Torquay began the game with the majority of the ball, but very little in terms of clear-cut chances.
For the majority of the first half, the Slough backline expertly marshalled the high scoring Torquay side, most notably forcing Saikou Janneh to shoot from a tight angle in the 12th minute.
The Rebels, on the other hand had very few chances of note, the main outlet largely being set pieces including Guy Hollis’ long throws.
The best chance of the half fell to the hosts in the 42nd minute as the National League South top goal scorer Jamie Reid floated a cross into the Slough box to find Asa Hall, diving to get onto the end of it. However, the Torquay captain could not direct his header on target.
All of these events were largely overshadowed by Ben Harris’ dismissal at the close of the half. After being booked for a late challenge, Harris made gestures to Torquay supporters and was subsequently shown a straight red card by referee Jason Richardson, who decided they were of an obscene nature.
After competing well against the Gulls for the first 45 minutes, Slough were forced into a largely defensive second half performance and Torquay took full advantage of their extra man.
It would not take the league leaders long to open the deadlock after the break. Ben Wynter’s first time strike from 20 yards flew through a crowd of players and nestled into the back of the net, giving Jack Turner no chance.
Slough dug deep and battled valiantly through the next quarter of an hour, but in the 64th minute Torquay would double their lead. Jake Andrews’ free-kick from the edge of the area was deftly placed past Turner to put the hosts two up.
The 76th minute offered more misery for the Rebels as captain, Mark Nisbet was forced to be replaced due to an injury, with James Dobson his replacement as Slough looked to offer more of an attacking threat.
As the game drew to a close, Torquay added two more late goals as Rebel legs began to tire.
The third came in the 87th minute as a drilled cross found substitute Ruairi Keating in significant space to calmly pick his spot and put the game beyond any doubt.
The rout was completed in stoppage time as Hall, who missed Torquay’s best first half chance, finished calmly to put The Gulls 4-0 up and confirm a tenth consecutive league victory which put them five points clear at the top.
Despite the score line, the Slough side dug deep leaving no question of their character or desire – but ultimately it was largely a day to forget for the Rebels in the West Country as they were defeated by more than a single goal for the first time this season. Next up is Bath City at Arbour Park on Tuesday evening, and a chance to bounce back from two defeats in the space of five days at the start of the new year.
Report: Sam Collard
Torquay United Lineup
Shaun MacDonald, Ben Wynter, Liam Davis, Jamie Sendles-White, Asa Hall (c), Saikou Janneh (Ruari Keating 72), Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, Kyle Cameron, Jake Andrews, Jamie Reid, Kalvin Lumbumbo-Kalala (Ryan Dickson 88). Unused substitutes: George Essuman, George Burton, Samir Nabi.