Torquay picked up their second away win of the season at the expense of York, who are now without a win in seven games in all competitions.
Danny Stevens collected Kevin Nicholson's low cross and planted a cool finish past Michael Ingham.
Lanre Oyebanjo and Alex Rodman both forced Gulls keeper Michael Poke into action as the hosts tried to get themselves level.
But it was Joe Oastler who bundled in for 2-0 from Rene Howe's pass.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
York City manager Gary Mills told BBC Radio York:
"I thought we were poor in a sense today. I didn't see much belief out there for the first time today.
"I think we looked scared at times. We gave it a go and at times today it wasn't good enough.
"We had chances but it's a recipe for disaster when you're giving away sloppy goals and not taking yours. You end up losing games and that's what's happened to us today."
Torquay United manager Martin Ling told BBC Radio Devon:
"I thought it was a good, solid performance.
"I don't think we played particularly well in the first half if I am honest.
"Hopefully that's the start of a run for Danny Stevens now and he gets playing consistently. He's got his place back today and thoroughly deserves the goal.
"They had quite a lot of possession but didn't get to Michael Poke on too many occasions. It's nice for the back four to keep a clean sheet."
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.90:00 +2:21
Scott Kerr takes a shot. Save made by Michael Poke. Outswinging corner taken by Lanre Oyebanjo from the left by-line, clearance made by Brian Saah.90:00 +0:15
Shot from just outside the box by Lanre Oyebanjo goes over the crossbar.89:23
Daniel Kearns takes a inswinging corner to the near post, clearance by Joe Oastler.88:11 Substitution
Substitution Saul Halpin is brought on as a substitute for Rene Howe.86:23
Michael Ingham takes the direct free kick.86:23 Booking
Booking Rene Howe receives a yellow card for dissent.86:14
Craig Easton gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Chris Smith.83:04
Unfair challenge on Jason Walker by Craig Easton results in a free kick. Lanre Oyebanjo produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick.81:17
Kevin Nicholson takes the direct free kick. Header from deep inside the penalty area by Aaron Downes goes harmlessly over the crossbar.81:17 Substitution
Substitution Thomas Cruise replaces Danny Stevens.81:17
Damon Lathrope fouled by Scott Kerr, the ref awards a free kick.80:23
Centre by Matty Blair, save by Michael Poke.78:54
Jamal Fyfield takes a shot. Michael Poke makes a save.78:07
Lanre Oyebanjo crosses the ball, blocked by Joe Oastler. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Daniel Kearns played to the near post, Damon Lathrope manages to make a clearance.75:06 Substitution
Substitution Ryan Jarvis leaves the field to be replaced by Damon Lathrope.75:00
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Daniel Kearns played to the near post, Brian Saah manages to make a clearance.73:16
Craig Easton fouled by Ashley Chambers, the ref awards a free kick. Michael Poke takes the free kick.72:13
Free kick crossed right-footed by Daniel Kearns, clearance made by Kevin Nicholson.72:13 Booking
Booking Joe Oastler receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.
Joe Oastler challenges Ashley Chambers unfairly and gives away a free kick.70:00
Corner taken by Daniel Kearns from the right by-line played to the near post, Michael Poke makes a save.68:35
Kevin Nicholson delivers the ball, save by Michael Ingham.67:18
Outswinging corner taken by Daniel Kearns from the right by-line, clearance made by Brian Saah. Shot from just outside the box by Matty Blair goes over the crossbar.62:47
Foul by Jason Walker on Aaron Downes, free kick awarded. Kevin Nicholson restarts play with the free kick.61:54
Daniel Kearns delivers the ball, Header from deep inside the penalty area by Jason Walker goes harmlessly over the crossbar.60:08
Assist by Rene Howe.60:08 Goal scored
Goal! - Joe Oastler - York 0 - 2 Torquay Joe Oastler gets on the score sheet with a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. York 0-2 Torquay.58:44 Substitution
Substitution (York) makes a substitution, with Ashley Chambers coming on for Alex Rodman.58:44 Substitution
Substitution Jason Walker replaces Jamie Reed.57:46
Daniel Kearns takes the inswinging corner, Headed effort on goal by Jamie Reed from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the target.56:22
Lanre Oyebanjo crosses the ball, Header on goal by Alex Rodman from just inside the area goes over the target.55:06
Alex Rodman takes a shot from 20 yards. Save made by Michael Poke.54:01
Rene Howe takes a shot. Chris Doig gets a block in. Kevin Nicholson takes a outswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, Matty Blair manages to make a clearance.50:19
Ryan Jarvis gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Chris Smith. Free kick taken by Michael Ingham.48:08
Free kick awarded for a foul by Rene Howe on Chris Smith. Scott Kerr takes the free kick.46:29
Corner taken by Daniel Kearns played to the near post, Aaron Downes manages to make a clearance.46:09
Shot by Matty Blair. Save made by Michael Poke.45:01
The match restarts for the second half.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Scott Kerr on for Daniel Parslow.45:00 +1:04 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.45:00 +0:39
Matty Blair delivers the ball, save made by Michael Poke.44:54
Shot from just outside the box by Lanre Oyebanjo goes over the crossbar.42:45
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Daniel Kearns by Rene Howe. Direct free kick taken by Daniel Kearns.40:43
Daniel Kearns takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Aaron Downes.40:08
Free kick awarded for a foul by Daniel Kearns on Rene Howe. Free kick taken by Nathan Craig.38:48
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Daniel Kearns played to the near post, save made by Michael Poke. Foul by Jamie Reed on Michael Poke, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Michael Poke.35:07
Corner taken right-footed by Daniel Kearns to the near post, clearance by Aaron Downes.32:38
Matty Blair takes a shot. Brian Saah gets a block in. Corner taken by Daniel Kearns from the right by-line played to the near post, Kevin Nicholson makes a clearance.31:40
Rene Howe challenges Daniel Parslow unfairly and gives away a free kick. Chris Doig takes the free kick.30:34
Jamie Reed concedes a free kick for a foul on Brian Saah. Michael Poke restarts play with the free kick.29:21
The assistant referee signals for offside against Ryan Jarvis. Chris Smith takes the indirect free kick.28:04
The official flags Rene Howe offside. Free kick taken by Michael Ingham.26:04
Matty Blair produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the goal.24:30
Corner taken by Nathan Craig from the right by-line to the near post, Michael Ingham makes a save. The ball is delivered by Nathan Craig, Headed effort from inside the area by Ryan Jarvis misses to the right of the goal.23:43
Lanre Oyebanjo has a drilled shot. Save by Michael Poke.22:36
Unfair challenge on Jamal Fyfield by Rene Howe results in a free kick. Michael Ingham takes the free kick.20:30
Daniel Kearns is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Michael Poke.16:02
Billy Bodin concedes a free kick for a foul on Jon Challinor. Daniel Kearns crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel.14:23
Effort from just outside the area by Ryan Jarvis goes over the bar.11:30
The offside flag is raised against Jamie Reed. Indirect free kick taken by Michael Poke.9:22
Kevin Nicholson provided the assist for the goal.9:22 Goal scored
Goal! - Danny Stevens - York 0 - 1 Torquay Danny Stevens gets on the score sheet with a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. York 0-1 Torquay.7:57
Joe Oastler concedes a free kick for a foul on Daniel Kearns. Daniel Kearns takes the direct free kick.5:51
Rene Howe is adjudged to have handled the ball. Free kick taken by Chris Smith.0:00
The game kicks-off.
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