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Knill completes mission but leaves Torquay United with some big decisions to make

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: April 29, 2013

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Torquay United manager Alan Knill admitted it was a day of mixed emotions for him at Plainmoor as the Gulls' 3-3 draw with Bristol Rovers secured their place in npower League Two for next season.

Knill was naturally delighted that the point was enough for Torquay to stay up, but that was tarnished by news that Scunthorpe United, who Knill managed from March 2011 to October 2012, had been relegated from League One.

Knill said: "There are some mixed emotions for me, because my old club Scunthorpe have gone down to League Two today, and I'm disappointed about that."

Of Saturday's match, Knill admitted that it was one that he found hard to enjoy. The former Bury boss said: "It was a great game for the neutral, but awful for the managers.

"We wanted to finish with three wins, but we have got the point we wanted.

"The conditions weren't conducive to good football. It was all about second-balls and making them defend.

"We couldn't quite do that in the first half, and we conceded what we thought was a poor goal.

"It was an awful start to the second half, but Michael Poke made a great save to keep us in it. It was a fantastic effort from the players from then on.

"I thought Elliot worked really hard and deserved his two goals. After Ryan Jarvis's own-goal, he had great courage to go up the other end and score for us.

"He's been excellent while I've been here. He's a real players' player."

Rovers boss John Ward said: "It was a typical English football end-of-season game, with lots of thrills, spills and excitement.

"The two teams were at each other right through the 90 minutes.

"We let ourselves down last week at home [when Rovers lost 1-0 to Accrington Stanley], but today the attitude was spot-on and we stood our ground.

"I have a fair bit of work to do over the next few weeks, we'll try and improve again and we'll be ready to go again next season."

Ward added of last-gasp goalscorer Matt Harrold: "Right at the end, the script was written not by me, but by Matt Harrold when he scores after seven months out of the game.

"When I mentioned his name on the substitutes' bench, he got a round of applause from the players, and that tells you everything."

On loan United striker Elliot Benyon said: "I came back here to try and help keep the club up, so dreams are made of a moment like this.

"We thought we deserved all three points, but one was all we needed.

"I was here for four years before, and this club will always hold a special place in my heart.

"I don't think I was given a fair chance at Southend, and they aren't taking up an option on my contract.

"I'll enjoy the next couple of days, and then things will start to be sorted out.

"Of course, I would be interested in coming back – Torquay is a good club, with great fans, and it looks like it's going in the right direction."

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  • Aletheia  |  April 29 2013, 9:11PM

    I have got to say that 'AdrianGull' has stolen my thunder and said everything I wanted to say. Well done to the players, a massive thank you to Alan Knill and I too would like to see Benyon back at Torquay. I never used to like him that much because every time the ball came his way he would take a dive and look for a free kick. Then, when he came good, he left the club. He seems to have the ability to be in the right place when the ball runs loose and consistantly nets it from a few feet. The goals don't look pretty but you have to give him 10/10 for anticipation and positoning and they count just as much as the pretty 20 yarders.

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  • AdrianGull  |  April 29 2013, 1:10PM

    Firstly, well done to the players for the commitment shown in the closing stages of the season, up against it, the pressure on and they responded, even though I don't think we should have actually been in that position / situation in the first place. Secondly, thanks to Alan Knill for his efforts, may be not everyone's choice, but job done, better to be starting next year in League 2 than in the dreaded Blue Square Premier! Thirdly / finally, can we do something to keep Elliot Benyon at the club, he obviously fits in at Torquay, he's tried his luck at other clubs with limited success, and he certainly doesn't have to win the fans over which he would have to do if he signed elsewhere. Signing him, may also influence Rene to stay as he would have a genuine strike partner, with then say Jarvis contributing from a midfield role..... Come on you Yellows!

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