Gulls complete superb double over Glovers
- Credit: Phil Mingo/PPAUK
Yeovil Town 1 Torquay United 2
Goals by Connor Lemonheigh-Evans and substitute Dan Holman saw Torquay United come from behind to complete their first-ever 'double' over Wescountry rivals Yeovil Town, sending more than a thousand rain-soaked Gulls fans wild with delight at Huish Park.
Gary Johnson's men, trying to follow up their 3-0 win at Plainmoor on Boxing Day, trailed to a 'wonder' goal by the Glovers left-back Jordan Barnett in the 66th minute.
But they equalised in the 76th minute when Lemonheigh-Evans' left-wing corner deceived Town goalkeeper Dillon Barnes, who had just pulled out two brilliant saves from Sinclair Armstrong and Asa Hall.
And a minute from time, Lemonheigh-Evans chipped a clever pass over the Yeovil defence for Holman to produce a sumptuous finish in front of those United supporters.
It stretched United's current run to four wins from five games.
As expected, United were without the suspended Armani Little, injured Tom Lapslie and Jack Sparkes, who is Covid-isolating, so Johnson recalled skipper Asa Hall, Chiori Johnson and gave new signing Joe Felix a delayed debut, all in midfield.
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Although Yeovil had successfully appealed against Sonny Blu Lo-Everton's red card a Plainmoor, manager Darren Sarll left him on the bench.
But he was without key defender Luke Wilkinson, prompting the recall of Jack Robinson, and new loan signing Dillon Barnes from Queen's Park Rangers, went straight in as the replacement for Grant Smith, also sent off on Boxing Day.
The first half on December 26 had not been a classic, and it was the same story here.
Shaun MacDonald miskicked a couple early on, but United - they only arrived just after 2pm because of delays on the M5 - had the better of the early stages.
But they, and Yeovil, gave the ball away far too cheaply for either side to create any real chances.
It was the long throws of Town's Tom Knowles and the Gulls' Dean Moxey which caused most alarm.
One mistake by Hall led to Knowles going clear down the left in the 21st minute - he cut back and hit a shot which took a deflection before MacDonald did well to parry the effort.
Felix, though working hard, was nudged off the ball twice, but in the 29th minute he nearly scored what would have been a memorable first goal.
Lemonheigh-Evans found Dan Martin on the overlap, Martin crossed from the left and Felix, all 5ft 5in of him, rose to head narrowly wide.
Torquay did deal with Yeovil's set-pieces convincingly, and Knowles nearly punished them with a strong shot which was blocked after a Barnett free-kick was only half-cleared.
Hall drove a 20-yard volley only a foot wide in the 39th minute, but Knowles replied with a similar effort, narrowly over the bar but rising, just before the interval.
United restarted well, Wright sending a clever near-post header just wide from Hall's cross.
And in the 55th minute they were aggrieved when Ben Wynter 'robbed' Barnes as he went to clear the bar and Hall 'scored' - referee Jacob Miles disallowed it.
But Yeovil, with former United loanee Joe Quigley making a real impact as a Town sub in attack, then took over.
Knowles and Gorman both went close from just outside the area before another passing mistake, this time by Wright, gave possession away again - Barnett seized on the loose ball, let fly from more than 30 yards and the ball screamed into the top right-hand corner…1-0.
But, staring defeat in the face, Torquay's reaction was terrific.
With Armstrong and then Holman on, they had three up front and they roared back.
Barnes just denied Armstrong and Hall's header, before he went to punch Lemonheigh-Evans' corner in the 76th minute, missed and the ball was in the net…1-1.
Yeovil tried to force the winner - Reuben Reid shot wide and Shaun MacDonald pushed a corner nervously over his own bar.
But United weren't finished.
Catching Town on the break, Armstrong had a 'goal' disallowed for offside - it must have been tight - before Lemonheigh-Evans came up with that brilliant pass, Holman was in, took a touch and slammed an angled right-foot shot across Barnes and into the bottom left-hand corner…2-1.
When MacDonald came well off his line to complete a reassuring catch deep into stoppage-time, it was all over and the real celebrations could begin.
Yeovil Town (4-4-2): Barnes; Robinson, Hunt, Williams (Reid 83), Barnett; Wakefield, Staunton , Gorman, Worthington (Lo-Everton 59), Robinson; Knowles, Yussuf (Quigley 59); subs not used - Evans, Bradley.
Torquay United (4-3-1-2): MacDonald; Wynter, Lewis, Moxey (Holman 70), Martin; Johnson, Felix (O'Connell 67), Hall, Lemonheigh-Evans; Lolos (Armstrong 59), Wright; subs not used - Halstead (gk), Omar.
Referee: Jacob Miles (Warwicks).
Attendance: 3,800 (1,044 Gulls fans).