Delighted Gary Johnson: ‘We wanted to be top when fans came back, and we are’

Billy Waters celebrates having dramatically scored to gain the lead during the match between Wealdst

Billy Waters celebrates having dramatically scored to gain the lead during the match between Wealdstone and Torquay United at Grosvenor Vale on Tuesday. Photo: James Fearn/PPAUK - Credit: James Fearn/PPAUK

Gary Johnson has told Torquay United fans heading back to Plainmoor on Saturday not to think about leaving before the end against Wrexham after his never-say-die Gulls pulled off yet another ‘Gary-Time’ winner to stay two points clear at the top of the National League.

United trailed Wealdstone 0-1 at half-time in West London, but substitute Billy Waters’ first two goals for the club – the second in the 89th minute - clinched an eighth win (2-1) in the first ten games of the season.

Torquay have now earned ten of their 25 points with goals in the last ten minutes.

Johnson, who sent on both ex-Cheltenham and Northampton striker Waters and fellow forward Josh Umerah at the interval at Grosvenor Vale, revealed: “We heard that Sutton were winning and had knocked us off the top of the table, so we used that as motivation.

“Josh was desperate to get on and, although Billy hasn’t really played since last season, he’s a fox in the box, and that’s what we needed.

“It wasn’t a vintage Torquay performance, although we did pepper their area without having enough end-product. But we were relentless, as we usually are.

“We wanted to be top when the fans came back, and we are.

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“I’m not sure what the rules about leaving are on Saturday, but I don’t think anyone should think of going home early anyway!”

United dominated the first half at Wealdstone – the corner-count was 9-1 at half-time and 14-1 in the end – but their failure to turn pressure into goals was punished when Danny Parish scored from close range, after two blocked efforts, in the 27th minute.

Wealdstone had slightly more of the game in the second half, before United captain Asa Hall headed down Jake Andrews’ free-kick and Waters pounced in the 60th minute... 1-1.

Andrews and Umerah both went close as United refused to settle for a point.

Finally, Andrews set up Connor Lemonheigh-Evans for a low cross from the left and Waters was there again to stab in the winner at the near-post.

• For teams/stats, see match report at www.torbayweekly.co.uk