Wealdstone 1 Torquay United 2
- Credit: James Fearn/PPAUK
Great night for the Gulls
Substitute Billy Waters showed just why Gary Johnson made him his latest signing by scoring both goals as Torquay United came from behind to beat Wealdstone for their sixth successive away win, and stay two points clear at the top of the National League.
Waters displayed a striker’s instinct by seizing on two close-range chances, set up by Asa Hall and Connor Lemonheigh-Evans in the 60th and 89th minutes.
The Gulls trailed at the interval, despite almost complete domination of the first half.
So Johnson made a brave double substitution at half-time, sending on Waters and Josh Umerah, even though Danny Wright and the booked Adam Randell had both worked hard.
Wealdstone, who started the night at Grosvenor Vale in fifth place, had slightly more of the game in the second half.
But United refused to settle for a point after Waters’ equaliser, and his late winner clinched the tenth point that Torquay have earned in the last ten minutes of matches this season.
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Johnson brought Jake Andrews in at left wing-back and Randell into midfield after his suspension.
Randell was booked in the 15th minute for a robust but hardly nasty tackle, but by then United were already all over their opponents.
Ben Whitfield, Aaron Nemane, Connor Lemonheigh-Evans and Whitfield again all could, or should, have scored in the opening 20 minutes.
The Gulls out-worked Wealdstone in all areas of the pitch, the hosts struggling to get out of their own half at times.
The first-half corner count eventually read 9-1 to Torquay.
But all their pressure counted for nothing when they were hit by a sucker punch in the 27th minute.
United made a mistake in midfield, Shaun MacDonald produced two blocks, but he could not keep out Danny Parish’s goalmouth stab…1-0 completely against the run of play.
Whitfield, Randell and Lemonheigh-Evans all went close before the interval, but United had it all to do in the second half.
Waters’ first goal – he swept the ball home after Hall nodded down Andrews’ free kick – bolstered United’s determination and confidence, and they were not to be denied.
Andrews fired a 30-yard free kick inches wide and Umerah, an increasing handful up front, nearly forced in a Nemane cross from the right.
Cameron was a commanding figure in the Gulls’ defence throughout, and he kept driving forward at every opportunity, even if he wasn’t involved in the winner.
As the game headed towards stoppage time, Andrews fed Lemonheigh-Evans on the left, he crossed low and there was Waters getting across a defender at the near post to wrap up Win No.8 from the first ten games of the season.
Wealdstone (3-5-2):Moore; Efete, Okimo, Cawley; Green, Phillips, Lewis, Smith, Parrett (Wakefield 74)Mendy (Dyer 42); Lewis, Parish (Hughes 65); subs not used – Benyou, Askew.
Booked: Cawley 55, Green 86.
Torquay United (3-5-2): MacDonald; Wynter, Sherring, Cameron; Whitfield, Nemane, Hall, Randell (Waters 46)Andrews (Kerr 90); Lemonheigh-Evans, Wright (Umerah 46); subs not used – Covolan, Buse.
Booked: Randell 15, Lemonheigh-Evans 54, Wynter 84.