It was a defeat at Torquay United eleven months ago that catapulted Micky Adams into the Fulham manager’s job early than he had expected. That left the Cottagers with little option to dispense with Ian Branfoot as considered the prospect of dropping out of the Football League. The context of this defeat was different – a second away reverse in a row jeopardises Fulham’s promotion push rather than their status in the professional pyramid – but an angry Adams fumed after waching his charges fold from a winning position in the south west.

Adams had asked his side for a response after a disappointing and contentious 2-1 defeat at Colchester United on Tuesday evening. They appeared to have delivered that when Rob Scott headed home from close range after Gulls goalkeeper Rhys Wilmot had found Paul Watson’s drive too hot to handle. But the Whites suffered a serious blow when former Torquay left back Robbie Herrera was stretchered off just before half time with a serious shoulder injury.

The visitors led until eighteen minutes from time when disaster struck. Torquay scored three goals in a nine minute spell with a debatable penalty from Steve Winter sandwiched in between headers from Jon Gittens and Garry Nelson, who had scored twice in Kevin Hodges’ side victory at Craven Cottage earlier in the season.

TORQUAY UNITED: Wilmot; Gittens, Watson, A. Barrow, Hawthorne; McCall, Mitchell, Winter, Nelson (Thomas 89); Jack, McFarlane. Subs (not used): Preston, Crane.

GOALS: Gittens (72), Winter (pen 75), Nelson (81).

FULHAM: Lange; P. Watson (Brooker 75), Herrera (Cullip 44), Angus, Blake; Cusack, Carpenter, Morgan, Freeman; Conroy, Scott (Cockerill 71).

BOOKED: Blake.

GOAL: Scott (38).