York City manager Gary Mills was presented with a trophy before the game to mark his achievements of becoming the first non-League manager to win trophies on successive weekends at Wembley in May, but nothing went right after that as the Minstermen floundered to defeat.
York, who won the FA Trophy and promotion to League Two via the play-off final, are finding the going tough in the higher sphere after a promising start to the campaign. They were seventh on September 8 but have fallen to 17th.
“We have had our good times, but now we have hit a bad spell with five draws and two defeats and it is up to us to get back to our best. The squad is good enough, but we need to pull together to achieve that,” said Mills.
“We started badly against Torquay and didn’t get a lot better. We looked scared at times. People tell me that we have lost only five of our 19 matches, but the point is we have won only five. We must improve on that record if we are to press for promotion.”
York, who improved markedly after Jason Walker, Ashley Chambers and Scott Kerr came on in the second half, were twice denied by Mike Poke, each time from Alex Rodman, but never looked like winning.
Having said that, goalkeeper Michael Ingham had a quiet game, Torquay managing only three efforts on target.
York were undone by two sloppy goals. Poor defensive covering allowed Danny Stevens to put Torquay ahead after 10 minutes and Joe Oastler added a second on the hour, scoring from point-blank range after Ingham had parried Rene Howe’s shot.
York City: Ingham; Challinor, Smith, Doig, Fyfield; Oyebanjo, Blair, Parslow (Kerr 46); Rodman (Chambers 59), Reed (Walker 59), Kearns. Unused substitutes: Musselwhite, Blanchett, McGurk, McLaughlin.
Torquay United: Poke: Oastler, Downes, Saah, Nicholson; Easton, Craig, Bodin, Stevens (Cruise 82), Howe (Halpin 88), Jarvis (Lathrope 76). Unused substitutes: Rice, MacDonald, Yeoman, Thompson.
Referee: R Lewis (Shrewsbury).
Man of the match: Matty Blair.