Scott Laird saves Weston from going out of the FA Cup with last gasp penalty
PUBLISHED: 18:23 05 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:04 06 October 2019
Scott Laird’s injury-time penalty saved Weston from being knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup after Reece Hall’s 56th minute goal looked to have been enough for 10 men Kingstonian at King George’s Field this afternoon.
Hall's goal from Dan Bennett's cross looked like the day would belong to the K's, despite having Jerry Puemo sent off for a second bookable offence, but Laird had other ideas as he sent his spot-kick past Rob Tolfrey to force a replay.
Fresh from beating Bristol Manor Farm in the BetVictor Southern League Challenge Cup on Wednesday night, Scott Bartlett made four changes with Alex Byrne, Jarrad Welch, Tom Llewellyn, Jay Malshanskyj all dropping down to the bench.
Laird, Jake Mawford, Sam Hendy and Joel Randall all returned to the starting line-up, but it was the hosts who went the closest to opening the scoring in the seventh minute.
Louie Theophanous's rasping drive from 18-yards whistled put Luke Purnell's goal before George Dowling's free kick found Aaron Parsons, who saw his header go over Tolfrey's crossbar.
Tolfrey had to be on full alert after pushing Dowling's 25-yard free kick away, the 32-year-old goalkeeper stepped up to save the rebound before the Seagulls went even closer to breaking the deadlock in the 24th minute.
Laird's inviting cross into the box was only punched into the path of Mawford, after being under pressure from Howe, and the 26-year-old midfielder's volley was destined to hit the back of the net but was cleared of the line by the host's defence.
Hayden Bird's side had a couple of half chances towards the end of the first half as Dan Hector went close on two occasions in quick succession.
His first effort sailed over the crossbar, before drawing Purnell into a good save with a fine left footed strike.
Roared on by a strong 358 crowd, the Isthmian League Premier side got their well-deserved goal 11 minutes into the second half through Hall.
After fine work down the right from Bennett, his perseverance was rewarded after the midfielder's cross was turned home by 26-year-old Hall to give the home side the lead.
With the hosts now in the driving seat and playing with confidence, Theophanous found Bennett, but he could only send his drive wide of Purnell's goal.
Bartlett bought on Isaac Pearce for Wednesday's goalscoring hero Jones and he was involved in the action straight away.
The former Forest Green Rovers man used his pace to get away from Puemo, but the defender tripped him up to pick up his second yellow card and give the visitors hope of salvaging something from the game with 23 minutes to go.
And in the dying stages the Southern Premier South side were given a chance to equalise from the spot.
Up stepped Laird and Weston's captain confidently struck the ball past Tolfrey for his third goal of the season.
There was still time for Nick McCootie to have the ball in the back of the net as Bartlett's men looked to have won it in a dramatic finale.
However, McCootie's goal was disallowed and ensured both sides will have to battle for it once again for a place in the fourth qualifying round at The Optima Stadium on Tuesday night.
Purnell, Davies (McCootie, 77) Laird (C), Mawford, Parsons, Madden, Dowling (Malshanskyj, 85) Hendy, Howe, Randall and Jones (Pearce, 60)
Tolfrey, Puemo, Saraiva, Henriques, Cook, Beaney (C), Bennett (Cooper, 73 and Harrison, 77) Sow, Theophanous (Davies, 82) Hall and Hector
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