Buckle could not have asked any more of his players this season. (©PAphotos)
So, Torquay United’s proud run of clean sheets is finally over. In the end, 998 minutes had been clocked up by the time a long range strike from Port Vale’s Anthony Griffith beat Torquay keeper Scott Bevan, and nestled into the back of the Gulls’ net.
More importantly though, United held on to beat much fancied Port Vale 2-1, courtesy of earlier strikes from Nicky Wroe and Chris Zebroski. It has to be noted that the manner in which Paul Buckle’s men reacted to conceding was top drawer.
Many times in the past, teams throughout the divisions have seen their seemingly water-tight defences finally breached - only for the floodgates to open. United’s back line though, held firm under pressure.
Another positive was skipper Nicky Wroe’s confident conversion of an early penalty, which quickly put to bed his miss from the spot against Bradford last week. Zebroski - who won the penalty - later doubled the lead with his third strike of the season, giving Vale a mountain to climb.
Top of League Two for the fourth Saturday in succession, thoughts will now turn to transfer deadline day, as hopeful supporters wait to see what presents their club have bought them on football's equivalent of Christmas Day.
The Yellow Army, though, will be quite satisfied if there are no deliveries down Plainmoor’s chimney today; as long as the club’s brightest prospects still appear on the team sheet to face Southend next Saturday.
Only last week, the club announced that they had turned down a bid from an unnamed League One club for young centre-back Mark Ellis. Striker Elliot Benyon too, has also been the subject of much speculation. However, Paul Buckle’s recent announcement - that he is under no pressure from the club’s board to sell his most valuable assets – does offer some comfort.
*Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.