Sam Sherring has capped an excellent campaign with Torquay United by being named in the Vanarama National League team of the season.
Defender Sherring has made 46 appearances for the Gulls who face Hartlepool in the play-off final for a place in the Football League at Ashton Gate on Sunday.
The 21-year-old joined Torquay in October and played his part as they kept no fewer than 17 clean sheets in his 43 league appearances.
Despite being pipped to the title by Sutton United, Gary Johnson’s team earned a second crack at promotion after triumphing 4-2 against Notts County on Saturday.
Sherring, who won the Southern League during a loan spell at Weymouth in 2018/19, started as the Gulls prevailed in front of a restricted crowd of 1,709 courtesy of two goals in extra-time following a thriller at a sun-drenched Plainmoor.
The Gulls, bidding to end their seven-year exile in non-league, were handed a dream start when Danny Wright’s deflected header gave them the lead after just 35 seconds.
But County, who saw off Chesterfield to set up the trip to Devon, levelled when Ruben Rodrigues powered a header past Gulls goalkeeper Lucas Covolan six minutes before half-time.
An effort from Magpies’ Richard Brindley shaved the crossbar before Wright, returning to the starting line-up following a two-month injury absence, restored the hosts’ lead.
The striker coolly converted from ten yards having been teed up by Adam Randell three minutes into the second half.
However, the visitors drew level for a second time when Adam Chicksen rifled into the roof of the net following a corner, his first goal since December 2016 coming barely three minutes after Wright had made it 2-1.
Both teams had chances to win the tie in normal time although Covolan and opposite number Sam Slocombe, together with their respective defences, stood firm.
Slocombe was beaten when Torquay captain Asa Hall met a Jake Andrews corner with a glancing header three minutes before the end of the first period of extra-time.
And Dean Moxey’s penalty, awarded after Mark Ellis had been harshly deemed to have fouled Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, completed the scoring and condemned County to a third season out of the Football League.
Gulls boss Johnson will be bidding to win a seventh promotion of his managerial career when they meet Hartlepool, who won through after beating Stockport County.
Picture courtesy of Pinnacle Photo Agency (PPA).
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