Chief sports writer Dave Thomas’ match report from Plainmoor:
TORQUAY UNITED 2 CHESTERFIELD 1
Torquay United staged yet another late, late show when defender Ben Wynter got the final touch on a 94th minute winner in a riveting contest against Chesterfield at Plainmoor.
It was the Gulls’ third win in the first four matches of the season and, after 92nd minute deciders against Stockport County (1-0) and Bromley (2-1), all three have been won in ‘Gary-time’!
United, who led through Bristol City loanee Louis Britton’s early first goal for the club, were pegged back when the Spireites equalised through Tom Denton just before half-time.
Gary Johnson’s United were the better side in the first half.
And it was they who were still pulling out all the stops for victory when Asa Hall, whose introduction had helped to inspire the Stockport win, flicked on fellow sub Jake Andrews’ inswinging corner and the ball took a touch off Wynter to bobble gently inside the far post for all three points.
Johnson made one change from the side which started Saturday’s win at Bromley - Dean Moxey, back from a three-match suspension, made his debut at left-back in place of Jake Andrews.
United had clearly done their homework, for they targeted the space behind Chesterfield right wing-back Jordan Cropper from the start.
Ben Whitfield was a constant threat there, and it was one of his many crosses that the Gulls took a tenth minute lead.
Spireites goalie Kyle Letheren mispunched Whitfield’s low cross under pressure from Aaron Nemane and Britton was sniffing out the chance to slam the loose ball into the net... 1-0.
Big Tom Denton headed a Jamie Sharman diagonal cross against Lucas Covolan’s left-hand post five minutes later, but it was Torquay who bossed most of the first half.
Danny Wright or Nemane were inches away from finishing a Moxey cross, Whitfield twice went close with shots and Letheren had to be alert to save a Britton volley from Wynter’s cross from the right.
United failed to make the most of a couple of free-kicks in promising positions before the visitors visibly upped their game in search of an equaliser before half-time.
United had a major let-off when Kiwomya, Denton and Smith all missed a Cropper cross when any touch would have seen the ball in the net.
But in the 43rd minute Connor Lemonheigh-Evans fouled Curtis Weston right on the edge of the area, Liam Mandeville’s free-kick was well saved low by Covolan but Denton followed up first to score... 1-1.
United continued to force Chesterfield back in the second half, and Cameron, Whitfield, Randell and Sam Sherring, with a header cleared off the line, and Britton all could have regained the lead.
Johnson sent on Olaf Koszela for Wright, Andrews for Moxey and Hall for Britton in the 81st minute, while Chesterfield appeared to settle for a point in the closing stages.
United’s ambition was finally rewarded with that last-gasp winner, and they now look forward to Dover Athletic at home this Saturday.
Torquay United (4-4-2): Covolan; Wynter, Sherring, Cameron, Moxey (Andrews 80); Nemane, Lemonheigh-Evans, Randell, Whitfield; Britton (Hall 81), Wright (Koszela 61); subs not used - MacDonald (gk), Warren.
Chesterfield (3-5-2): Letheren; Maguire, Evans, Sharman; Cropper, Smith, Mandeville (Butterfield 80), Weston, Buchanan; Denton (McKay 66), Kiwomya (Rawson 54); subs not used - Wharton (gk), Hollis.
Booked: Cropper 60.
Referee: Scott Jackson (Hants).