Yeovil Town 2 Torquay United 1
- Credit: Cameron Geran/PPAUK
Having snatched so many victories in the last few minutes this season, Torquay United first squandered two points and then all three in a stunning finish against Yeovil Town at Huish Park.
Gary Johnson’s Gulls led through Aaron Nemane’s 46th minute breakaway goal, and they appeared to be on their way to a 13th win in 17 games as the Glovers, thrashed 6-1 at Plainmoor on Boxing Day, offered little real threat of even an equaliser.
But indecisive United defending led to an opportunist goal for Town’s Josh Neufville in the 87th minute of a mostly scrappy match.
And, if that wasn’t bad enough, Torquay – they had dealt with all Yeovil’s set pieces until then – failed to deal with an inswinging corner in stoppage time and allowed Luke Wilkinson to head the winner from close range.
Although United’s big lead at the top of the National League was unaffected, it was one of the most galling defeats of this or any season.
Johnson made two changes, both by choice, from the side which won 4-3 at Weymouth on Monday – Lucas Covolan replaced Shaun MacDonald in goal and Gary Warren came in for Fraser Kerr at centre-back.
In a forgettable first half, Josh Umerah was inches away from following up his goal at Weymouth when he showed strength and determination to beat home goalie Adam Smith in the 15th minute.
- 1 United 'Community Day' to unite Bay - and there are 1,000 free tickets
- 2 Turning our season around
- 3 Aldi, KFC and Costa Coffee plan approved for 'Gateway to Torquay'
- 4 Underdog mindset for the Gulls
- 5 £1million grants to give Bay new housing boost
- 6 Ticket price offer for Torquay United's FA Cup tie
- 7 Paignton pub The Isaac Merritt to go up for auction
- 8 Blooming marvellous Torbay winners
- 9 Norrms McNamara: The loneliness of dementia
- 10 MP Anthony Mangnall: I've a new-found appreciation for hard work of our fishermen
Wilkinson looped a header onto the top of the bar from a flicked-on throw just before half-time.
United’s work rate without the ball served them well enough, and when Nemane dashed clear on a through ball and finished coolly for his fourth goal of the season, it was a great opportunity to for the Gulls to stamp their authority on the contest.
They did not play well enough to kill their opponents off, but Yeovil also created so little of their own account that United seemed to be ‘game managing’ their way to another three points.
There was a scare when Covolan could not hold a shot from range and had to dive bravely at the feet of Yeovil sub Emmanuel Sonupe in the 74th minute.
But it was odds-on a third Gulls holiday victory before Covolan tried to smother the ball just to the right of his goal, did not succeed and, before he or his defenders could recover, Neufville had seized on the loose ball and fired it into the empty net…1-1.
A draw would have been a let-down, but even that was snatched away in the first minute of stoppage time when Wilkinson rose in a crowded goalmouth and headed the winner into the roof of the net…1-2!
Covolan even had to make a diving save from Neufville to stop him from making it 3-1 just before the final whistle.
Yeovil Town (4-4-2): Smith: Bradley, Wilkinson, Hunt, Worthington (Warburton 80); D’Ath, Lee (Sonupe 54), Skendi; Neufville, Duffus (Knowles 75); subs not used – Dagnall, Palmer.
Booked: Neufville 9, Skendi 45, Bradley 83.
Torquay United (4-4-1-1): Covolan; Sherring, Warren (Waters 90+1), Cameron, Moxey; Nemane, Hall, Randell, Whitfield; Lemonheigh-Evans; Umerah; subs not used – MacDonald, Kerr, Andrews, Buse.
Booked: Sherring 16.