Torquay United 6 Yeovil Town 1
- Credit: Phil Mingo/PPAUK
You could hardly have dreamed it up! Torquay United exacted wonderfully poetic revenge for the 6-2 defeat they suffered at Yeovil last when they hit the Glovers for six of the best on a Boxing Day to remember at Plainmoor.
Gary Johnson’s Gulls stormed nine points (plus a massive GD of +21) clear at the top of the National League as they tore Yeovil to shreds with goals by Armani Little, Danny Wright, a Charlie Lee OG, Aaron Nemane, Connor Lemonheigh-Evans and Kyle Cameron.
The only slight cloud over the silver lining was the loss of both Little and Wright to injuries, in Little’s case to yet another hamstring problem.
Still without Asa Hall – he completed a three-match suspension – Johnson started with Little and Adam Randell in central midfield.
He also went for a back-four defence of Sherring,, Warren, Cameron and Moxey. Yeovil were completely blown away by the accurate passing and movement of United’s attack. They had Charlie Lee booked within four minutes and found themselves 2-0 down in nine.
In the 5th minute a delightful move down the left by Moxey, Whitfield and Lemonheigh-Evans forced Lee to foul Little as he was about to shoot.
It made no difference – Little whipped the 22-yard free-kick round the ‘wall)’and into the bottom right-hand corner… 1-0.
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Four minutes later two headed passes by Little and Wright set up Ben Whitfield for a left-wing cross and Wright made up the ground to the far post to crack home an angled volley from eight yards…2- 0.
In the 21st minute it was 3-0. This time Sam Sherring met Lemonheigh-Evans’ corner with a downward header which deflected in off Lee in a crowded goalmouth.
Yeovil defender Max Hunt missed a great chance from one of several long throws which troubled the Gulls’ defence, before Little went to chase a return pass by Whitfield and immediately pulled up.
On went Josh Umerah, and it was his determination to chase a lost cause which created number four in the 36th minute.
Carl Dickinson was caught out on the byline as Umerah hooked the ball back, then Nemane seized on more hesitancy by goalie Adam Smith to slip the ball home… 4-0.
In one of the most eventful 45 minutes that Plainmoor has seen in a long time, Wright then went down with a hamstring issue of his own, and he had to be replaced by Jake Andrews.
United went from 4-4-1-1 to 4-4-2 and back to 4-4-1-1, all by half-time.
If Torquay, for whom Moxey made a polished league return at left-back and Randell was hugely influential in midfield, had one ‘blip’, it was just after the restart.
Courtney Duffus was allowed in to hit the post, and Albi Skendi pulled a goal back from another long throw in the 49th minute… 4-1.
But United were not for turning on this day.
Only four minutes the tireless trio of Nemane, Whitfield and Lemonheigh-Evans combined in a crossfield move which Lemonheigh-Evans finished with a deft near post flick on Whitfield’s low cross from the left… 5-1.
Veteran Town striker Chris Dagnall missed from only three yards, after Shaun MacDonald could not hold a shot, was taken off moments later before United turned victory into a hammering in the closing stages.
Lemonheigh-Evans, Whitfield and Andrews all went close before, in the 84th minute, the Gulls finished it all off in style.
Andrews put a left-wing free kick on the money and Cameron was there to beat a frazzled Yeovil defence and head home… 6-1!
Torquay United (4-4-1-1): MacDonald; Sherring, Warren, Cameron, Moxey (Kerr 76): Nemane, Little (Umerah 34), Randell, Whitfield; Lemonheigh-Evans; Wright (Andrews 39); subs not used – Covolan, Buse.
Booked: Umerah 89.
Yeovil Town (4-4-2): Smith;Leadbitter, Osho, Hunt, Dickinson; Skendi, Lee (D’Ath 72), Warburton (Duffus 35), Sonupe; Dagnall (Knowles 56), Quigley; subs not used – Worthington, Palmer.
Booked: Lee 4, Dickinson 66, Sonupe 75, Duffus 82.
Referee: Matthew Russell (Hants).