Sutton capitalise on defensive errors to secure three points at Torquay


Sutton came out the victors in a scrappy game of low quality and few clear cut chances at Plainmoor, beating the Gulls 1-2.

Speaking to Sutton fans on the train to Torquay, the sense of foreboding was palpable, with predictions of all manner of home wins from 1-0 to 4-0, and who could blame them? The National League’s best performing side at home against the worst performing side.

Last time out in the league, Torquay swatted aside high-flyers Halifax away at the Shay 2-4. Sutton hadn’t won since September. However, yet more injuries and an enforced formation change on Saturday created more than a few difficulties for the Gulls.

Torquay lined up in an unfamiliar 3-5-2 formation but played some potent football in the opening exchanges. It was not long, however, until the tables turned and Sutton got the breakthrough.

The first goal for the visitors came through some sloppy defending from the home side with David Ajiboye gliding through the Torquay defence with consummate ease and dispatching the ball cooly between the legs of the home side’s Brazilian ‘keeper Lucas Covolan.

It was a poor goal to give away and one which highlighted the back-line’s tendency to switch off at vital moments all too often this season.

The game trundled on with little to shout about and with Sutton controlling most of the possession. However, out of seemingly nowhere, a stupendous ball from the National League’s top-scorer, Jamie Reid, played the onrushing wing-back Ben Wynter into the box from the right.

Wynter, who was his side’s man of the match and no doubt will be playing in the Football League in the not too distant future, made no mistake and calmly placed the ball past the Sutton ‘keeper into the net to level up proceedings.

It was perhaps the only moment of genuine quality from the hosts who failed to kick on and capitalise. Instead, as the temperature on the English Riviera dropped, so too did Torquay’s performance levels. Sutton made it 1-2 in the 69th minute when an almost carbon copy of the first goal was scored with lapses of concentration again to blame, as Harry Beautyman scuttled through the defensive line and sot past Covolan into the net.

Despite ending the game in a quasi 3-2-5 formation after using all three substitutes, Torquay could not find the goal they needed. Dutch striker Manny Duku failed to open his account for the season when he dragged a late attempt wide and Sutton saw out the game with relative ease. Torquay drop to 6th, however, so tight is the National League that the Gulls are still only three points off Barrow who top the table at present.

Looking ahead

Before Saturday, a crumb of comfort from Torquay’s injury ravaged squad was the upcoming games all looked very winnable against relegation threatened Sutton, Chorley, mid-table Eastleigh and Stockport all in November.

However, after the Sutton game at which the neutral would have found it difficult to tell the promotion chasing side from the one scrapping to avoid relegation, and the prospect of midfielder Frank Vincent being added to the injury list after going off in the first half, Torquay’s next few fixtures look rather more difficult.



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Torquay United supporter and passionate about non-league football.

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