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League Two

Chris Hargreaves hails Torquay United's desire

19 March 2014

Torquay United manager Chris Hargreaves hailed the 'fierce desire' of his players to preserve the club's Football League status after seeing the Gulls grab a dramatic late winner against Bury.

Substitute Ashley Yeoman completed a dream comeback to give Torquay a 2-1 win and three more crucial points in their fight against relegation from Sky Bet League 2.

Yeoman, recently returned from a loan spell at Dorchester, came on with 15 minutes to go and as the game moved into injury time he pounced to score the winner, driving in a loose ball from eight yards out.

Club captain Lee Mansell returned to the Gulls team in place of Joss Labadie, who started a 10-match ban for biting an opponent, and he gave the hosts the lead after eight minutes when he headed home a clipped cross from the right by Dale Tonge.

Bury levelled in the 66th minute when a free-kick broke to Clive Platt inside the Torquay box and he drove the ball past Rice with his left foot.

Hargreaves said: ``Most of the country expects Torquay to go down, so we know people have written us off, but inside our dressing-room there is still a fierce desire to stay up.

"I still believe, the same as I did when I first took over.

"If we can beat Newport here on Saturday, that will make it nine points out of 12, and we will have a major chance of staying up."

Home-grown striker Yeoman had only just returned from a loan spell at non-League Dorchester, and Hargreaves said: "Their manager Phil Simpkin asked if he could keep Ashley and Nathan Craig, but I said 'No, sorry, I need them both back'.

"I've always like Ash as a player, but when I arrived back he just didn't look like the player I saw before.

"I let him go out to Dorchester knowing he was still in my plans.

"He's a natural goalscorer, and he got in where it counted."

Hargreaves added: "I'm so pleased that Lee Mansell has also scored as well - he produced a captain's performance and a great goal.

"It's hard being the captain of a club that's struggling because you feel responsible for everything.

"It was a very important win, but I thought it was fully deserved on the balance of play and chances created."

Bury boss David Flitcroft wants more from his experienced players.

He said: "It's a galling, very disappointing defeat. We should have respected the point we had more.

"We fell below our usual standards and I have told the players that in no uncertain terms.

"Doing okay against the top sides is where we have been, but pitting our wits against the teams that are down at the bottom and fighting for their lives is what it's all about.

"Our experienced players aren't making experienced decisions at the moment.

"To win games you have got to have a real belief and I didn't see that in the first half.

"We caused them problems in the second half and deserved the equaliser, but we are just not defending balls into our box the way we should be doing.

"We've got to dust ourselves down and get back on the charge towards the points we still need."

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