Ling reveals half-time roasting

PA Sport
Martin Ling
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Martin Ling

Torquay boss Martin Ling admitted he gave his players the hair-dryer treatment to inspire the second-half fightback which beat Port Vale 2-1 and nudged them nearer to promotion.

Vale were good value for their half-time lead. Centre-half John McCombe controlled Joe Oastler's mishit clearance and fired home from 12 yards in the 28th minute.

Ling made a double substitution 15 minutes into the second half - Jarvis and Taiwo Atieno coming on for wingers Danny Stevens and Ian Morris - and Torquay piled on the pressure. The turning point came in the 71st minute when Vale defender Joe Davis, the son of Crewe manager Steve Davis, brought down Rene Howe.

Referee Darren Sheldrake sent Davis off before Howe scored his 13th goal of the season from the spot. Ryan Jarvis, who earlier hit the bar, then headed home the winner three minutes later from Eunan O'Kane's corner.

Ling said: "I lost my cool at half-time and that's only the third time it's happened this season. I thought we had five or six players who weren't doing what we expect of them.

"It was a three-minute blast and I think they understood where I was coming from. There wasn't one dissenting voice, put it that way.

"I asked a few questions of a few people during the interval but the players certainly came up with the answers in the second half."

Both sides hit the woodwork in the closing stages, Damon Lathrope for Torquay and sub Ben Williamson for Vale.

Adams did not argue with Davis' dismissal but said: "That was the key turning point. Rene Howe is a handful for most centre-halves at this level and young Joe will learn from that."

Ling also rated Howe's performance and said."He was one of the four players I didn't have a go at during half-time."

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