Whitehead the hero as Seagulls snatch last-gasp point against Hendon
PUBLISHED: 18:06 10 August 2019 | UPDATED: 18:06 10 August 2019
Weston-super-Mare left it late to snatch a point against Hendon at The Optima Stadium this afternoon (Saturday).
The Seagulls, despite all their possession and chances, were sliding towards an opening-day defeat to the Greens, but Ben Whitehead popped up deep into added time to make it 2-2 and send the home fans wild.
Hendon had raced into a two-goal lead through a pair of soft goals before Nick McCootie narrowed the deficit on the verge of the break.
Weston were denied by an excellent display from goalkeeper Chris Grace, brave defending and the woodwork in the second half, but a deserved leveller came three minutes into added time.
The Seagulls, making their debut in the Southern League after finishing bottom of the National League South last term, hoped to make a quick start, but it was the visitors who hit the front.
First Luke Tingey got ahead of his marker and nodded home a corner inside six minutes, and then a shocking mistake from Weston keeper Luke Purnell gifted Hendon another.
His pass was blocked on the edge of the Weston box, and Kameron English profited by sliding the ball into the net.
Weston responded well and were knocking on the door when McCootie nodded home from Connor Davies' cross just before half time.
The Seagulls' dominance continued in the second stanza, but Whitehead could only hit the crossbar with a free header and the excellent Isaac Pearce was denied by a brilliant Grace save.
Weston's beleaguered supporters - who endured a dismal campaign last season, were giving up hope as the seconds slipped by - but the Seagulls kept probing were eventually rewarded as Whitehead was in the right place to stab home from close range.