Triumphant Torquay forced to evacuate hotel at 2am

Snow in Southsea Common. Picture: Lynne Collinson

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VISITING Torquay United players were forced to evacuate their hotel in the early hours of the morning after it flooded – but still managed to beat Pompey.

The League Two side were staying at the Hilton Hotel, in Farlington, ahead of today’s game at Fratton Park.

But they had a rude awakening at 2am when a water tank broke and water started pouring in through the ceilings.

They had to wait in the hotel lobby in their pyjamas for 90 minutes until rooms were found for the 100 guests at the nearby Marriott Hotel, in Cosham.

A spokesman for the club said it was the ‘worst possible preparation’ for the match.

But it didn’t stop them winning 1-0.

Speaking to The Torquay Herald, Torquay United’s spokesman said Tim Herbert said: ‘There had been torrential rain and parts of the hotel flooded.

‘Everybody in the hotel had to come down to reception and hang around until they could be found somewhere else to stay.

‘We are glad it didn’t reflect on the scoreline today.

‘We would never use it as an excuse it is just one of those things that happen.

‘Apparently part of the roof collapsed or was in danger so I think they got people out to be on the safe side.’

Darren Walsh, general manager of The Hilton, denied reports that the roof had collapsed and said it was down to a malfunctioning water tank.

He added: ‘The safety and security of our guests is of paramount importance.

‘Upon discovering the malfunction guests were immediately evacuated into the lobby and relocated to a nearby hotel.’

He thanked guests for their co-operation.

The match turned out to be a sorry defeat for Pompey against their relegation rivals.