Cook serves up thrilling finale for "never-say-die" Wealdstone
Updated: Sep 15, 2022
Stuart Maynard saluted the match-saving contribution of his captain after Wealdstone came from behind to grab a point against Maidstone United that few could argue they didn't deserve.
Sam Corne put the home side in front after 80 minutes and on course for all three points, but this Wealdstone side are made of stern stuff these days and they dug deep once more into their reserves to conjure up a late equaliser when Jack Cook swivelled and slammed in his second of the season as the clock hit 90 minutes.
"That's what a captain like Cookie does for you: he delivers when you need him, just like he did against Bromley [with the winner]," said Maynard, the manager. "He's a real leader for the club and this group and I can see why the fans love him. He's got real respect in the dressing room and you can see that with the way everyone celebrated. It was a great strike too with his left foot."
Maidstone manager Hakan Hayrettin said he was "disappointed we didn't get all three points just because we couldn't organise ourselves from a long throw", but Maynard felt his side deserved at least a point from the game at the Gallagher Stadium.
"I'm delighted," said Maynard. "To pick up a point on the road is always pleasing as this league is very tough. I thought the first half was very even and we were slightly better in the second half. We created chances, including that one for Tarryn. He's been curling them in in training with this left foot, but he took it with his right and tried to pass it in the far corner. He was unlucky. If that goal goes in then the game is dead.
"We then go one behind, but the lads have got that never-say-die mentality and we've got a point – and a deserved one. To take a point on the road is great as Maidstone are a big club in this league. We've now got 15 points which puts us in a strong position."
• Interview by Will Beaman
* Pictures by Mike Renny