Torquay United 2
Anderson 58, 86
North Ferriby United 0
TORQUAY United completed a third successive win to secure another great escape and keep our place in the National League.
Superb victories over Braintree and Dover made the equation very simple against already-relegated North Ferriby United: three more points and it would not matter what happened elsewhere in the division.
United did their job with a stirring performance and a second-half header from Aman Verma hit Myles Anderson before entering the net, and then a late Anderson header prompted jubilant scenes across Plainmoor.
United manager Kevin Nicholson understandably stuck with the same side that recorded such a vital win at Dover Athletic, with striker Brett Williams looking to extend his current run of four goals in two games.
North Ferriby may already be down but their boss Steve Housham stuck with the tried and tested 4-5-1 he favours on the road, although a gloomy record of 32 goals scored from 45 games paints a clear picture of why they are heading back to the National League North.
The game kicked off in glorious sunshine and a wonderful atmosphere inside Plainmoor, as the Yellow Army roared in anticipation of what could be a massive day in the recent history of Torquay United.
The players on the pitch, however, had to contend with inevitable tension and United’s passing was a little erratic in the early stages. Home nerves were perhaps typified best when goalkeeper Brendan Moore spilled a simple headed backpass from Sean McGinty, but the big defender was alert enough to hack the ball clear.
As the Gulls began to settle, tireless running from Ruairi Keating earned a home corner and the Irishman headed inches over after a whipped delivery by Luke Young.
Williams then came to the fore, collecting the ball 30 yards from goal and instantly turning to unleash a blockbuster shot that rocketed back off the post in what was a splendid effort.
Confidence was growing for United and Jordan Lee enjoying a fine game down the right. Keating then forced a mistake from skipper Ben Middleton, who was a little fortunate to escape without a card after hauling down the United striker with a clear run on goal.
North Ferriby gradually reasserted some control with a decent spell of pressure, culminating in a break down the left channel and a dinked cross to the back post. Reece Thompson somehow headed against the woodwork with the goal gaping and an offside flag also confirmed a lucky break for the Gulls.
At the other end, McGinty headed narrowly wide and then a free-kick awarded 25 yards from goal gave Young the chance to unleash a thunderous drive that was awkwardly fisted over by Owen Evans.
Giancarlo Gallifuoco headed over from the resultant corner and the final action of a gripping first period. Nerves jangling but with York and Guiseley both losing, results elsewhere were looking ok at the halfway stage.
The second period was a siege from the start and North Ferriby survived a huge penalty shout when the outstanding Lee was tripped after he latched on to a header from Williams.
The noise inside TQ1 was deafening and Williams was denied the opener by terrific last-ditch defending from the visitors. The leading scorer was then thwarted by a superb save at the near-post before Anderson headed over from a Young corner.
United finally got their breakthrough and Young, inevitably, was the instigator, providing a corner for Anderson to head against the bar and Verma nodded in the rebound, via the knee of Anderson, to send the home crowd into dreamland.
Keating steered a shot over from the next attack and Young was everywhere. North Ferriby responded with a couple of corners but Moore was dominant in his penalty area.
Despite controlling the game, United needed a second to settle the nerves. Williams came close with a diving header and the match was finally won by Anderson nodding home yet another delicious cross from Young.
Congratulations to Kevin, his coaching staff, the players and the supporters. We got there in the end.
United (4-4-2): 1 Brendan Moore; 5 Giancarlo Gallifuoco, 17 Myles Anderson, 15 Sean McGinty, 3 Lathaniel Rowe-Turner; 31 Jordan Lee (7 Sam Chaney 82), 12 Aman Verma (capt), 8 Luke Young, 18 Jamie Reid (11 Dan Sparkes 73); 14 Brett Williams (9 Shaun Harrad 89), 19 Ruairi Keating. Substitutes (not used): 4 Damon Lathrope, 6 Ben Gerring.
North Ferriby United (4-5-1): 1 Owen Evans (23 Jordan Douglas 90); 12 Taron Hare (19 Jordan Cooke 75), 15 Ben Middleton (capt), 5 Mark Gray, 2 Sam Topliss; 6 Danny Emerton, 21 Matty Dixon, 16 Robbie Tinkler, 4 Connor Oliver, 14 Ryan Fallowfield; 25 Reece Thompson (18 George Bell 82). Substitutes (not used): 3 Steve Brogan, 8 Curtis Bateson.
Referee: Constantine Hatzidakis