Torquay United manager Kevin Nicholson praised the character of forward Ruairi Keating as he overcame illness to score a last-minute winner at Southport.

The Irishman, nephew of former Boyzone frontman Ronan Keating, was only passed fit to play on the morning of the game.

“I’m delighted for him, because it’s his maiden goal in this country,” Nicholson told BBC Radio Devon.

“He’s not likely to let a sickness bug, that nearly wrecked a hotel room, stop him [from playing].”

Ex-Finn Harps, Galway and Sligo player Keating, 21, joined the National League side on non-contract terms in February and has made five substitute appearances.

Torquay’s victory was only their second in 11 matches and lifted them out of the relegation zone on goal difference.

“I think Ruairi would tell me he was fit if he had a leg hanging off – he’s one of those kind of characters,” added Nicholson.

“I turned around to him with about 25 minutes to go and asked him how he was feeling, and he tried to convince me he was feeling well.

“Fair play to him he went on, he was a nuisance, he was working hard and he finished it for us.”


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