, but in truth the whole team lifted themselves on a difficult surface.
They had a dream start in the second minute when Dolan found fit-again Dillon De Silva wide on the right with a superb pass, and De Silva cut inside to drive an unstoppable shot low into the Yeovil net.
Yeovil keeper Joe Day denied Ash while at the other end Lovett saved well from Will Dawes.
Four minutes into the second half Dolan was celebrating after his low shot beat Day from outside the box.
Yeovil huffed and puffed but hardly threatened the Torquay goal until the last minute, when a header by Duncan Idehen found its way into the net thanks to a deflection off Asa Hall.
Frank Nouble went close with a shot across the Torquay goal, and the Gulls were forced to defend deep as stoppage time ticked away.
But there was no denying a rejuvenated Torquay who more than redeemed themselves in the Plainmoor mud.