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Disappointed Martin Ling left to rue the financial implications of Torquay United's exit

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 05, 2012

Torquay United manager Martin Ling

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Torquay United manager Martin Ling admitted the full effect of his side's shock FA Cup defeat at home to Harrogate Town may not be felt until later in the season.

"It hurts financially as much as anything else," said Ling after the Gulls' 1-0 first-round exit against the Blue Square bet North part-timers.

"The finances that we hoped to earn today and in later rounds have now passed us by. They might have been used to sign a player to help us get promotion from this league," he added.

Ling, who had never lost to a non-League team before in his managerial career, went on: "It's very disappointing, especially the manner in which it happened.

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"We missed some gilt-edged chances, including two open goals for Billy Bodin and Niall Thompson.

"It was nowhere near good enough from our side.

"We didn't pass the ball like we have been, and we let them have a foothold in the game.

"I said at half-time that they were playing above themselves and we were playing below ourselves, but we still had more than enough chances to have won."

Harrogate manager Simon Weaver, a former League defender with Lincoln City and Macclesfield Town, said: "When you hear the excuses from some of the elite clubs, who even fly to some games, it's refreshing to see this group of lads put in a shift like that.

"This game was so close to Wednesday night, when we beat Hyde in extra-time, and then we had a coach trip that started at 10am yesterday [Friday] and didn't get us down here until 6.30pm.

"Absolute effort went in from all the lads. It means the world to us, and I've told the players that they lifted the town.

"I've been told all about the day in 2005, when Torquay beat us in a replay at our place, so to have usurped that result is brilliant.

"We stood toe to toe with a good outfit who hadn't lost at home this season.

"I thought we used the ball very well in difficult conditions," he added.

"Torquay missed a couple of chances and, when that happens, you begin to think that it could be your day.

"It's been a difficult time since I joined the club a couple of years ago, but I think now we've got the strength of character in the side to go out and get a result like this."

Harrogate's goal hero Chibuzor Chilaka said: "Things like this haven't happened to me for a long time, if ever. When the chance came, I just tried my best to hit the target.

"When it hit the far post, I thought it was going to come out, but fortunately it hit the other post and went in. It's the biggest goal of my career.

"I did miss one in the second half and, when you're under pressure like we were, you can't help saying to yourself: 'I hope they don't go up the other end and score now'.

"But the lads were defending so well, and we looked so solid as a team, that I think we deserved to go through.

"I thought Torquay were unfortunate, because they did create a fair few chances, but we hung in there as a team.

"I was at Braintree last season and had just got in the team and scored a couple of goals when my hamstring popped 30 minutes into a game and I was out for three months. I'm based in Leeds now, and I signed for Harrogate in the summer."

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  • RichmondGull  |  November 05 2012, 7:24PM

    The erratic way this team has been playing, Saturday's FA Cup defeat was not a shock at all. At the end of the day the performance is down to the manager, just as it is in a restaurant or an assembly line. Your call Mr Ling. Also, when was the last time that all three Devon clubs exited the First Round all together?