Lincoln City remain without a league point this season after losing 2-0 to Torquay United at Sincil Bank on Saturday.
Elliot Benyon scored both goals as the Gulls romped to victory in front of 194 travelling fans, leaving Chris Sutton’s men still searching for that all important victory.
Chris Sutton decided to change formation ahead of kick-off opting for 4-4-2 rather than the 4-1-4-1 that saw the Imps slump to defeat away to Rotherham and Leeds. The change saw capain Scott Kerr and Joe Anderson drop to the bench while Cian Hughton slotted into the right back role with Clark Keltie in centre midfield. Gavin McCallum got his first start partnering Drewe Broughton in a two-man attack.
Torquay remained unchanged after their 1-0 defeat in the Carling Cup during midweek against Reading.
Lincoln had the best of the early action when former Torquay man Mustapha Carayol played a diagonal ball to Albert Jarrett before the right-winger cut inside placing a shot just wide of Scott Bevan’s goal.
Some silky skills from Carayol in front of the Gulls fans didn’t go unnoticed with boos echoing from the Co-op Stand.
The City faithful were brought to their feet on 18 minutes as it looked as though Lincoln had gone ahead. Superb play from Carayol allowed Jarrett to carve a run inside the Torquay penalty area before flicking the ball up for McCallum to tuck home but the whistle had already gone for offside.
Just over 26 minutes played and Torquay took the lead when they were awarded a free-kick on the right side of the pitch. Nicholson whipped the ball in and as the Lincoln defence stood still Benyon got the final touch leaving ‘keeper Joe Anyon with no chance.
Minutes before the end of the first half Lincoln had a strong chance to equalise when McCallum running down the left flank played a searching ball into the six-yard box only to be headed wide by Broughton.
Half Time: Imps 0 – 1 Torquay
Manager Sutton made no changes during the interval persisting with the 4-4-2 formation that started the game.
Gulls fans thought their team had gone 2-0 up when Benyon picked up the ball on the right side of the penalty area and buried a shot into the City goal only for the linesman to flag for offside.
With 30 minutes remaining, Sutton decided to change the team’s frontline taking off McCallum and Broughton and bringing on Delroy Facey and Andy Hutchinson for a straight swap. Soon after the substitution City came close with a blistering effort from the right foot of Jarrett that had Bevan beaten but flew agonisingly wide of the left post.
Imps fans nearly had an equaliser to cheer when Carayol burst down the left flank before passing to substitute Hutchinson who cut inside but placed his shot above the goal without troubling the Torquay stopper.
Torquay boss Paul Buckle made his first change of the game on 68 minutes, switching Billy Kee for Eunan O’Kane.
On 71 minutes Lincoln’s afternoon went from bad to worse when Zebroski, unmarked dashed down the right wing before turning inside and playing a fine ball across the area leaving Benyon to head home his second of the game.
City had a chance to pull a goal back moments after the restart when Carayol played in a curling free kick that was met by a strong Facey header but Bevan was once again equal to it and blocked out for a corner.
Sutton was forced to make his last substitution of the game when Moses Swaibu took a knock and coincidently was replaced by Jamie Clapham.
Full Time: Imps 0 – 2 Torquay
The Linc’s Man of the Match: Mustapha Carayol
Attendance: 3033 (194 from Torquay)