SUPA Steve Fletcher came off the bench to grab a dramatic late winner as Cherries maintained their impressive start to the season at Plainmoor.

Fletcher, on as a half-time substitute, sealed the points when he headed home Liam Feeney’s cross three minutes from time.

His first goal of the season came after Brett Pitman’s 49th-minute opener had been cancelled out by a Chris Todd header midway through the second half.

Chances were few and far between during a turgid first half, which was littered with free kicks and baffling refereeing decisions.

Although the contest had started full of promise, it deteriorated as the opening period progressed, with the two sides cancelling out each other.

Brett Pitman tested Gulls goalkeeper Scott Bevan after just 70 seconds before the striker’s 25-yarder flashed past the upright.

Ryan Garry headed Warren Cummings’s 14th-minute corner wide and, although the hosts shaded possession for the remainder of the half, they were found wanting in front of goal.

Cherries made a dream start to the second half when Pitman headed them in front just four minutes after the restart.

The 21-year-old glanced Liam Feeney’s near-post cross past Bevan after Sammy Igoe’s splendid pass had split the Gulls defence.

Pitman almost doubled Cherries’ lead when his inswinging corner was cleared off the line by Gulls defender Chris Robertson on the hour.

Torquay had a loud penalty appeal waved away after a Danny Stevens piledriver had struck Scott Guyett’s arm.

But the Gulls levelled soon after when Todd arrived to plant a firm header past Jalal following an inviting cross from Stevens.

Guyett’s 70th-minute tap in was disallowed for a foul on Bevan by the big defender, although the throng of travelling supporters behind the goal felt the keeper had spilled the ball.

Cherries had a scare when Tim Sills’s 77th-minute header hit the top of the crossbar but Fletcher had the last word when he netted the winner with a powerful header three minutes from time.

Cherries: Jalal, Bradbury (Bartley, 53), Guyett, Garry, Cummings, Feeney, Robinson, Molesley, Igoe (Hollands, 90), Connell (Fletcher, h-t), Pitman.

Unused subs: Webb, Partington, Thomas (g/k).

Booked: Pitman.

Gulls: Bevan, Robertson, Todd, Charnock (Hodges, 16), Nicholson, Carlisle, Hargreaves (Thompson, 44), Wroe, Stevens, Sills (Rendell, 88), Benyon. Unused subs: Brough, Carayol, Joyce, Williams.

Booked: Wroe, Nicholson.

Referee: Darren Sheldrake (Surrey).

Attendance: 3,881 (including 1,118 visiting supporters).