‘We were unlucky not to win’ – Weston captain Greg Tindle on Seagulls’ dramatic opening-day draw with Hendon
- Credit: Archant
Weston overcame bad luck, ‘gamesmanship’ and ‘disappointing’ officiating to snatch a point against Hendon yesterday (Saturday), according to skipper Greg Tindle.
The Seagulls were sliding towards an opening-day defeat at The Optima Stadium after falling two goals behind inside half an hour, but Nick McCootie's header and a 93rd-minute equaliser from Ben Whitehead secured a 2-2 draw.
Tindle told the Mercury he was proud of how a new-look squad recovered from a 'difficult start' to avoid defeat in Scott Bartlett's first game of his second spell charge in BS24.
The captain said: "I think we got caught cold in the first 20 minutes of the game. They obviously came here and had a bit of a gameplan to press and it worked, but ultimately they couldn't sustain it and after about 25 minutes they blew up really.
"They started time wasting and there was good game management from them to be fair - they've got some good experienced lads - but ultimately in the second half we were different class, Isaac (Pearce) especially. He caused loads of problems.
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"I don't think they could argue if we went on to win the game quite comfortably. We were well on top and they didn't have any chances in the second half. I don't think they had a shot and I can't even count how many chances we had.
"Luck was on their side really, but the boys showed great character to come from 2-0 down to get a point and it will serve as a decent point across the season.
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Wild celebrations followed Whitehead's equaliser deep into added time, and Tindle said it was a moment to savour.
"There's no better feeling in football than when you come from a couple of goals down, and if the game goes on another five minutes I think we win," he said.
"We're a little bit disappointed with the ref, I think he bought a lot of their gamesmanship to slow the game down when we wanted it to run."
Hendon hit the front through Luke Tingey, who headed home unchallenged from a corner, and then a rare error from goalkeeper Luke Purnell - whose clearance was cut out on the edge of his area - gifted Kameron English with a simple chance and he made no mistake.
Tindle believes such errors are typical of a much-changed squad - with plenty of the Seagulls' squad which was relegated from the National League South last term departing over the summer - but the skipper believes in time Weston will improve.
He added: "What everyone's got to understand is we are a completely new squad, we're all learning and with the second goal, mistakes are going to happen with the way we want to play.
"We've accepted that and it's about trying iron out those mistakes, but you can't knock the lads' effort, courage and determination in the second half.
"There's a few leaders here. We all knew what we needed to do at half time and we were all pulling in the same direction.
"It paid dividends in the second half and we were unlucky not to win the game."