MANAGER Paul Buckle said that the moment when he learned that on-loan striker Jake Robinson was ineligible to play against Hereford on Tuesday night "knocked the stuffing right out of me".
And he revealed that the rest of the team knew from half-time, when the score was 1-1, that they might not get the points if they had won.
The Gulls, making a series of costly mistakes in defence, ended up losing 3-1.
"I know what's happened hasn't been intentional," said Buckle.
"We worked very hard to bring in a couple of new players, and get good money for Elliot Benyon and Nicky Wroe.
"We were playing well, and I had just seen Jake hit the back of the net when Bill (Phillips) was there on the touchline to give the news.
"They (the club) had done their best by coming down and telling me as soon as they realised the situation.
"But by that time there was no point taking Jake off.
"I just didn't know what to think.
"I couldn't get out of the dugout really.
"To be told that sort of thing, it knocked the stuffing out of me.
"It's very hard to recover from.
"The players and staff on the bench knew pretty quickly.
"And I am sure at half-time it filtered through to the boys on the pitch what had happened.
"They knew that, if we had won the game, we probably wouldn't get the points anyway.
"It was a difficult night. And it's been a tough few days."
Buckle added: "I want to get back to some normality as quickly as possible.
"This is an important time for us now.
"We have worked very hard this season, and we've got to get back to winning ways against Stockport here on Saturday."
Of Tuesday's performance, Buckle said: "I was pleased with both Craig Stanley and Jake Robinson on their debuts.
"I thought we played some good stuff, especially in the first half.
"But we've got to stop giving silly goals away."