Great performance when it mattered

Danny Wright of Torquay United competes for possession with Robert Milsom of Sutton United amid the

Danny Wright of Torquay United competes for possession with Robert Milsom of Sutton United amid the presence of Ben Goodliffe of Sutton United during the Vanarama National League match between Sutton United and Torquay United at Borough Sports Ground, Sutton, London on Tuesday 13th April 2021 | Photo: James Fearn/PPAUK - Credit: James Fearn/PPAUK

Manager Gary Johnson hailed 'a great performance' after Torquay United had thrust themselves back into the National League title race with a crucial 1-0 win away to promotion rivals Sutton United. 

Skipper Asa Hall's diving 81st minute header clinched the Gulls' sixth win in seven games, and United (3rd) are now level on points with Sutton (2nd) and one behind Hartlepool United, with two games in hand. 

"We looked a really strong unit against a team that's been at the top of the league for a while," said Johnson. 

"Everybody played their part, and that's why I was so proud of them. 

"We've gone away to a team that's been doing well and we've outplayed them. It was a great performance. 

"The intent was there from the first kick. 

"We haven't won the league, and we mustn't think we have. But it's everything to play for. 

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"What we have done is we've found our game, as individuals and as a team - we are back creating opportunities and getting crosses in."  

It was Sutton's first defeat in 15 games, although the Ambers have stalled in a recent run of draws, and United again blunted their once freescoring attack. 

Lucas Covolan had only one serious save to make in the match, from Sutton's leading scorer Harry Beautyman in the second half, and Beautyman also drove a stoppage-time free-kick over the bar to end a riveting contest in which the Gulls always looked the likelier winners. 

Jake Andrews hit the bar just before half-time and Connor Lemonheigh-Evans missed chances either side of the interval. 

But Lemonheigh-Evans was denied by a wonder save at point-blank range by Sutton goalie Dean Bouzanis just before Hall dived to head home one of a series of telling crosses by Adam Randell. 

Stockport County (4th) beat King's Lynn Town 4-0, but there were defeats for Notts County at Solihull Moors (1-2), for FC Halifax Town at home to Wrexham (0-4), while improving Chesterfield were held 0-0 at home by draw specialists Boreham Wood.