Ling hails 'smash and grab' Gulls

PA Sport
Martin Ling
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Martin Ling

Torquay boss Martin Ling admits his side rode their luck to beat lowly Barnet 1-0 but maintains they will keep punching above their weight in their automatic promotion challenge.

Danny Stevens' exquisite chip after 48 minutes proved the only goal after Izale McLeod sent his first-half penalty against the upright for the Bees. The win moves the Gulls to within a point of leaders Swindon and four points clear of Crawley and Shrewsbury on 71 points.

Ling said: "Three words describe that game for us - smash and grab. We didn't get going until the second half."

He added: "We were second to every challenge, second to every ball in the first half. In the second half we did better and Danny's goal gave us something to hang on to

"We showed characteristics of a good team in the second half, we defended and were resolute, we really worked hard. You've got to accept, if you're a passing team it isn't always going to happen.

"Everyone says about putting yourself on the line as a defender but I say you've got to make yourself available when you're not having a good time passing it.

"I think they're realising we're not going to go away. We're a little fish in a big pond and there's the big spenders Swindon, Crawley and Shrewsbury. We've only got a few pence but we've spent them well so far and we'll continue to do so. We're looking at the play-offs as a safety valve not as an aim."

Meanwhile, Barnet remain just three points off the relegation zone and manager Lawrie Sanchez was left to bemoan his side's failure to take their chances.

"Smash and grab is an understatement," he said. "Mugged is the word. Mugged twice as well, as we played well down their place and lost in the 93rd minute.

"That's why they're top end of the league and we're where we are. This was the best we've played at home all season, though, and we end up losing. You need to make enough chances when you're on top and we did that. The penalty chance was a gimmie and we had enough others as well."

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