National League South Sat 27 January Sussex Transport Community Stadium
  • Fage (22')
  • Cashman (29', 89')
  • Pearce (41')
Torquay Utd
  • Lapslie (12')
  • Archer (65')


The history of Torquay United begins with the merging of Ellacombe, Babbacombe and Torquay Town. The elevation of Exeter City and Plymouth Argyle to the Southern League at the end of World War I prompted the emergence of a new Torquay United in 1921 and they immediately joined the Western League, finishing sixth in that first season. Two years later, they were crowned champions of the Western League and the club successfully applied for full membership to the Football League.

Their first league campaign ended with United finishing bottom of Division Three (South). Fortunately, their re-election to the league was immediately confirmed and the 1930s was a decade of quiet consolidation, with the club never finishing higher than tenth place.

The famous Yellow and Blue shirts became a reality in the 1954-55 season and the new-look kit played its role in a fabulous run to the fourth round of the FA Cup. After humbling the mighty Leeds United 4-0, a record 21,908 crammed into Plainmoor for a narrow loss to Huddersfield, and that remains their highest-ever attendance. A change to the league structure and abolition of the regionalised system placed United in the newly-formed Division Four and the date of April 27, 1960 would finally see the club win promotion from the bottom league.

In 1985, they hit rock bottom, finishing at the foot of Division Four for the first time in 57 years. That campaign of misery was immediately followed by another two disastrous seasons and they were extremely fortunate to earn re-election to the Football League.

A managerial merry-go-round resulted in Neil Warnock briefly taking the reins in 1993 to rescue the plummeting Gulls from a double relegation out of the Football League. Unfortunately, the pattern was set and United finished bottom in 1996, only escaping relegation because Conference Champions Stevenage Borough failed to meet League ground regulations.

Leroy Rosenior took the hot seat in 2004 and he would guide a talented young side to promotion in a thrilling 2004-05 season. Sadly, the return to English football’s third tier was brief and a period of decline for the club resulted in a disastrous campaign that saw them relegated out of the Football League in 2007, the first time in 80 years they had been a Conference outfit.

A major revamp behind the scenes rescued the club from the brink of extinction and a new consortium containing lottery winner Paul Bristow helped to stabilise a financial crisis at Plainmoor. Former midfielder Paul Buckle took charge and he steered the Gulls to the fourth round of the FA Cup and a play-off final win over Cambridge. The Yellows kept their place in the Football League until 2014 when they were relegated back to the Conference.

Their relegation to the sixth tier was confirmed with a 1-1 draw at Hartlepool United at the end of the 2017/18 season. Gary Johnson was appointed as manager and sealed promotion back to the National League at the first attempt and went agonisingly close to a return to the Football League in 2020/21 as they finished second. At the end of last season, the Gulls were relegated back to the National League South.



The Gulls are currently 7th in the National League South table with 45 points from 27 matches so far this season. Gary Johnson’s side drew 1-1 away at Chippenham in midweek following a 2-0 home win against bottom club Dover last Saturday.

Torquay have been on a poor run of late, picking up just one win in their last six outings in all competitions. Their last away win in the league was back in November as they demolished Eastbourne Borough 4-1.


The Gaffer

Former Yeovil Town, Bristol City and Cheltenham Town manager Gary Johnson has been in the hot seat at Plainmoor since September 2018.

Gary Johnson signed a new contract at Torquay in 2021.

Johnson guided the Gulls to promotion from the National League South back in the 2018/19 season at the first attempt.

The experienced manager has overseen more than 250 matches in charge of the Devon club and boasts an impressive record, with a 46.4% win percentage.

Interestingly, he became manager of the Latvia National Team in 1999 after he was approached by Latvian football authorities for help. He returned to England in 2001 when he took over at Yeovil Town.

His son Lee is also a manager, who was most recently manager at League One side Fleetwood Town.


The Captain

Asa Hall joined the Gulls in 2018 and became the first United captain in over 90 years to lift a championship trophy, following the 2018/19 National League South title success.

Asa Hall battling against Joe Rye in the air earlier this season.

He was part of Gary Johnson’s squad that earned Cheltenham Town a return to the Football League in 2016, prior to being reunited with his former manager again in 2018.

Asa’s calming presence, not to mention important goals, helped steer United towards the National League South summit, and he was recognised for his influential performances by being named in the 2018/19 National league South ‘Team of the Season’.

Hall has a wealth of EFL experience, having made over 300 first team appearances turning out for teams such as Luton Town, Oxford United, Shrewsbury Town, and Cheltenham Town.


Key Player

Midfielder Brett McGavin has been in fine form for the Gulls this season, with seven goals to his name so far this term.

McGavin netted a superb volley in a 2-1 win over Chelmsford City.

Johnson changed his formation earlier this season to give McGavin the midfield ‘anchor’ role which suits him. The tall schemer responded with a man-of-the-match performance in a 3-0 win, and he then followed up with a show-stopping goal-of-the-season contender in Saturday’s key 2-1 stoppage-time victory over Chelmsford City.

A cultured midfielder who progressed through the ranks at Ipswich Town from the age of ten all the way through to the first team squad, McGavin went on to make eleven appearances for the Portman Road club, before gaining further senior experience at Concord Rangers and Ayr United.

McGavin also made 37 appearances and scored 3 goals for King’s Lynn during the 2021/22 season providing ample evidence of his ability at this level.