GOAL hero Steve Cook admitted he had been fully prepared to “take one for the team” during the closing stages of Cherries’ win at Newcastle.

Cook popped up with a dramatic injury-time winner to spark jubilant scenes among visiting players, staff and supporters at St James’s Park.

But just seconds later, the defender was fortunate to escape unpunished after being involved in a coming-together with Toon striker Dwight Gayle.

Cook appeared to deliberately haul back Gayle as he looked to go clear on goal, although referee Paul Tierney deemed his challenge as fair.

The official’s decision to take no action incensed Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez and home supporters – with Cook later revealing he had feared the worst.

Cook told the Daily Echo: “I thought he was offside but wasn’t going to take any risks by letting him go. He didn’t give offside and it probably was a foul but there you go.”

Asked whether he had had his heart in his mouth, Cook replied: “Yes, but not because I thought he would score but maybe because I thought I was going to be sent off.

“But I would have been more than happy to have taken one for the team to get the three points. Fortunately, neither happened and we got the three points.”

Boss Eddie Howe also felt Newcastle had been wronged when he said: “At the time, I thought it should have been a free-kick.

“I know the Newcastle fans might not agree with me but I thought the referee had a good game. I know one side views it differently to the other but that, potentially, was one we got away with.”

Cook, meanwhile, dedicated his first goal of the season to son Eden – who was born just five weeks ago – a brother to Frey, who turned two yesterday.

He said: “On the way here, I said I hadn’t scored for a while and hadn’t scored for Eden so it was nice to get one for him.

“I have had a few nice texts from my wife. I have a lovely family and, hopefully, I can keep producing for them.

“As any parent will say, it is hard work having young children. Eden has been unbelievably good and although Frey has tested us a few times, my wife has been outstanding.

“I really enjoy the responsibility of being a father. As footballers, we are very lucky because we have short days so I can come home and help. Bournemouth is a lovely place to live and to bring up children.”

Although Cook took a blow to the ankle in the first minute at St James’s Park and had appeared to be struggling, he managed to play through the pain.

He joked: “If you keep moving, it’s okay. Saying that, I probably won’t be able to walk after this interview has finished!”

Cook added: “I rolled my ankle quite badly after colliding with Christian Atsu as I made a clearance. I have a couple of weeks to recover so I’m sure it will be fine.”