Steve Harris – @steveharris84
Steve looks at big Gulls wins over the years
Saturday’s 5-1 win over Notts County is the latest in a series of memorable games which have seen the Gulls find the back of the net five times. I will now take a closer look at a selection of them from over the years, which have provided great entertainment for the Yellow Army.
February 14, 1998 – Torquay United 5 Hull City 1 – Division Three
The fourth win of United’s club record eight-match winning streak in the 1997-98 season under Kevin Hodges, the Gulls hit five past a struggling Hull side managed by former Rangers and England striker Mark Hateley.
Despite the game kicking off in foggy conditions, United took the lead in the 14th minute through a free-kick from midfielder Gary Clayton. Two minutes later, the Tigers equalised as Chris Bettney volleyed home past Gulls keeper Kenny Veysey.
However, United restored their lead in the 27th minute, when Rodney Jack drew a save from Hull keeper Scott Thomson and Kevin Hill reacted quickest to turn home the rebound. Shortly before half-time, Hill completed his brace, when he poked home a cross from Andy Gurney on 43 minutes.
Then the game was effectively ended as a contest in the 58th minute, when some quality build up play involving Jason Roberts, Rodney Jack and Gurney set up Leon Hapgood for a headed effort, which he duly nodded home.
Nevertheless, there was still time for Jack to add a fifth on 72 minutes, as United continued their fine run of form that would eventually lead them to the play-offs.
TUFC XI – Veysey, Gurney, Leadbitter, Robinson, Gittens, Watson, Clayton, Hill, Hapgood, Roberts, Jack
November 16, 2002 – Torquay United 5 Boreham Wood 0 – FA Cup 1st Round
In recent years Boreham Wood have been regular opponents of Torquay United, whether it be in the National League, FA Trophy or FA Cup. However, when the Gulls first met the Wood in the FA Cup first round in 2002 it was something of a novelty to be facing them – as United produced a five-star display to put their Isthmian League opposition to the sword.
A penalty from Alex Russell in the sixth minute, which was awarded after David Graham had been felled, set the Gulls on their way. On 29 minutes, both sides were reduced to ten men, when referee Mark Warren dismissed United’s Tony Bedeau and the Wood’s Scott Honeyball for an off-the-ball incident.
Two minutes before the break, Martin Gritton headed home a cross from Kevin Hill to double the Gulls’ lead and ease any nerves that the United faithful may have had about any potential upset.
In the second half, Gritton completed his brace in the 62nd minute when he slid home following good work from David Graham. The Gulls made it four on 76 minutes and Graham was once again the provider, as he set up Jo Kuffour for his first goal for the club – a day short of his 21st birthday.
A minute before full-time, Jason Fowler added United’s fifth when he coolly slotted home from close range.
TUFC XI – Van Heusden, Hockley, Woozley, Canoville, Hill, Bedeau, Fowler, Russell, Kuffour, Graham, Gritton
September 18, 2007 – Histon 4 Torquay United 5 – Blue Square Premier
Only 763 witnessed this midweek encounter in Cambridgeshire, but they were treated to an evening of drama that was settled in the favour of ten-man Torquay by a last-minute goal from Chris Todd.
Tim Sills lashed in the first and Darren Mullings, who was later sent off, fired in a second before Chris Zebroski smashed home Torquay’s third.
Headers from Nathaniel Knight-Percival and Cliff Akurang gave Histon hope, but a Zebroski penalty made it 4-2 before Akurang penalties made it 4-4 with two spot-kicks to complete his hat-trick.
Histon’s Mathew Mitchel-King was sent off and with seconds left, Todd hit the Gulls’ winner from Tony Bedeau’s cross.
TUFC XI – Rayner, Robertson, Woods, Todd, Nicholson, Bedeau, Hockley, Mullings, Zebroski, Sills, Phillips
March 12, 2011 – Torquay United 5 Shrewsbury Town 0 – League Two
Jake Robinson’s 22-match loan spell with Torquay United from Shrewsbury Town in 2011 threw up a number of talking points.
Firstly, he made his debut in a 3-1 defeat against Hereford United when he wasn’t registered to play for the Gulls. He found the back of the net in the fixture, which would later see the club docked one point for his selection.
Secondly – he was allowed to appear in games against his parent club; this was to be a decision that would briefly come back to haunt Shrewsbury manager Graham Turner, as Robinson helped the Gulls to tame the Shrews in spectacular fashion.
Robinson was one of five loan signings named in Paul Buckle’s starting line-up to face the Shrews; and it was two of that quintet who combined to score the Gulls’ opener after five minutes. Ronan Murray – making his debut for Torquay after joining on loan from Ipswich Town – picked out fellow debutant Gavin Tomlin who duly opened his account for the Gulls.
Three minutes before half-time, the Shrews were reduced to ten men when right-back Jermaine Grandison was dismissed for a reckless challenge on Robinson.
After the break, Robinson was to have a further influence on the proceedings when he converted from the penalty spot on 54 minutes, after Shrews defender Shane Cansdell-Sherriff was adjudged to have handled a knock down from Tomlin by referee Andy U’rso.
Robinson struck again two minutes with a stunning individual strike from 25-yards to extend the Gulls’ lead to three.
On 70 minutes, Chris Zebroski increased Torquay’s advantage to four when he drilled home with an angled effort from close range from a cross from Craig Stanley.
Five minutes from time, the Gulls added a fifth when Shrewsbury skipper Ian Sharps inadvertently turned the ball into his own net, as Torquay completed a five-star performance to tame the Shrews.
TUFC XI – Bevan, Nicholson, Robertson, Branston, Stanley, Mansell, Pringle, Murray, Robinson, Tomlin, Zebroski
October 31, 2020 – Hartlepool United 0 Torquay United 5 – National League
A perfect hat-trick from Danny Wright helped to move the Gulls five points clear at the top of the National League as they produced a five-star display to defeat Hartlepool in front of the BT Sport Cameras.
The forward took his goal tally to five in two games as the Gulls claimed a fifth consecutive victory, condemning Pools to their first loss of the season – and their first home loss to United since March 1989.
Wright struck twice for the Gulls – one with his left, the other with his right – inside 14 minutes before a defensive error from the hosts allowed Ben Whitfield to score a third for the visitors with a quality strike.
In the 57th minute, a back heel from Connor Lemonheigh-Evans teed Whitfield up for a cross that picked out Wright, who nodded home to complete his treble. Three minutes from time, substitute Gary Warren tapped home to seal an emphatic win for United.