Torquay striker Rene Howe got the Gulls off to a flying start with his sixth goal in six League Two games as United beat Accrington Stanley 3-1 at Plainmoor.
Top scorer Howe claimed his ninth goal of the season from a fourth-minute penalty after Stanley left-back Michael Liddle handled Nathan Craig's cross from the right.
In-form Howe sent goalkeeper Ian Dunbavin the wrong way with his confident spot kick.
Stanley restored parity in the 65th minute when their two substitutes combined to good effect.
Bohan Dixon crossed from the left and striker Padraig Amond stole in between two defenders to head Accrington level.
But two minutes later, Welsh playmaker Craig sent a high ball into the penalty area and Billy Bodin steered his header low past Dunbavin from six yards.
United skipper Lee Mansell increased their lead with a deft far post header to meet Kevin Nicholson's soaring corner kick from the right.