Nick Powell's late leveller kept Crewe Alexandra's League Two play-off hopes bubbling as Torquay United's automatic promotion hopes were damaged.

Alex top scorer Powell struck in injury time at Plainmoor for his 15th goal of the season, blasting a right-foot shot.

Torquay took the lead on 54 minutes when left winger Danny Stevens latched on to left-back Kevin Nicholson's cross before curling into the far corner.

But, after Harry Davis had a penalty saved, Powell produced an equaliser.

With 14 minutes left, Powell was fouled by Mark Ellis, only for home keeper Bobby Olejnik to guess the right way and brilliantly palm away Davis's spot-kick.

But Powell, who had been a major doubt for the game, having not trained all week with tonsilitis, came up with his stoppage-time strike.

Earlier, Stevens' sixth goal of the season had sparked wave after wave of Torquay, but Crewe still looked dangerous on the counter.

With Crawley losing 3-0 at home to Hereford, victory for Torquay would have lifted them to third.

They are now level on points with the Sussex side, in fourth, but they have an appreciably worse goal difference.

And they will have to better Crawley's result next Saturday if they are to sneak the final promotion spot.

Torquay must now themselves take on relegation-battling Hereford at Edgar Street, while Crawley go to Accrington.

As for Steve Davis's Crewe, they need only a point at home to Aldershot at Gresty Road next Saturday to book their place in the play-offs.

They would only be denied if they lose and eighth-placed Oxford win at Crewe's neighbours Port Vale.

VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Torquay United manager Martin Ling told BBC Radio Devon:

"The lads are a bit down, I'm going to pick them up and move them on to next week.

"If the opposition goalkeeper doesn't have the ball in his hands then the ball is alive.

"I'd say to every Torquay supporter comes along to give us that one last push next week.

"We're wounded today but we're certainly not dead, we'll patch them up and if they give me a performance like they did today we will win at Hereford."

Crewe Alexandra manager Steve Davis told BBC Radio Stoke:

"Everyone stood up to be counted. We were 1-0 down and had to force the play a bit but we got we deserved.

"The attitude and approach was exceptional.

"We knew it would be a tough game but the lads performed very well.

"The football from both teams was excellent. There was something riding on it for both teams but it was a great spectacle and a great a game to watch."

Lineup, Bookings (6) & Substitutions (5)

Torquay

  • 01 Olejnik
  • 03 Nicholson
  • 04 Ellis Booked
  • 06 Saah
  • 18 Oastler
  • 07 Mansell
  • 10 O'Kane Booked
  • 11 Morris (Jarvis - 85' )
  • 19 Stevens (Rowe-Turner - 81' )
  • 22 Lathrope
  • 09 Howe Booked (Atieno - 87' )

Substitutes

  • 13 Rice
  • 02 Rowe-Turner
  • 21 MacDonald
  • 08 Jarvis
  • 23 Atieno

Crewe

  • 01 Phillips
  • 02 Tootle
  • 03 Davis Booked
  • 06 Dugdale Booked
  • 04 Westwood (Bell - 37' )
  • 08 Murphy
  • 17 Mellor
  • 34 Bodin (Clayton - 66' )
  • 10 Leitch-Smith Booked
  • 11 Moore
  • 25 Powell

Substitutes

  • 13 Martin
  • 33 Brown
  • 07 Bell
  • 09 Miller
  • 19 Clayton
Ref: Whitestone
Att: 3,802

Match Stats

Shots

15 13

On target

6 2

Corners

6 6

Fouls

10 6

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +7:12 Full time

Full Time The match has reached full-time.

90:00 +6:32 Booking

Booking Eunan O'Kane is cautioned.

90:00 +6:15 Booking

Booking Booking for Ajay Leitch-Smith for unsporting behaviour.

90:00 +5:02

Luke Murphy crosses the ball, Lathanial Rowe-Turner gets a block in.

90:00 +3:33 Goal scored

Goal! - Nick Powell - Torquay 1 - 1 Crewe Nick Powell grabs a goal from the edge of the penalty area low into the middle of the goal. Torquay 1-1 Crewe.

90:00 +2:34

The referee blows for offside against Nick Powell. Indirect free kick taken by Robert Olejnik.

90:00 +2:01

Unfair challenge on Kelvin Mellor by Lathanial Rowe-Turner results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Lee Bell.

90:00 +1:25

Shot from deep inside the area by Nick Powell clears the crossbar.

90:00 +0:21

Effort on goal by Kelvin Mellor from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Lee Bell from the right by-line, clearance made by Mark Ellis.

88:53

The ball is sent over by Nick Powell, Robert Olejnik makes a save.

87:59

Centre by Lathanial Rowe-Turner.

86:24 Substitution

Substitution Taiwo Atieno joins the action as a substitute, replacing Rene Howe.

86:24 Booking

Booking Rene Howe receives a caution.

86:02

The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Harry Davis.

84:25 Substitution

Substitution Ian Morris goes off and Ryan Jarvis comes on.

83:58

The ball is delivered by Matt Tootle, clearance by Brian Saah.

81:08

Centre by Nick Powell, clearance made by Brian Saah. Lee Bell takes the outswinging corner, Adam Dugdale takes a shot. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Lee Bell from the left by-line to the near post. Nick Powell produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that goes wide left of the target.

80:24 Substitution

Substitution Lathanial Rowe-Turner replaces Danny Stevens.

79:52

Rene Howe has an effort at goal. Steve Phillips makes a save.

77:24

Rene Howe has an effort at goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.

77:10

The ball is swung over by Byron Moore, clearance made by Mark Ellis.

73:40 Penalty

Placed penalty taken by Harry Davis saved by Robert Olejnik. Torquay 1-0 Crewe.

72:33 Booking

Booking Mark Ellis is shown a yellow card.

72:22

Mark Ellis challenges Nick Powell unfairly and gives away a Penalty.

71:24

The ball is sent over by Eunan O'Kane, Steve Phillips manages to make a clearance.

70:39

Ian Morris sends in a cross, clearance made by Lee Bell.

69:45

Direct free kick taken by Eunan O'Kane.

69:45 Booking

Booking Adam Dugdale receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

69:39

Rene Howe fouled by Adam Dugdale, the ref awards a free kick.

66:40

Damon Lathrope gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nick Powell. Nick Powell takes the free kick.

66:28

The ball is swung over by Byron Moore, Kevin Nicholson makes a clearance.

65:53

Eunan O'Kane produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the target.

65:15 Substitution

Substitution Max Clayton comes on in place of Billy Bodin.

62:28

Foul by Lee Mansell on Nick Powell, free kick awarded. Nick Powell has a direct shot on goal from the free kick, save by Robert Olejnik. Lee Bell takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Brian Saah.

61:32

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Eunan O'Kane.

58:40

Corner from right by-line taken by Kevin Nicholson.

58:34

The ball is sent over by Rene Howe, Harry Davis makes a clearance.

56:55

Shot from just outside the area by Rene Howe goes over the bar.

55:21

Ajay Leitch-Smith produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the target.

54:15

The ball is sent over by Rene Howe.

52:57 Goal scored

Goal! - Danny Stevens - Torquay 1 - 0 Crewe Danny Stevens finds the back of the net with a goal from the edge of the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Torquay 1-0 Crewe.

52:55

The ball is crossed by Kevin Nicholson, clearance made by Byron Moore.

51:53

Kevin Nicholson delivers the ball, Mark Ellis produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.

51:24

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Eunan O'Kane played to the near post, clearance made by Nick Powell.

51:16

Danny Stevens sends in a cross, Kelvin Mellor manages to make a clearance.

50:18

Corner taken short by Lee Bell, Harry Davis takes a shot.

49:54

The ball is delivered by Billy Bodin, Mark Ellis manages to make a clearance.

49:10

Free kick awarded for a foul by Rene Howe on Harry Davis. Steve Phillips takes the free kick.

48:21

Ian Morris takes a shot. Save made by Steve Phillips. Lee Bell produces a curled left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.

46:57

Joe Oastler sends in a cross, clearance made by Harry Davis.

46:38

The ball is crossed by Rene Howe, clearance by Kelvin Mellor.

45:25

Corner from the right by-line taken by Kevin Nicholson, Mark Ellis has a headed effort from close range and clears the bar.

45:01

The match restarts for the second half.

45:00 +2:05 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.

45:00 +0:47

Eunan O'Kane delivers the ball, Kelvin Mellor makes a clearance.

45:00 +0:08

Harry Davis crosses the ball.

44:38

Lee Mansell concedes a free kick for a foul on Harry Davis. Lee Bell takes the direct free kick.

43:41

Lee Mansell sends in a cross, save made by Steve Phillips.

42:51

Brian Saah has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the target.

41:22

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ian Morris by Luke Murphy. Eunan O'Kane restarts play with the free kick, Brian Saah takes a shot. Clearance by Harry Davis.

40:16

Effort on goal by Nick Powell from just inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.

39:04

Centre by Matt Tootle, clearance made by Eunan O'Kane.

36:13 Substitution

Substitution Ashley Westwood goes off and Lee Bell comes on.

34:31

Corner taken left-footed by Kevin Nicholson from the right by-line, save by Steve Phillips.

33:53

The ball is crossed by Ian Morris.

33:23

Byron Moore delivers the ball, Billy Bodin takes a shot. Save by Robert Olejnik.

31:15

Unfair challenge on Kelvin Mellor by Rene Howe results in a free kick. Luke Murphy takes the direct free kick.

30:07

The ball is crossed by Kelvin Mellor, Damon Lathrope manages to make a clearance.

28:14

Matt Tootle produces a cross, Effort from deep inside the area by Nick Powell clears the bar.

27:55

Matt Tootle crosses the ball, clearance by Kevin Nicholson.

25:59

The ball is sent over by Kevin Nicholson, blocked by Billy Bodin.

24:21

Billy Bodin sends in a cross. The ball is crossed by Byron Moore.

23:50

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Billy Bodin played to the near post, Kevin Nicholson manages to make a clearance.

23:45

Centre by Ajay Leitch-Smith, Mark Ellis gets a block in.

19:38

Foul by Ashley Westwood on Danny Stevens, free kick awarded. Lee Mansell takes the direct free kick, Kevin Nicholson takes a shot. Save made by Steve Phillips.

18:24

Centre by Eunan O'Kane.

17:27

Kevin Nicholson sends in a cross.

16:05

Cross/shot by Kevin Nicholson.

16:05 Booking

Booking Harry Davis is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

15:53

Foul by Harry Davis on Eunan O'Kane, free kick awarded.

14:46

Steve Phillips fouled by Lee Mansell, the ref awards a free kick. Steve Phillips restarts play with the free kick.

14:33

Ian Morris takes a shot. Steve Phillips makes a save.

12:55

Ian Morris takes a shot. Save made by Steve Phillips.

11:50

Nick Powell fouled by Brian Saah, the ref awards a free kick. Ashley Westwood takes the free kick.

6:35

Shot by Luke Murphy went wide of the left-hand upright.

5:20

The ball is delivered by Ashley Westwood, Mark Ellis makes a clearance.

4:01

The assistant referee signals for offside against Ajay Leitch-Smith. Robert Olejnik takes the indirect free kick.

3:11

Ian Morris concedes a free kick for a foul on Matt Tootle. Steve Phillips takes the direct free kick.

2:37

Ian Morris fouled by Matt Tootle, the ref awards a free kick. Damon Lathrope restarts play with the free kick.

0:55

Centre by Nick Powell, save by Robert Olejnik. Unfair challenge on Ian Morris by Ashley Westwood results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Eunan O'Kane. Rene Howe produces a cross. Corner taken left-footed by Kevin Nicholson, Brian Saah takes a shot. Save by Steve Phillips.

0:00

The match has kicked off.

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