Manager Gary Johnson rued the ‘naivety’ of his Torquay United side after they had twice squandered the lead before losing 3-2 to a stoppage-time decider against Eastleigh at wet and windy Plainmoor.
The Gulls led through Ben Whitfield’s spectacular long-range strike in the first half and Jake Andrews’ opportunist header, laid on by Whitfield, in the 55th minute of a rattling end-to-end contest of 21 corners in which Torquay played some sparkling attacking football.
But the Spitfires equalised through former Gulls loanee Danny Hollands in the 51st minute and again through Southampton loanee Marcus Barnes’ 30 yard volley 12 minutes from time.
Even a point would have been a disappointment for United, but that disappeared when they were caught on the counter in the third minute of stoppage-time, Hollands crossing for substitute Tom Bearwish to force in the winner with his first and only touch.
It leaves the Gulls with one win in six games.
“That’s a poor run now, and we have got to pull it round,” said Johnson.
“Frustrating, disappointing – you use all those words.”