Torquay United 3 Northampton Town 1

Last updated : 10 January 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Promotion hopefuls Torquay put a five-match winless run behind them with an emphatic victory over Northampton, completing the 'double' over the Cobblers in the process.

Torquay had not scored through one of their own players for more than eight hours before kick-off, but you'd never have known it from the way they ripped into their opponents.

Only a series of spectacular saves by goalkeeper Lee Harper kept the score down before half time.

Even Harper could not keep out Jo Kuffour's 12th minute tap in after he had parried a powerful 25 yarder from Alex Russell.

Torquay looked like scoring in every attack, and it was half an hour before Northampton tested home goalkeeper Kevin Dearden, brilliantly tipping over from the lively Martin Smith.

On 39 minutes right back Lee Canoville cut in past a series of half hearted challengers and let fly from 25 yards with his left foot to make it 2-0.

Torquay nearly made it three early in the second half, Harper saving brilliantly from a Martin Gritton header and Des Lyttle clearing off the line from Torquay skipper Craig Taylor.

Defender Ian Sampson headed Northampton back into the game from a Smith cross in the 55th minute.

For a spell the Cobblers looked as if they might stage a rousing fightback, Chris Hargreaves heading a great chance wide in the 70th minute.

But 12 minutes from time Taylor clinched victory, volleying home from eight yards after Town failed to clear a set piece corner move.

Northampton manager Colin Calderwood, whose team has the chance of a dream tie at home to Manchester United when the replay at Rotherham in the FA Cup on Tuesday, said: "We were second best in too many areas all over the pitch.

"We didn't defend well enough at set pieces and we didn't impose ourselves on the game. We were well below par." Torquay boss Leroy Rosenior commented: "We were tremendous in the first half, and I thought it would be difficult to play to that level in the second half.

"We could have been three up just after half time, and I was disappointed when they pulled a goal back.

"It's a relief, to be honest, to get the three points after a lean spell but we deserved it."