Southern League: Weston 3 Tiverton Town 2
PUBLISHED: 07:59 23 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:45 23 October 2019
Nick McCootie's late header helped Weston return to winning ways and preserve their unbeaten record at The Optima Stadium after defeating leaders Tiverton Town 3-2 on President Dennis Usher's 90th birthday.
Usher, who has been involved with the club for over 45 years, saw his side take an early lead through Scott Laird's penalty after a foul on McCootie.
Goals from Josh Key and Jordan Bastin gave the visitors a half-time lead, before Charlie Madden equalised from another McCootie assist for the Seagulls with a fine finish moments into the second half.
McCootie turned from provider to goalscorer 11 minutes from time after he scored from Issac Pearce's flick on, before finding himself sent off for a second yellow card late into the game.
Scott Bartlett's men came into the game on the back of consecutive away defeats to Blackfield & Langley and Metropolitan Police, with Jake Mawford coming in to the team to replace Owen Howe, who dropped to the bench, and it was the hosts who scored within two minutes of kick off.
Michael Landricombe's header back to Lewis Williams was short which allowed McCootie to pick up the loose ball but he was clattered by Williams and Stuart Kane pointed to the spot.
Up stepped Laird and he slotted the ball past Williams and into the bottom right hand corner for his eighth goal of the season.
However the visitors didn't have to wait long to grab an equaliser as Bastn's ball across goal was met by Key and he had the simple task of slotting home in the seventh minute.
Aaron Parsons went close with a 25-yard-effort that just went wide before Mawford's glancing header from George Dowling's corner went just wide.
The misses would prove costly as table-topping Tiverton would take the lead for the first time when Luke Purnell flapped at a cross and could only punch it into the path of Bastin who headed in from close range.
With Weston in danger of losing their unbeaten home record and suffering a third defeat in three, Madden, who replaced the injured Martin just before half time, was fed a lovely ball by McCootie and the former Exeter City academy gradate stayed calm and composed, before rounding Williams and slotting the ball into the back of the net.
Chances came and went for both sides, including McCootie having a goal disallowed after blocking Madden's goalbound shot, but it was the home side who got the winner on 79 minutes through McCootie.
Parsons headed a long clearance into the path of Pearce whose delightful flick-on was perfect for the 31-year-old striker, who managed to get just there ahead of Williams to head home and give the Seagulls the lead once again to complete the second-half comeback.
There was still time for the former Chippenham Town forward to pick up his second booking of a pulsating contest and receive his marching orders, but Bartlett's men held on to send the majority of the 530 fans home happy.
Weston: Purnell, Mawford, Martin (Madden 41) Dowling, Parsons, Tindle, Randall, Laird, McCootie, Waite (Howe 88) and Pearce (Hendy 88).