FA CUP: Weston host Kingstonian in replay tonight with first round dream and £17.5k on the line
PUBLISHED: 11:00 08 October 2019
Weston boss Scott Bartlett felt hard done by after his injury-hit Seagulls saw a late winner chalked off at Kingstonian in the FA Cup on Saturday, but he's confident his side will prevail in tonight's (Tuesday) replay.
Bartlett's boys were a goal down as added time approached at King George's Field on Saturday, but Scott Laird scored a 90th-minute penalty to keep the Seagulls' cup dreams alive.
And Weston thought they had won it when substitute Nick McCootie headed home deep into added time, but referee ruled it out after spotting a foul.
Bartlett did not agree with the decision.
He said: "I did think we were in the next round, but the ref thinks he's seen a foul.
"I thought Nick did brilliantly and he got up early. It was a legitimate goal that should have stood, and it was probably what we deserved.
"It's a mixed reaction for us because we went into the game with bare bones, which we won't moan about, but we missed Dan Martin as he enables us to play Lairdy in midfield and obviously any team in our league is going to miss Greg Tindle.
"I was delighted when we scored what I thought was the winner, but it wasn't to be. But would I have taken 1-1 when we were 1-0 down? I think I would've bearing in mind what we had out."
The Seagulls were missing several key players from the starting 11, with skipper Greg Tindle missing after contracting an infection affecting his shoulder and back while McCootie and Isaac Pearce were only fit enough for the bench
The latter pairing made an impact after being introduced late on, with Pearce winning the pivotal penalty and McCootie giving the Londoners' defenders plenty of headaches.
Bartlett added: "I'm quite tough on Isaac, but I love him to bits. But it's what he's paid to do, he's paid to have an impact whether he starts or comes on. Credit to him because he's been ill all week and he hasn't been out of bed. He managed to come on Thursday but he was still being sick at training.
"I felt going into this we would have enough energy and spirit to still be in the game with 20 minutes to go, regardless of what team we put out, and I felt we could then coax Nick and Isaac into giving us something and it worked."
It was far from the first time this season Weston rescued a result late on, and Bartlett was once again pleased with his side's character.
He said: "I was disappointed at Walton Casuals and Wimborne, but other than that I have been really happy with the character. They all want to play for the club and they all want to run for us, which is good.
"At times we lack a bit of experience and we can be a bit naïve and sloppy in possession, but every manager up and down the country is probably saying that.
"We haven't been able to put our strongest team out for two games on the bounce, or play the formation I want to play so we're happy with the outcome bearing in mind what we had coming into the game."
The Weston boss is confident ahead of tonight's replay at The Optima Stadium, with hopes his resources will be replenished with a fourth qualifying round tie at National League South side Dartford on the line.
Tonight's winners will also lock up £17,500 in prize money.
Bartlett added: "We've been good at home, and rightly so. We have a brilliant surface and it will be a good crowd I hope.
"The more the merrier to help us along."