A Charlie Madden finish and Nick McCootie header made sure that Weston came back from 1-2 down to win 3-2 over Tiverton Town at The Optima on Tuesday night.
Weston took an early lead when a Dan Martin clerance went over the defender and Tiverton defender Michael Landricombe attempted to head back to keeper Lewis Williams. However, McCootie nipped in and knocked the ball past Williams but was brought down in the box by the keeper. The referee pointed to the spot and up stepped Scott Laird, who slotted his penalty into the corner for 1-0.
Tiverton soon equalised though when a Noah Smerdon cross was blocked by Jake Mawford. However, the ball fell back to Smerdon and he drilled a cross low across the ground, with Josh Key tapping in from a few yards out to level the scores.
Martin drove wide of the goal from 25 yards after haring forwards with the ball from halfway, and Mawford went close too when he glanced his header wide of the far post from George Dowling’s cross.
Tiverton put themselves in front just after the half-hour mark when a long ball into the box saw Luke Purnell fail to punch the ball away cleanly. The ball dropped to Jordan Bastin, who rolled his shot into the empty net to put the visitors ahead.
Former Weston loanee Pierce Mitchell drove over from outside the area, while Dowling’s shot from 25 yards was held by Williams comfortably.
After half-time, a Laird free-kick bounced on its way through to Williams as the shot failed to trouble him, but Weston were level three minutes later.
McCootie turned his man from a Joel Randall throw and slipped the ball through to substitute Charlie Madden, who was charging through the middle. With the composure of a seasoned striker, Madden calmly rounded the goalkeeper Williams and slotted into the back of the net for his first Weston goal and 2-2.
Steve Colwell curled wide of Purnell’s goal from 20 yards, and down the other end Mawford took a diagonal ball down on his chest from Greg Tindle’s pass and on his left foot inside the box, Mawford fired over the top.
Weston got their winner with 11 minutes left when Aaron Parsons headed a long kick from Williams back the way it came, Isaac Pearce glanced the ball on with his head and McCootie was in the right place to head the ball past the onrushing Williams and see the ball trickle over the line despite Landricombe’s attempts to clear it off the line.
Weston were reduced to ten men though when match winner McCootie clipped Landricombe as he played a long ball forward, and the referee deemed it an offence to show the striker his second yellow card of the game and the experienced striker went for an early bath.
Hanging on to the lead, George Nancekivell dragged a desperate shot wide as Tiverton attempted to get a late equaliser, while Dowling had the chance to seal all three points when he was slipped through on goal by late substitute Owen Howe, but the midfielder’s chip was kept out by a strong hand from Williams.
FT: Weston 3-2 Tiverton (Laird pen 3, Madden 50, McCootie 79 – Key 9, Bastin 32)
Weston XI: Purnell, Mawford, Martin (Madden 41), Dowling, Parsons, Tindle (C), Randall, Laird, McCootie (S/O 86), Waite (Hendy 88), Pearce (Howe 88). Unused substitutes: Maher, Davies.
MOTM: Jake Mawford