Woking 0 Torquay United 2
- Credit: James Fearn/PPAUK
Injuries, what injuries? Torquay United made light of more absentees to complete a vital and timely 'double' over old rivals Woking for a seventh win in eight games at Kingfield.
Recalled striker Scott Boden and Connor Lemonheigh-Evans punished two mistakes in just over a minute of a first half that Gary Johnson's men dominated in Surrey.
United's outstanding form - and yet another deserved 'clean sheet' - saw them draw level on points with second-placed Sutton United and within a point of National League leaders Hartlepool United, still with two games in hand over the Teessiders.
The Gulls had beaten the Cards 1-0 at Plainmoor on Good Friday, and there was seldom much doubt that they would follow up that victory - they were superior in all departments, with stand-out displays from, among others, Boden up front, Adam Randell in midfield and Sam Sherring and Joe Lewis at centre-back.
And Lucas Covolan pulled out one top save when it was needed near the end of the match.
The curse of the hamstring struck United again - Danny Wright, Armani Little and Kyle Cameron were all unavailable after appearing to recover from those issues recently.
None are believed to be serious problems, but Johnson did not risk them with more important games coming up.
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The Gulls went at Woking with a vengeance from the first whistle, and it paid off.
A Jake Andrews/Lemonheigh-Evans move down the left set up a cross which Boden met, first with a header and then with a shot, both parried by Craig Ross.
Matt Buse, who should have hit the target with a 12-yard shot, and Sam Sherring with a set-piece both went close before the Cards imploded at the back twice in just over a minute.
A mix-up between Lofthouse and Ross, on a long ball forward by Ben Wynter, saw the ball break for Boden, who coolly lobbed home from the edge of the area…1-0.
Moments later, Gerring miscued a backpass on Asa Hall's probing ball and Lemonheigh-Evans rounded Ross to score…2-0.
Buse may have missed a real chance earlier, but he was so unlucky in the 28th minute when he got on the end of a Randell cross from the right, flicked the ball across the face of goal with his heel and it was inches wide of the far post with Ross beaten.
Ross also dived low to his right to tip an Andrews' 25-yarder around the post as Torquay continued to dominate in most areas.
And Woking's discomfort was increased with injuries to Moussa Diarra and Tommy Block, which prompted the introductions of youngsters Jack Skinner and Leo Hamblin.
Johnson sent on Billy Waters and Gary Warren for Andrews and Moxey in the first 25 minutes of an increasingly scrappy second half.
Then, as United concentrated on keeping Woking at bay and worked hard at it, Josh Umerah replaced Boden, who looked as if he 'tweaked' an achilles after a tireless and canny display as targetman.
Buse had a shot deflected wide in the closing stages, but when Covolan dived low to his right to tip sub Paul Hodges' angled shot wide in the 85th minute, everyone knew that the points were safe.
It's tighter than ever at the top now, and that will do the Gulls nicely ahead of three successive home games, starting with Notts County at Plainmoor on Saturday...
Woking (3-5-2): Ross; Cook, Gerring, Diarra (Skinner 32); Lofthouse, Ferdinand, Cooper, Block (Hamblin 38), Freeman; Dalby, Smith (Hodges 73); subs not used - Lesley, Evans.
Booked: Cooper 75, Cook 88.
Torquay United (4-4-1-1): Covolan; Wynter, Sherring, Lewis, Moxey (Warren 69); Randell, Buse, Hall, Andrews (Waters 55); Lemonheigh-Evans; Boden (Umerah 73); subs not used - MacDonald, Koszela.
Booked: Waters 89.
Referee: Lloyd Wood (Essex).