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Torquay United: Devastation for The Gulls

Letting the train take the strain, the DAGENHAM & Redbridge players can be seen enjoying a drink and a joke or two at Newton Abbot’s Railway Inn (other Newton pubs are on hand, locals attest) before traveling back to London after their 2-1 win over Torquay United on Saturday (writes Dave Thomas).

The contrast between his state of mind and the devastation around Plainmoor could hardly have been starker.

Since beating Barnet 2-1 here on February 18, Gary Johnson’s Gulls have picked up two points from eight games and suffered four consecutive home defeats (Southend, Bromley, Wealdstone, Dagenham), all 2-1. .

His home record now reads: W4 D6 L10.

In three of those recent defeats, the opposition winner came in the 90th minute or injury time, after United had equalised. Bromley’s winning penalty was eight minutes from time.

The big talking point at Plainmoor on Saturday was a late United goal disallowed in the 1-1 draw: new signing Frank Nouble’s header was netted for what must have been the closest offside, if it was indeed offside .

But after that ‘winner’ was taken from them, Torquay, who had conceded another penalty for Dagenham’s equalizer (78m), allowed the visitors to catch them at half-time, not for the first time this season, for the decisive 94th minute of Inih Effiong. .

Another bad luck story? No. There are very few of those at this stage of a 46-game season.

United, who haven’t been out of the National League relegation zone since September, are where they are for good reasons, not least of which is that they’ve rarely logged 90 minutes together, let alone consistent time. streak of results.

Time and time again they have looked at least as good as their opponents, if not better. But not for long enough.

They were the better team in the first half against Dagenham, and had a belter goal from top scorer Aaron Jarvis on the stroke of half time to prove it.

But what happened then, in front of another supportive crowd from Plainmoor (2116)?

Midway through the second half, mid-table Dagenham realized they still had a real chance. They had been set free.

United had several players who put in excellent performances: 19-year-old Dean Moxey and Nico Lawrence in defence, Kevin Dawson in midfield, Jarvis up front, and a couple of others who were good. But not enough.

Eight points adrift from safety with eight games to go, ahead of trips to Play-Off contenders Boreham Wood on Tuesday night and relegation rivals Scunthorpe next weekend – now we’re in territory.’ Miracle Needed’. If we weren’t already before.

Meanwhile those Dagenham lads must have enjoyed their journey back to Paddington.


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