Marek Stech proved Yeovil Town’s penalty shoot-out hero as he saved Thomas Cruise’s effort to send the Glovers through to the next round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
The npower League Two hosts arguably deserved to claim a scalp in the competition, cancelling-out the Glovers’ threat for long periods of the second half.
However, James Hayter’s brace of equalisers – including a 90th-minute leveller – spared the League One outfit’s blushes before they won 5-4 on spot-kicks to earn an area quarter-final at home to Wycombe.
Hayter marked his 600th senior appearance with two goals, the second coming in injury-time.
Yeovil boss Gary Johnson was forced into two changes, Dominic Blizzard replacing the suspended Joe Edwards at right-back and striker Reuben Reid coming in to partner Hayter with Carlisle loanee Paddy Madden cup-tied.
Seven minutes in, Sam Foley caught Daniel Leadbitter in possession, racing through the left channel before unleashing a bouncing shot that Michael Poke did well to tip away.
With the Glovers’ stretched and challenges flying in on 16 minutes, Dan Burn tripped Billy Bodin on the edge of the box only for the free-kick to strike the wall.
The hosts broke the deadlock on 25 minutes to end a short spell of Yeovil attacking pressure.
Danny Stevens raced on to Bodin’s ball on the left and, as Marek Stech came to meet him, he crossed for Ryan Jarvis to bundle in.
Reid should have levelled on 31 minutes, snatching at his chance when clean through, firing straight at Poke after Cruise’s woeful back pass found Hayter to release his strike partner.
Seven minutes later, the Glovers equalised. Burn leapt with Poke to contest Jamie McAllister’s deep free-kick and, when the goalkeeper failed to catch, Hayter rifled the loose ball into the roof of the net.
Four minutes before the break, the impressive Keanu Marsh-Brown stole possession from the otherwise imperious Aaron Downes at the byline, but Foley was unable to convert the attacker’s delivery.
Jarvis found himself one-on-one with Stech on 44 minutes, but was unable to beat the Czech Republic stopper who had surged from his line to block.
Seven minutes into the second half, Foley pounced on a loose ball 18 yards out, lashing narrowly wide of the far post with Poke beaten.
United re-took the lead on 56 minutes, again asking questions of their opponents’ defending.
With the Glovers napping, Stevens skipped past Hinds’ committed challenge, crossing for the unmarked Jarvis to make the most of the space allowed him to comfortably and clinically hammer home.
Jarvis got the better of McAllister to receive a deep free- kick on 68 minutes, but saw his first-time volley excellently saved by Stech at his exposed near stick.
With the Glovers looking devoid of ideas, Johnson introduced his only experienced attacker from the bench on 71 minutes.
The introduction of Gavin Williams for the frustrated Reid failed to have the desired impact as Torquay appeared to be comfortably closing out the game for a deserved win. However, Hayter stole a yard on his man to stab home a last minute goalmouth scramble.
Torquay: Poke; Leadbitter, Saah, Downes, Cruise; Easton, Mansell, Craig; Stevens (Oastler, 82), Jarvis (Thompson, 73), Bodin. Not Used: Howe, Rice, Yeoman.
Goals: Jarvis 25, 56.
Yeovil: Stech; Ayling, Burn, Hinds (Webster, 71), McAllister; Marsh-Brown, Upson, Smith, Foley; Reid (Williams, 71), Hayter. Not Used: Stewart, Agbo, Brundle.
Goals: Hayter 38, 90.
Bookings: Marsh-Brown (dissent).
Referee: Andy Woolmer (Northants).