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Celebrations as Torquay United secure league safety

Torquay United football (Image courtesy: Guy Henderson)

Taunton Town 1 Torquay United 2

Celebrations were long and loud at Taunton Town’s Wordsworth Drive ground last night as Torquay United secured their National League South survival with a 2-1 win.

Only a victory would have guaranteed the Gulls their safety, and after Saturday’s disappointing defeat at Bath many fans were fearing the worst from a second away trip in three days.

But Aaron Downes’ United team were up for the fight from the first minute, and although Taunton rallied in the second half and could easily have stolen Torquay’s thunder, the visitors held on. Now it will be down to Hemel Hempstead, Eastbourne and Taunton to fight over the last relegation place.

Around 900 Torquay fans made the short trip up the M5 for the game, and their team gave them plenty to cheer about in an all-action first half.

They took the lead through Brett McGavin, the midfielder curling a trademark long shot into the top corner of the net beyond the reach of Taunton’s ex-Gulls keeper Dan Lavercombe.

Skipper Asa Hall made it 2-0 with a sweeping volley high into the net from a McGavin corner.

However, the home side were galvanised in the second half and pulled a goal back almost immediately after the break through Ollie Chamberlain.

Town’s Ross Stearn had an equalising ‘goal’ disallowed for a foul on Torquay keeper Mark Halstead, and Town substitute Evander Grubb missed an open goal when a shot by Zac Bell came back off the post too quickly for him to control properly.

Torquay weathered that storm, but still had to cope with a staggering 12 minutes of time added on at the end, much of it as a result of a nasty head injury which saw Gulls substitute Lewis Collins needing treatment on the field before being taken off himself.

But Torquay and their travelling fans were in no mood to concede anything, and the final whistle brought wild celebrations. Off the field the turmoil continues for Torquay, who are in the hands of administrators and seeking new owners.

But the team on the field did their bit last night to banish the spectre of relegation.


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