Yeoman’s Late Late winner
Ashley Yeoman sent United fans home happy, with a late 92nd minute strike that earned the Gulls three vital points in the bid to avoid the drop.
With Northampton Town losing to Rochdale 3-0, and Exeter not playing tonight, United have closed the gap to safety to five points, with a home fixture on Saturday against Newport.
Torquay had started the game in great fashion,with another hi-tempo opening spell of attacking play. Elliot Benyon had the first real chance of the night after just six minutes play when he robbed the ball from Bury’s keeper Reece Charles-Crook, who decided to try and beat the United forward rather than clear his lines straight away. Benyon managed to then work an angle but saw his shot headed of the line by McNulty.
The breakthrough for Torquay came two minutes later, when good work on the right by Goodwin and Tonge resulted in a delightful cross from United’s full-back. Captain Lee Mansell, who was recalled to the starting eleven, due to Joss Labadie starting his 10 match ban, timed his run well and managed to power his header into the Bury net from eight yards out. It was the United Captain’s first goal of this campaign.
It was then the Shakers’ turn to take some control of the half, with three quick efforts on Martin Rice’s goal. First, Soars had a right-footed effort saved, before Mayor tried his luck from just outside the box. The best chance, however, fell to Bury Captain Craig Jones who managed to create the perfect angle from just inside the box to fire his shot across the face of the goal but just wide of Rice’s right-hand post.
Torquay then tried to get the all important second goal before the break, with efforts from Showunmi and Cameron, but Charles-Crook was equal to both attempts, although it has to be said that the Shakers ‘keeper, making his full debut, did not cover himself in glory during the 90 minutes.
After the break, neither side really took control of the game and it became a scrappy affair, with a flurry of yellow cards from referee David Phillips not helping the game. Nicholson had the best chance from a free-kick from just outside the box but his attempt narrowly missed the target.
On 66 minutes however, Bury got the equaliser when Clive Platt managed to latch onto a free-kick and strike with his left foot into the United net.
Aaron Downes almost restored United’s lead a minute later but his header just went wide of the Bury goal.
The match then became very open with both sides trying to get the winner in the last 15 minutes. Mansell again had a great chance from inside the box but his strike was saved well by Charles-Crook. Lathrope also saw an attempt from the edge of the area saved by the Shakers ‘keeper.
With four minutes of added time indicated, United pushed one final time. Good work down the left by Nicholson and half-time substitute Danny Stevens saw the ball crossed into the Bury box.
Yeoman, who had been on loan at Dorchester until recently, managed to get a foot onto the loose ball, in a central position 10 yards out, and fire a right-footed strike powerfully past the Bury ‘keeper, giving him no chance of the save, and sending Chris Hargreaves and the United faithful into jubilant celebrations with only two minutes remaining of stoppage time.
United had gained a second win in the last three fixtures. United manager Hargreaves said: “On the balance of play, and chances created, we deserved to take all three points. After the equaliser the lads kept trying to get crosses in and create chances and we got our reward, even if it was very late on.”
TUFC: Rice, Tonge, Nicholson, Downes, Pearce, Cameron (Stevens 45), Mansell (Capt), Lathrope, Goodwin, Showunmi (Stockley 75), Benyon (Yeoman 75)
Subs Not Used: Poke, Harding, Hawley, O’Connor
Bury: Charles-Crook, Veseli, Mills, McNulty, Jones (Capt), Sedgwick, Tutte, Soares (Hussey54), Mayor (Carroll 94), Nardiello (Akpro 72), Platt
Subs Not Used: Jensen, Hinds, Grimes, Young
Bookings: TUFC – Cameron, Pearce, Benyon, Mansell, Bury – Mills
Attendance: 1,738 (75 Away)
(Match Report By Matt Green, Sport South Devon)