Torquay United 5 Wealdstone 0
- Credit: Dave Crawford/PPAUK
Torquay United ran riot to make it seven points out of nine in a five-goal five-star show against outgunned Wealdstone at wet and windy Plainmoor.
A second goal in successive games by midfielder Tom Lapslie, a brilliant finish by Dan Holman - his first goal for the Gulls - and a fifth goal of the campaign by Armani Little and a goal-of-the-season contender by man-of-the-match Joe Lewis gave Gary Johnson's men a 4-0 lead at half-time.
Holman added his second and United's fifth goal in the second half as it became a matter of how many they might score as they cruised to the sort of emphatic victory which can only give their confidence a big boost ahead of away games at Boreham Wood and Bromley next week.
United were forced to make a couple of changes, with Danny Wright and Chiori Johnson both out injured - Wright, who wearing a protective 'boot' on his right ankle, reportedly for several weeks.
Johnson also reshuffled his side in other areas, so back came Dan Holman in attack, and also recalled was fit-again Connor Lemonheigh-Evans in attack, Tom Lapslie in midfield and Dan Martin at left-back.
Jake Andrews, who hadn't kicked a ball in anger this season because of illness, was also fit enough to return to the bench.
You'd never have known, from the half-time score, that it was Wealdstone who started the brighter, especially in attack.
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Charlie Cooper missed a wonderful chance to head them in front after a couple of minutes, from a cross by attacking right-back Andy Eleftheriou, and the Stones looked dangerous every time they went forward.
But it was a different matter in defence.
Without Wright up front, it was always going to be pointless knocking the ball up to Holman and Lemonheigh-Evans in the air. And they didn't.
Holman kept dropping off his markers into telling spaces, and Keelan O'Connell on the right and Dan Martin on the left started stretching an overworked visiting rearguard.
In the eighth minute Little found Holman 25 yards out and he unleashed a shot which screamed past George Wickens and against the right-hand post.
no matter, two minutes later United were ahead.
Holman broke up a Wealdstone counter-attack, set Little away on the right, he spotted Lapslie arriving unmarked at the far post, put his cross on the money and Lapslie put a simple header away…1-0.
It took a terrific goal-saving tackle by Lewis to stop Dennon Lewis punishing a passing mistake by Little, but in the 16th minute Holman, who'd had to wait for his first United goal, but he has always looked like a proper finisher and he showed it in the 16th minute.
Little's right-wing corner was nodded down at the far post by Lewis, Holman held off a defender with his back to goal, pulled the ball from right to left with the underside of his boot and slammed a 15-yard shot into the top right-hand corner…2-0.
The lively O'Connell, Lemonheigh-Evans and Holman all went close before United extended their lead in the 29th minute.
Dean Moxey's cross from the left took a big deflection, but it worked out well, because it looped over the the Stones' defence and Little was alert and quick enough to make ground and headed past the stranded Wickens…30.
Visiting manager Stuart Maynard has seen enough, and he made a double change in the 33rd minute - ex-Gulls Matt Buse and striker Jay Bird on for Elito and Wishart.
United should have made it 4-0 moments later, Wickens taking Holman's legs from under him after he had turned smartly on a Little pass.
But Little then blasted the penalty over the bar!
It looked as if United would have to settle for a three-goal lead at the interval, but in the third and final minute of stoppage-time, Lewis scored his goal to remember.
Picking the ball up in his own-half centre-circle, Lewis powered forward past one man, kept going against a retreating defence and unleashed a 30-yard drive which gave Wickens no chance as it flew into the top right-hand corner…4-0.
Although the tireless Lapslie nearly added to the tally, United were just starting to overelaborate, looking for the difficult option instead of the easy one, when Johnson took Lemonheigh-Evans off on the hour and sent on Klaidi Lolos in attack.
It was Wealdstone, through the muscular Umerah and sub Jay Bird, who looked the more likely to score for a while, until their obsession with playing out from the back betrayed them again in the 68th minute.
Holman's anticipation allowed him to pounce on a poor pass by Wickens, and he then had the poise to slip the ball under the embarrassed goalie for 5-0.
Johnson took the chance to take off elder statesmen Hall and Moxey in the closing stages, and several times United nearly punished more hapless mistakes by the frazzled Wealdstone defence.
Torquay United (4-4-2): MacDonald; Wynter, Lewis, Moxey (Omar 75), Martin; Little, Lapslie, Hall (Rogers 68), O'Connell; Lemonheigh-Evans (Lolos 59), Holman; subs not used - Halstead (gk), Andrews.
Wealdstone (4-4-2): Wickens; Cook, Charles, Eleftheriou, Wishart (Bird 33); Cooper, Tavares (Stevens 72), Lewis, Elito (Buse 33); Barker, Umerah; subs not used - Fasanmade, Marigliani (gk).
Booked: Eleftheriou 13.
Referee: Lloyd Wood (Essex).