Stanley hero Andy Gouck would have been proud of Jayden Stockley’s wonder goal – but he would have drawn the line at the celebrations.
Gouck scored one of the most memorable goals at the Crown Ground – the FA Cup 20-yard late winner over Huddersfield live on the BBC in 2003/04 which helped catapult Stanley back into the public eye.
Stockley’s 30-yard strike on Saturday may have not been watched by as many but it was still special.
However, his dance to celebrate – taken off the YouTube video the Bournemouth loanee made as a youngster singing and dancing to Robbie Williams’ ‘Feel’ – wouldn’t have been one for Gouck.
The veteran midfielder made a rare appearance at the Crown Ground on Saturday and admitted he has never even seen his BBC goal so he certainly wasn’t one for elaborate celebrations,
However he would have been proud of Stockley’s efforts which effectively sealed the match for the Reds and helped to close the gap on the play-off places.
Over the last six league games the Reds have developed a strong sense of belief – and it’s there to see in their play.
The same thing happened this time last year and, unlike earlier on in the season when the results were hit and miss, you do expect Stanley to go out and win these games.
Saturday was going to provide the sternest test so far of the Reds’ promotion credentials with Torquay on a six-game unbeaten run and tipped for another play-off shot.
And, while there is no doubt they are a good side and will probably be challenging at the right end of the table come the end of the season, the Reds simply never looked like losing against the Gulls.
Their play was slick, the passing good, the defence – despite regular centre-back Sean Hessey sitting out a one-game ban – looked solid until injury time and none of the early season jitters or moments of panic were there.
According to the statistics, the Reds had 21 shots at goal – that’s something they would have dreamed about early on in the season when they were lucky to get out of single figurers.
"I did think we were going to rue our early missed chances," admitted boss John Coleman, as the Reds made it six league games without defeat.
"But we played well. We are starting to get a club togetherness and that takes you a long way in football.
"We are going in the right direction and we showed a good spirit, a good appetite, some good moves and had bundles of energy on Saturday.
"We will not get carried away as we have to take it each games as it comes as there is still a long, hard slog of 25 games to go."
That newly acquired confidence among the Reds’ squad was evident on Saturday. Two months ago if Craig Lindfield had sent his early header just wide as he did on Saturday, the heads might have gone down.
But the rejuventated Stanley weren’t having that and they kept pressing.
The Reds have certainly been boosted with the addition of former Premier League star Bryan Hughes who admitted last week in the Observer that only goals were missing from his time with the Reds so far.
But he made sure that they weren’t missing for long when Stockley set him up in the area and he fired home, off the post, the opener and his first goal since March 2008.
Kevin McIntyre was rampaging down the left and put in a number of stunning crosses while Gulls keeper Robert Olejnik had to be alert.
Not that Torquay were going to be a pushover as winger Billy Bodin showed, testing Ian Dunbavin with a stinging shot which the keeper couldn’t keep hold of but Dean Winnard cleared with Rene Howe waiting to pounce.
With the Reds leading 1-0 their task was then made easier when Howe lunged in on Winnard six minutes before the break, leaving what Coleman called a ‘nasty scar’ on the defender’s groin, and referee Andy Madley had no hesitation in producing a red card.
And, while Martin Ling’s 10 men did come out and battle after the break, it was still Stanley who created the better chances.
And then Stockley’s wonder goal came out of nothing when he got the ball 30 yards out and decided to have a go and it was sheer delight when his swirling strike hit the back of the net.
The Reds could have had a bigger cushion with Hughes and Lindfield both having chances to increase the lead to three.
But then came the one major disappointment of the match as Stanley were reduced to 10 men 12 minutes from time when Luke Joyce was sent off for tangling with defender Mark Ellis.
It was a complete shock when the ref showed the red card for the off-the-ball incident and especially to the quiet and unassuming Joyce. "Their lad has grabbed Joycey and he has tried to get away," said Coleman.
"Okay by the letter of the law you can’t raise your arms but he was trying to shake the lad off and the ref turned around at that point and missed the main perpetrator.
"Anyone who knows Luke knows he isn’t a violent person and that’s a sickener for us to lose him for three games now."
The match looked like it might peter out but there was a late flurry with Kevin Long grabbing a third, stroking home from five yards with one minute of normal time to go.
However, a long ball forward split the Reds’ defence in injury time and Torquay sub Chris McPhee finished well to deny Stanley a third clean sheet on the run.
Coleman said: "We went to sleep for their goal and that’s frustrating but overall it was a good performance. Now we can’t rest on our laurels, we have to continue to work hard and give it our best shot."