McCootie's late winner at Flackwell Heath 'what we deserved' says Laird
- Credit: Lorna Davey
Weston AFC player/assistant manager Scott Laird believes Nick McCootie’s late winner was what they “deserved” after breaking down Flackwell Heath at Wilks Park.
The visitors had a number of chances throughout the FA Cup replay and looked to be frustrated again by the Heathens, following their 2-2 draw on Saturday.
But, just as the tie seemed to heading for extra time, McCootie, just as he did on Saturday, nodded the ball into the back of the net from Dayle Grubb’s superb delivery five minutes from time.
“It was really good, it was a tough place to go,” said Laird.
“They did a really good job to frustrate us at our place on Saturday and then again tonight but I don’t think anyone begrudges us the result. We put on a really professional performance, we kept going to the end and we didn’t get frustrated with the way the game was going.
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“They were slowing it down and we kept playing our football and ultimately got the goal we deserved.”
Manager Scott Bartlett made one change with Jay Murray in for Pascal Kpohomouh at right-back, while McCootie donned the captain's armband for the third match in a row.
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There were also places on the bench for and Sam Avery and Keiran Thomas after the duo had missed two and three games respectively.
Jordan Bastin drew Aaron Watkins into the first save of the evening after six minutes before Lucas Vowles drove his shot wide from 12 yards moments later.
Summer signing Bastin then saw his effort from 25 yards out beaten away by Watkins before turning provider for Will Turner, but the teenage defender could only head wide.
McCootie and Vowles then went close before Luke Purnell held well from Mo Ceesay which was followed by Grubb, Bastin and Vowles all missing their chances as half-time approached.
McCootie and Lloyd Humphries both fired over after the break before the captain broke the deadlock in the 85th minute.
Cory Halfway gave away a free-kick on the edge of the box and Grubb's expertly taken delivery was met by McCootie to head home.
Referee Tom Ellsmoore looked to have disallowed the forward’s header, but after consulting with his assistant he awarded the goal and Weston held on to secure a place in the next round, where they will host Taunton Town on September 18.
When asked about the confusion regarding the goal, Laird added: “We earned a real good free-kick, Grubby put in, obviously, one of his excellent trademark free-kicks into the box and (Nick) McCootie headed it in.
“It was never in doubt it was a goal, but it was just the celebration afterwards. Their goalkeeper got a bit upset with myself because I celebrated in front of him.
“He was being a bit disrespectful to us during the game so I went over and celebrated in front of him. He didn’t like it and kicked the ball at me. The linesmen was just flagging for that.”
Weston now have two away games at Harrow Borough this Saturday and Dorchester Town, three days later, before The Peacocks come to The Optima Stadium.
"Winning games of football is a great feeling," Laird said.
“Whatever game you play in, we want to win, friendly, cup, league we want to win it and it will be good for the club as well, a little cup run, but it’s going to be a tough game.
“We will welcome Taunton to The Optima but it will be great occasion and hopefully we come away and progress to the next round."
Weston: Purnell, Murray, Laird, Jagger-Cane, Pope, McCootie, (Symons 90), Humphries, Vowles, Grubb, Bastin.