Greenwich Gull

A League 2 blog with an overwhelmingly pro-Torquay United bias

Darlington 1-3 Torquay – as it happened

For those of you that missed my live Twitter stream (i.e. the entire human race), here it is in its glorious entirety:

14:49 Teams are warming up here in a deserted stadium – Stevens looking sharp and full of tricks. Surreal atmosphere!

14:54 Torquay starting XI: Bevan, Robertson, Branston, Rowe-Turner, Ellis, Mansell, Wroe, Thompson, O’Kane, Barnes, Zebroski

14:56 Torquay subs: Searle, Nicholson, Smith, Carayol, Stevens, Benyon, Rendell – hopefully Buckle will make good use of them!

14:59 Fatboy Slim’s ‘Right Here Right Now’ reverberates around the 5% full Darlington Arena as the teams emerge

15:00 Quite rightly a minute’s silence for Keith Alexander…

15:05 Branston fluffs a clearance as Torquay live dangerously – neither side convincing so far

15:06 Why am I thinking 0-0 already?

15:08 Torquay yet to trouble Darlo’s defence as Bevan snuffs out a hopeful cross

15:10 The first meaningful chance falls to the hosts but Bevan is looking unflappable – still little penetration up front for Torquay

15:11 1-0 Torquay! First chance from a corner and we find the net

15:15 One shot one goal – it’s been all Darlington otherwise but no end product. Ellis the scorer for Torquay by the way. Gulls win a free kick…

15:18 Tempers flare as a foul on a Torquay player ends up with a Darlo free kick. Home fans have been quieter than during the minute’s silence

15:20 Darlo dominating possession – if they could finish we’d be in trouble!

15:25 Clearly still missing Hargreaves – no shape in midfield and lucky to be in the game. Gulls fans getting agitated!

15:34 Barnes goes in hard and earns a yellow – definitely deserved as it was clumsy if not reckless. Darlo still in charge but no end product

15:36 Good defending from Ellis to neutralise a through ball and start a counter. Main is looking dangerous down Darlo’s right flank.

15:39 Torquay at sixes and sevens at the back. Five players fails to challenge a dribbler then 2 go for the same header. Tedious stuff here so far

15:43 Shocking lack of cohesion from Torquay – they’re making the easy stuff look difficult at the moment and giving Darlo too much space

15:46 Branston has won every header so far – centre backs & keeper only ones with nothing to be ashamed of so far. Buckle looking helpless as ever

15:50 And O’Kane makes it 2-0 with a solo wonder goal from nowhere – undeserved is an understatement!

15:56 Best chants so far: “you’ve got more stewards than fans” and “you only need one stand”. Gulls fans making all the noise.

16:05 Back underway here as I cling to my Bovril…

16:07 Crunching tackle on the halfway line results in a yellow for a Darlo player. Stuttering start to the half

16:10 Darlo screw 2 shots embarrassingly wide. “That’s why you’re going down” chorus the Gulls faithful. Indeed.

16:12 Zeb goes down and on runs the physio, who used to remind me of Super Mario until he shaved off his moustache. Looks like he’s coming off…

16:14 A goalmouth scramble and it’s 1-2. I warned you this would happen! How come they get celebration music and we don’t?

16:14 Carayol on for Barnes. That man Buckle is a tactical mastermind I tell you!

16:16 Zebroski seems to have recovered. From the injury that is – the shock of joining Torquay is still clearly affecting him.

16:18 Wroe and Zeb combine well on the edge of the box but the Gulls seem reluctant to do things quickly and the move fizzles out.

16:25 Quakers fans have found their voice now as their team press for the equaliser.

16:26 Carayol misses a chance to be the hero as he directs a fantastic through ball toward the keeper’s arms

16:27 1,819 is the attendance here. Zeb gets a ticking off from the ref but Torquay seem to be turning the tide…

16:29 Benyon comes on – if he makes it 3-1 then I’m quids in!

16:36 Benyon is looking sharp – unfortunately he’s a minority of one in Torquay’s attack. Rendell looks ready to come on…

16:39 All subs made for both teams as we start to lose the light (and our optimism) at the Northern Echo Arena. Benyon looking menacing.

16:41 Carayol spurns an excellent chance – runs at the defence but takes it too far and ends with a truly woeful finish.

16:44 Another misplaced pass from Torquay provokes angry howls but Carayol makes amends by finishing off a fine move. 3-1 to the gulls!

16:46 Grimsby are 3-0 up but we’ll keep our 9 point cushion barring a catastrophe. Poor Darlo look crestfallen

16:50 4 minutes of added time here. The points look safe but Benyon deserves a goal for his efforts – he’s looked sharp and working hard up front

16:52 Carayol surges unchallenged and blazes narrowly over. He’s recovered well from a poor start. Seconds left…

17:07 And that’s full time! Torquay fortunate to win here – if Darlo could finish as well as us we’d have been in trouble!

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