Weston super Mare v Hendon

Weston super Mare 2 - 2 Hendon
10 Aug 2019 - 15:00The Optima Stadium

An injury-time goal from Ben Whitehead saw the Seagulls come away with a 2-2 draw against their visitors Hendon.

Whitehead was played in early on but his shot across goal was held down low by Chris Grace, before Hendon got their first.

An inswnging corner from Charlie Smith found centre-back Luke Tingey at the near post, and he flicked his header in past Luke Purnell to break the deadlock.

Hendon striker Connor Calcutt curled just wide of the target, before Tom Hamblin blocked Sam Hendy’s shot down the other end and Nick McCootie had his pull-back cleared after winning the ball on halfway and driving forwards with it.

Hendon got a second in fortuitous circumstances when a pass out from the back by Purnell was blocked by Calcutt, and strike partner Kameron English pounced, racing through one-on-one to slot in and double his side’s advantage.

Alex Byrne had a shot fly over the bar after having a go from a blocked Pearce effort, while McCootie had an effort caught comfortably by Grace after weighing up his other options and Smith then went close for Hendon but Purnell punched away his curling free-kick.

Before the interval, Weston pulled one back when Connor Davies reached the byline and hung a cross in the air for McCootie, and the powerful striker nodded down and into the bottom corner to reduce arrears.

After half-time, experienced midfielder Matty Harriot sliced a volley wide from 18 yards while McCootie had a header drop just wide from another Davies cross and Whitehead could only curl over when Hendy laid a pass off to him.

Whitehead came the closest he had done all afternoon when his header from a McCootie cross hit the crossbar and was scrambled behind for a corner, with Hendy having a shot deflected wide for a corner not long after as well as substitute Joel Randall curling narrowly wide on the counter.

Hendy and Pearce both saw shots inside the box blocked by flying Hendon defenders, while McCootie just failed to connect with a Davies cross in front of goal after attempting a bicycle kick, with Weston having a warning shot fired at them down the other end when English won the ball off Davies, and his shot from a tight angle trickled along the goal-line and away.

Pearce again went close after cutting inside and having his shot pushed away by Grace, moments before the equaliser came.

Pinball inside the box, including shouts for handball against a Hendon defender, eventually saw the ball break to Hendy. His shot was deflected into the path of prolific striker Whitehead, and the No.10 made no mistake by slotting in from a few yards out to gain an important opening day point for Weston.

FT: Weston 2-2 Hendon (McCootie 40, Whitehead 90+3 – Tingey 6, English 21)

Weston XI: Purnell, Davies, Laird, Byrne, Parsons, Tindle (C), Mawford (Randall 66), Hendy, McCootie, Whitehead, Pearce. Unused subs: Malshanskyj, Maher, Llewellyn, Welch.

MOTM: Isaac Pearce