Howe nudges Gulls closer to top-three finish
Rene Howe's 13th goal of the season proved enough to see off Accrington and keep Torquay on track for automatic promotion.
Howe profited in the 73rd minute after excellent work by substitute Ryan Jarvis to win the ball in the corner. Jarvis set Howe on his way to goal and the powerful forward let fly with an unstoppable shot to secure United's 12th 1-0 triumph of the season and 12th home league win.
The Gulls should have gone ahead in the 62nd minute when winger Danny Stevens unselfishly teed up central defender Mark Ellis eight yards out but he could only watch as the ball came back off the underside of the crossbar.
Ellis atoned with a brilliant block to deny Jamie Devitt when he let fly with a goalbound effort from close range just minutes later.
Stanley's best opportunity fell to substitute striker Ian Craney, who did well to beat Ellis and home goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik to the ball but sent his deft flick looping just over the bar.