Whitton United manager praises hero Sam Mead after thrilling draw with Stanway Rovers

Whitton Utd v Stanway Rovers. Whitton manager Paul Bugg.

Whitton Utd v Stanway Rovers. Whitton manager Paul Bugg. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Whitton United boss Paul Bugg praised two-goal substitute Sam Mead, as the hosts gained an unlikely point, fighting back from three goals down with 11 minutes play.

After Ethan Clarke’s 79th-minute screamer, Mead scored in the final minute of normal time with a cracking left-foot effort, before coolly despatching a penalty in injury-time.

Opponents Stanway were the architects of their own downfall, following the sending-off of Jake Clowsley for two bookable offences and Mead took centre-stage, grabbing a point from the jaws of defeat.

“Sam has got all the ability in the world and his first strike, along with Ethan’s, was that good that their keeper never moved,” said Bugg.

“Then came the penalty. He isn’t our penalty-taker but I always leave that job up for grabs in the dressing room, and whoever has got the guts to take one will do. He did that.”

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Stanway also had Lee Cullen sent-off injury-time for dissent, after he felled Mead in the box, but the Essex side had already lost their composure before then.

“If it’s a football match, we will give anyone a game,” said Bugg.

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“If it comes to a bullying match, we don’t compete, we want to play in the right way.

“They were arguing in the second half and we played on that, as they did to us in the first half.”

Whitton are now unbeaten in four in all competitions and Saturday’s point typified Bugg’s side’s fighting spirit.

“We maybe fell into their trap in the first half by putting too much steel in the middle of the park to try and over-power Stanway,” added Bugg.

“I am happy with a smash-and-grab point, given our second-half performance.

“We had a similar situation last season when we were 3-0 down to Ipswich Wanderers with five minutes left and got a point.

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