NO FIGHT AS GAS START TO LEAK
DARRELL Clarke accused some of his Bristol Rovers players of not being up for the fight after defeat to relegation-threatened Torquay placed their own Football League status in severe jeopardy.
While bottom-club Torquay celebrated a deserved win that kept alive their slim hopes of avoiding the dreaded drop into the Conference, the home side left the field to a chorus of jeers.
And rookie manager Clarke admitted his squad don’t want to get motivated after second-half goals from Shaquile Coulthirst and Lee Mansell sealed the deal for the Gulls.
“We deserved all the stick we got from supporters at the end. I will front up and take it on the chin for the players, but they also need to show some responsibility,” he said.
“One or two of them did not look up for the fight and I will have to look at that before selecting a team for our next game at Portsmouth.
“The right mentality is everything in our current situation. To say I am bitterly disappointed with how we played is an understatement.
“We only had a go in the last ten minutes and that is not acceptable. It wasn’t good enough and we have a fight on our hands.”
Coulthirst powerfully headed Torquay in front on 62 minutes from a pinpoint Courtney Cameron free-kick
And 13 minutes later the impressive 19year-old striker, on loan, from Tottenham Hotspur, turned from scorer to goal-maker, teeing up Mansell to fire past Steve Mildenhall with the aid of a deflection fron 12 yards.
The game was deep into stoppage time when Danny Woodards replied for Rovers, shooting home at the second attempt after Torquay goalkeeper Martin Rice had saved his first effort.
Clarke’s men only came to life in the closing stages when substitute David Clarkson headed against the crossbar.
The final seconds saw Woodards shoot over, but Torquay were well worth their win. Boss Chris Hargreaves insisted the belief was still strong that the Gulls could beat the drop.
He said:“I have to believe we can stay up and I genuinely do.We still have Wycombe to play and if we can win our next game, who knows?
“What pleases me is that we have some very young players in the side and they were able to perform in the situation we find ourselves.
“Of course it is still a massive uphill battle. But it is my job to produce a team for the future whatever league we find ourselves in and I have to take encouragement from what I saw. I don’t look at the the league table.
“I’m just going to go home and watch Match of the Day and I might hear what the wife is saying to me for once. Usually there is so much going on in my head that I don’t listen to anyone. Perhaps I can relax for a while this evening and then it’s back to work.”
DOUBLE TROUBLE: Lee Mansell puts Torquay 2-0 ahead in the second half STAR MAN