Wimbledon were without manager Terry Brown, as explained on the club’s site, so assistant manager Stuart Cash and first team coach Simon Bassey took charge of team affairs.
Brett Johnson was brought in at left back to replace Chris Bush, who moved to the bench where he was joined by Lee Minshull, with Luke Moore restored to the side following a one match suspension.
Once again the team started brightly but failed to convert their possession into goals, with
home ‘keeper Bobby Olejnik making a number of good saves. Christian Jolley was prominent in the early play, with a point blank header hitting the ‘keeper and a strong shot being finger tipped over the bar. He also played the role of chance-maker, with a cut-back setting up Max Porter for a shot that he scuffed.
It was a surprise and against the run of play when Torquay took the lead. A quick ball from midfield set Danny Stevens away and gave him the room to cut inside, from where his well-hit shot found the net with the aid of a huge deflection off Callum McNaughton.
The Dons had actually been the livelier side up to that point and their neat inter-passing continued to look threatening. However,t Torquay went on to kill the game as a contestjust before half-time with two further goals, as Seb Brown was exposed by self-destructive defending.
Three minutes before the break, McNaughton lingered too long on a throw in and was robbed of the ball. Torquay broke quickly and Eunan O’Kane finished the move and, effectively, he also finished the Dons’ chances for the evening.
There was worse to follow as Sam Hatton was robbed as he tried to go past his man and suddenly the Dons’ defence was wide open. Stevens crossed the ball precisely and Rene Howe put the result beyond the slightest doubt as he volleyed home from close range. With Jolley having limped off just before the second goal there seemed little else that could go wrong.
But it did. After yet again dominating possession at the start of the second half, the Dons conceded another poor goal. Sammy Moore, who was easily the Dons’ most effective player, managed to get back and half clear a threatening break but as he got up he was just in time to see Howe's 20-yard drive flash past him and into the corner of the net.
To their credit, Wimbledon kept going and substitute Charles Ademeno looked very lively and threatening, but with no reward. So, once more the Dons defensive carelessness lost a game when it was there for the winning. And now Messrs Cash and Bassey must turn their thoughts to how to repair the defence and also the confidence of this young Dons team before Saturday’s game at Shrewsbury.