Blood and thunder win for United

Final whistle celebrations for Gary Johnson, Manager of Torquay United after the National League mat

Final whistle celebrations for Gary Johnson, Manager of Torquay United after the National League match between Torquay United and Yeovil Town at Plainmoor Torquay, Devon on Sunday 26 Dec 2021 - PHOTO: Phil Mingo/PPAUK - Credit: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

Manager Gary Johnson described Torquay United's 3-0 Boxing Day win over ten-man Yeovil Town as 'a blood and thunder' affair and said the Gulls' spirit was at the heart of a third successive National League victory. 

Yeovil had Watford loanee Sonny Blu Lo-Everton sent off in the second half, with the score at 0-0, for an off-the-ball spat with Gulls midfielder Tom Lapslie, before goals by Ben Wynter, Jack Sparkes and Joe Lewis sent Torquay up to 12th place. 

"It was blood and thunder, with all the free-kicks, yellow and red cards," said Johnson. 

"We knew we would have to compete, because their form has been very good of late and we knew why. 

"We had to match them. 

"We can't go over the top, because we play them again in a week's time, and they beat us at their place last year. 

"But I'm just pleased that we put on a performance for our supporters, who were fantastic the whole way through again. 

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"It's a third win now in the league, and let's see if we can get on a run. 

"At half-time, I said I thought there were eight or nine potential man of the match contenders, and I did mention two who needed to do a bit more. 

"But, in the end, there were ten or eleven who could have been man of the match. 

"It was good to get a clean sheet, and important, and although we know the others in the defence - Ben (Wynter), Joe (Lewis) and Dean (Moxey), I thought Dan Martin was fantastic. 

"We knew he was a player when we brought him in, but he just needed to get his confidence up." 

Johnson also revealed that, with Mark Halstead one of several players self-isolating from Covid and Marcin Brzozowski on loan at Gloucester City, he nearly put 16-year-old goalkeeper Matt Wonnacott on the bench. 

"He's only 16, but he's already six foot-plus and he's going to be a good keeper," he said. 

"We wanted to give him the experience of being in the dressing-room before a big game without being on the bench, so it's not a shock to him when he does get his opportunity."