MATCH REPORT | Torquay United 5-0 Wealdstone
In conditions more river than riviera, Wealdstone were humbled 4-0 at Plainmoor by last season's defeated play-off finalists Torquay United.
First half goals from Tom Lapslie, Dan Holman, Armani Little and Joe Lewis sealed the victory, with Little also missing a first half penalty for the Gulls.
It was actually the Stones who started the brighter of the two teams. Charlie Cooper headed a free header over after Medy Elito found him with a cross on two minutes.
Cooper then had a big penalty appeal waved away on eight minutes when it looked as if he had been tripped by Lapslie.
The hosts then opened the scoring three minutes later when Keelan O'Connell found Lapslie's stealth run to the far post, leaving the central midfielder to nod in from a few yards out.
Torquay's lead was extended on 18 minutes. Experienced striker Holman held the ball up well in the Stones box before slaloming his defender and smashing an effort into the top corner.
Stones failed to learn from this mistake and O'Connell crafted a similar chance moments later, shooting through a wall of bodies but George Wickens pulled off a great reactionary stop to push it wide.
An air of luck shrouded Torquay's third goal. Dan Martin's cross took a big deflection off of Charlie Barker and looped over Wickens, with Little arriving on the end of it to poke in.
Holman again took advantage of a napping Stones defence and got on the end of a through ball, he rounded Wickens and went down, despite a clear hand to the ball from the keeper, the referee Lloyd Wood pointed to the spot.
It was more penalty misery though for the play-off finalists. Little stepped up to take and blasted his penalty way over the bar.
You could believe that a double first half change from Maynard and a penalty miss would then turn the Stones fortunes?
It wouldn't as Torquay centre back Lewis intercepted Jack Cook's pass to Jay Bird, made an unopposed run into the Stones half and found the top corner from 30 yards out.
Wealdstone made a slight improvement going into the second half. Josh Umerah crafted a chance against his former club, turning Lewis and then shooting over. And debutant Bird also stung the palms of Shaun MacDonald forcing the keeper into a save from a 25-yard effort.
The fifth goal came in further calamitous circumstances. Wickens tried to play a short pass to Barker but it was intercepted by Holman and he slotted past the keeper.
Dennon Lewis nearly grabbed a consolation a minute later. He made a trademark jinking run in from the left but Ben Wynter got a crucial block to deflect it over.
The hosts almost made it six with the final kick of the game. Holman went through on goal and on a hat-trick surprised all by squaring to Klaidi Lolos but Wickens saved well with his leg.
WEALDSTONE: Wickens, Barker, Cook (c), Tavares (Stevens 73), Eleftheriou, Charles, Cooper, Elito (Buse 35), Wishart (Bird 35), Lewis, Umerah.
Subs not used: Marigliani, Fasanmade.
Attendance: 2,097 (132 Wealdstone supporters)
Report by Chris Woods