National League

Torquay United 4

Forest Green 1

FOREST Green were left to look like turkeys as struggling Torquay United handed Ady Pennock's side a Boxing Day stuffing.

The Gulls swooped with a first half brace from Tyrone Marsh and second half strikes from Durrell Berry and Andre Wright put a serious dent in Rovers’ National League title ambitions.

And with Cheltenham winning at Kidderminster, Rovers are now seven points behind their Gloucestershire rivals.

Earlier, Pennock opted to pick a two-man midfield with Rob Sinclair missing out and Darren Carter dropping back alongside Sam Wedgbury.

Meanwhile, James Jennings spent Christmas Eve in hospital with gastroenteritis and his place was taken by Marcus Kelly.

Guthrie was handed a start after coming off the bench to bag the winner against Boreham Wood.

Goalkeeper Paul White replaced the unwell Jonny Maxted on the subs bench.

It took eight minutes for the first shot in anger – Carter fizzing over from 30 yards.

Rover were starting to gain a foothold. Parkin watched his header drop over the bar from a lofted Elliott Frear cross.

Only a desperate header off the line from Berry stopped Frear’s wind-assisted corner from dropping in as Rovers looked for an early goal.

Torquay started to find a rhythm, but it was Rovers, who threatened with another Parkin header.

And Rovers nosed ahead on 20 minutes with a stunner from Marsh-Brown. Frear’s corner was cleared and the ball fell to Marsh-Brown, who struck a sumptuous hit from 25 yards.

Two minutes later Torquay were level.

West Brom loanee Wright opened Rovers up down the right to place a cross into the six-yard box for Marsh to stab over the line despite an attempt from Steve Arnold to keep the ball from crossing the line.

The leggy Wright was coming more-and-more into to the game for the Gulls and his stinger was blocked by the chest of Arnold.

Pennock will have been unhappy with the marking for Torquay’s deserved 37th minute second.

Courtney Richards arrowed over a cross for Marsh to plant a free header home.

Rovers needed a bright start and they almost found it – Guthrie hitting the body of goalkeeper Dan Lavercombe after Frear had slipped beyond Berry down the byeline.

Lavercombe did well to drop on a Racine header from a Frear cross as Rovers hunted parity.

With 62 minutes gone Aaron O’Connor replaced goalscorer Marsh-Brown. O’Connor was quickly into the game with a neat turn and strike.

Frear was once more Rovers’ bright attacking force and he fired agonisingly wide from the edge of the box following a pass from David Pipe with 14 minutes left on the clock.

However, Torquay made it 3-1 on 83 minutes.

The Gulls broke at speed and with only Kelly for defensive cover - sub Louis Briscoe was thwarted twice by Arnold, but the ball broke to Berry, who arrowed home from inside the box.

Rovers were well and truly stuffed when Wright finished with aplomb for an 89th minute fourth.

Torquay: Lavercombe, Berry, Gerring, Smith, Nicholson (Carmichael 85), Butler, Richards, Heslop, Verma, Marsh (Briscoe 74), Wright (Finch 90). Subs not used: Corderoy, Geohaghon.

Forest Green: S Arnold, D Pipe, M Kelly, A Racine, C Clough, S Wedgbury, K Marsh-Brown (A O'Connor 62), D Carter, J Parkin (B Williams 68), K Guthrie, E Frear.

Subs not used: P White, R Sinclair, A Baldwin.

Away fans: 162.

Star Man: Elliott Frear.