Wingate & Finchley made it three wins from three as they consolidated third place in the table thanks as they brushed aside Kingstonian at the Abrahams stadium, writes Andy Gerlis.
Ryman Premier League
Wingate & Finchley 2
Saturday, 23 August, 2015
The visitors nearly took the lead after just six minutes when a deep cross dropped nicely outside the six yard box between Marc Weatherstone and Ahmet Rifat, but Richard Jolly, almost taken by surprise at being allowed the chance, could only put his header wide.
Wingate managed to regain control of the game, maintaining the majority of the possession despite some tough tackling from both sides, with Rob Laney’s cross-cum-shot nearly floating in at the back post.
The pressure paid off and the home side took the lead after 25 minutes when, off the back of a Kingstonian corner, a rapid counter-attacking run down the left from Laney found Karl Oliyide, who pulled the ball back from the byline to allow Billy Healey a tap in across the goalkeeper. Healey has been in excellent form so far this season and almost managed to score a second 14 minutes later, but his looping back-post header could only find the roof of the net. The home side went in 1-0 at the break with the referee having been busier than either of the keepers.
An explosive start to the second half saw Healey double his – and Wingate’s – tally after just 15 seconds, tapping in an Oliyide pull back in a mirror image of the first goal. The tempo of the game was much the same as the first half, with Laney and Tyron Smith both being awarded yellows, the latter resulting in a powerful free kick towards the top left corner that forced Elvijs Putnins in the Kingstonian goal into a very fine stop.
The hosts continued to pile on the pressure with Healey’s run through on goal being marginally pulled back for offside after 65 minutes before Martel Powell played Oliyide in behind the Kingstonian defence six minutes later, but his first time shot was smothered well by Putnins. Healey’s hunt for a hat-trick continued, shooting straight at the keeper after some excellent footwork on the right hand side of the box from Laney.
The pressure, however, failed turn in to goals and it eventually came back to haunt the home side. Malachi Hudson, on as a substitute for Richard Jolly, picked out Dan Bennett in the centre of the box whose first time shot shot rolled past Bobby Smith into the bottom corner to set up a nervy final 10 minutes. Ricky Sappleton saw a powerful shot curl away from the top corner of Bobby Smith’s goal but as the heat began to take its toll on the players, the legs became tired and the tackles became desperate. Pelayo Pico-Gomez saw yellow as did Kyle Watson for a strong tackle within seconds of coming on. The subsequent free-kick forced a fine double save out of Bobby Smith who, up until the 92nd minute, had remained relatively untested.
Wingate held on however, to continue a run of 2-1 victories from their three league games this season. Kingstonian never really looked like getting in to the game thanks to a largely composed performance that Wingate and Finchley who will be looking to carry their form into their next game against Needham Market on Tuesday.
Wingate & Finchley Line-up:
Bobby Smith; Marc Weatherstone, Leon Solomon, Michael Buckley, Brad Hewitt, Ahmet Rifat, Martel Powell; Tommy Tejan-Sie (Mark Goodman, 87), Rob Laney (Meshach Williams, 74), Billy HealeyKarl Oliyide (Kyle Watson, 92).
Jack Metcalfe & Kieron Street
WingateTV Video interviews with Rob Laney and Ahmet Rifat: