|Date||7 December 2019|
|Result||W 5 - 0|
North Devon entertained league leaders Torbay on Saturday anticipating a tough game against a notoriously skilful opposition. With 2nd team goalkeeper Phil Daniels drafted into the squad at short notice, the reds were grateful for his composed presence at the back to compliment a strong outfield squad. North Devon started with great intensity, with the midfield combination of Sam Kirkness and Joe Hastie driving the team forward. The reds early composure led to a period of sustained pressure, with Phil Brand driving down the right wing and hammering in a cross for Guy Cockcroft to deliver the most delicate of touches to deceive the Torbay 'keeper at his near post. With North Devon having taken the lead that their play deserved, they proceded to crank up the pressure and were unlucky not to convert a series of short corners, with Ash Thorne unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. This was soon rectified however when Cockcroft drove round the top of the 'D' and fired the ball in, for Thorne to divert in to the goal.
Half-time arrived, and with the reds smelling blood and having played so well, captain David Orr was keen to push for more goals and a relentless pace. North Devon rose to the task spectacularly, with Cockcroft scoring from a very acute angle after rounding the keeper and Thorne scoring again from a rebound. With Ben Andrews putting in another effervescent performance in midfield Torbay were well and truly outplayed in the middle of the park, and further goals could have come if it were not for Orr's lack of finesse when one on one with the keeper. Such was the reds superiority that long-serving centre back Mike Cuthbertson was sensing his first career goal, and was unfortunate to see his tame strike saved. However the rebound fell to Guy Cockcroft to complete his hat-trick, and round off a thoroughly satisfying day for the men in red and black. There were notable performances throughout the team, including a near faultless display from Jay Corden at the back, and mesmerising skill from Matt Brown to waltz through 5 Torbay players, but it was felt that Cockcroft deserved the man of the match award for his three goals and improved workrate. North Devon will look to consolidate their top half position in the leage when the games recommence on the 11th of January, with some revenge on the cards for Okehampton after losing to them at the start of the season.