United came out on top in an eight-goal thriller to secure a place in the Gary Else Memorial League Cup final next weekend.

First-half strikes from Olaf Koszela and Louie Slough, and a Sam Bosworth hat-trick after the interval was enough to repel a late Cirencester fightback at South Devon College on Saturday morning.

United were able to call upon two players with first-team involvement in their bid to secure a place in the final, with striker Koszela making a number of substitute appearances in the closing stages of the season, whilst defender Josh Baxter was an unused substitute in the FA Cup 1st Round match against Woking back in November.

Cirencester had the better of the opening stages, with visiting forward Levi Irving giving centre-back pairing Baxter and Slough plenty to think about.

After missing a number of chances, it was Torquay who took the lead against the run of play on 35 minutes.

United worked the ball well down the left-hand side, and after finding space inside the penalty area, Koszela finished confidently with a low right-footed effort.

Baxter produced a fine 40-yard run just before for the interval, and after winning a corner, sent a header over the bar from six yards out.

On the stroke of half-time, the Young Gulls rattled the woodwork twice inside a minute, however it was third time lucky for Shaun Taylor’s men, as Slough prodded home from close range, with the visitors failing to clear their lines.

As the second period began, Torquay’s lead looked in little danger, with Ewan Haworth showing some wonderful close control in the midfield.

Just past the hour mark, it appeared to be game over as United made it three.

Koszela used his strength and skill to hold off two defenders and burst into the box, before firing in a firm shot that the visiting keeper could only parry. From the rebound, Bosworth, who had only been on the pitch for five minutes, scrambled the ball home to extend the advantage.

Cirencester had only just pulled one back before Bosworth struck again, this time with a fine cushioned volley from 15 yards to re-establish United’s three-goal lead.

The visitors weren’t done though, and after two quick-fire goals made the scoreline 4-3, the scene was set for a nerve-racking finale.

United, who were cheered on by a vocal group of supporters throughout, had to withstand some intense pressure in the closing stages before putting the game to bed with five minutes left.

After receiving the ball from a low left-wing cross, Bosworth calmly directed a right footed effort into the net from inside the box to seal United’s place in the final next weekend, where they will face the winners of the Bristol Academy / New College Swindon semi-final.

Congratulations lads – Now for the final!