Competition – League Two
Venue – Plainmoor
Attendance – 3,093
It had been a difficult return to league football for Torquay during season 2009-10, with relegation back to the Conference looking a possibility for much of it. However, the addition of Guy Branston had added much needed belief to Paul Buckle’s side, and our fortunes had improved.
Rochdale visited United as leaders of League Two, and looking to clinch promotion after a long stay in the division. The Gulls had other ideas and after a good draw away at Northampton kept the same team, with dynamic duo Elliot Benyon and Scott Rendell upfront.
The away side started the game with the confidence of leaders, but Branston and the back four soaked up the pressure. Then a six minute spell stunned the leaders and saw United score three quick-fire goals!
Rendell tucked in the first from close range, then Benyon headed home a lovely pass from Nicky Wroe. It was also Benyon who would add the third, this time redirecting a Mark Ellis header with a header of his own. The leaders and their large travelling support were stunned, as their promotion party was in tatters!
After half-time Benyon was again troubling Rochdale and brought down by Fielding for a penalty. Nicky Wroe coolly slotted home the kick and it was game over at Plainmoor!
United were playing great stuff with winger Mustapha Carayol having a superb game. Carayol was at last fulfilling his potential, and scored a great fifth goal. The winger eased past the Dale full back, and curled a sweet shot into the corner of the net to put icing on the cake.
The magnificent result put Torquay seven points above second from bottom Grimsby, and our League status was all but secured. Dale manager Keith Hill proclaimed “Torquay looked like they were top of the table and not us”. It was definitely a five star performance from the Gulls and an afternoon to remember!
Torquay United XI:
Bevan, Nicholson, Robertson, Branston, Ellis, Mansell, Wroe, Carayol, Zebroski, Benyon, Rendell
GOALS: Rendell (29), Benyon (31,35), Wroe (62 pen), Carayol (77)
SUBS: Poke (62), Stevens (83), O’Kane (85)
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