Wingate & Finchley returned to winning ways at the Abrahams Stadium as they came out on top in a marvellous game of attacking football, writes Khalid Karimullah.

WINGATEWEB

Ryman League Premier Division:
Wingate & Finchley 4 Bognor Regis 1
Saturday, 18 April, 2015

TABLE
FIXTURES & RESULTS

It didn’t take long for the first chance of the game to arrive after stand-in Wingate captain Tommy Tejan-Sie controlled the ball from a short taken corner, before turning and crossing the ball across the six yard box. The ball evaded everyone before finding it’s way into the path of Brad Hewitt, who could only hit his powerful header into the hands of Chris Winterton.

Not long after, Bognor showed their intent after Terry Dodd hit his 18-yard effort low and hard to Bobby Smith’s right who had to get down at full stretch to deny him. A Carbon copy of the first chance was duplicated as Tejan-Sie, again creating space lobbed his pass onto the head of Hewitt who from 5 yards out could only place the ball straight at the keeper.

The away side almost went ahead after Ollie Pearce from Bognor’s right channel put in a dangerous cross towards Jason Prior centre of goal, but he could only head his chance just over the crossbar with Bobby Smith beat. Wingate responded brilliantly by enforcing their high pressing game on the away side, who for the better part of the first half had no answer to Wingate’s tactics.

First Ola Sogbanmu from 25 yards had his powerful drive well saved by the outstretched Winterton, before the home fans were left astonished when Wingate somehow did not score with three consecutive close range efforts. From a well taken corner by David Knight, Rob Laney’s and then Brad Hewitt’s headed attempts were cleared off the line, before Joe Sharpe’s effort appeared to strike the arm of Dan Sackman.

The first goal of the game came against the run of play however in the 31st minute. With Wingate leaving themselves open at the back pushing to make their dominance count, Dodd played Ollie Pearce through on goal who hit a low hard drive to Smith’s right with the goalkeeper at full stretch.

Wingate almost responded expeditiously after Mark Goodman went on an exploding run and cut an inside pass into the feet of Tejan-Sie, 12 yards from goal who after a great first touch could only hit his shot just wide of the post.

After half-time, the game struggled to settle and neither team could find their rhythm until Knight put Winterton under pressure, however with the loose ball trickling across an empty goal, no Wingate player was on hand to capitalize and the danger was eventually cleared. The home side did find their equaliser after substitute Karl Oliyide with an impressive bit of skill and turn, carved out a wonderful defence splitting pass to the overlapping Tejan-Sie, whose touch took the ball away from the defender and despite the keeper coming out, placed the ball back across goal for a delightful finish on 68 minutes.

Wingate almost doubled their goal tally after another substitute Harry Georgiou played in Rob Laney, right of goal, but he couldn’t beat the away goalkeeper who made himself hard to beat. They did eventually take the lead just four minutes later after Georgiou split the defence and found David Knight, who added to his already impressive goal scoring record by curling the ball past the full stretched Bognor keeper, who attempted to get down to his left.

Having already scored, Knight in the 78th minute delivered a precise and delightful free-kick, low and hard across the face of goal for the highly involved Brad Hewitt to toe poke in for a 3-1 lead. Then with the last significant action of the game, the powerful Ola Sogbanmu played David Knight in again who doubled his goals on the day, and scored Wingate’s fourth of the game after 81 minutes when he lobbed Winterton from 20 yards, who was charging out of his area. It capped off a wonderful afternoon for the Blues.

Striker David Knight said: “It was a game between two sides without a chance of a play off place. We didn’t start well but we got into our stride as the game went on and as you can see, we got our just reward.”

On his 33rd and 34th goals, he added: “I’ve always believed in my ability to score goals. I knew this season would be a step up from the Ryman North and told myself that if I got anywhere near 35, I’d be happy. I’m one away now and let’s hope next Saturday, we can get a couple more.”

And on partnerships, he said: “Jack Read has just come into the side, he’s a young lad and he will get games and will build experience. Laney and I have been playing together all season and we get on well. On next Season: “I want to score as many goals as this season and for the club, we want to be getting into the play-offs.”

Wingate Line-up:
Bobby Smith, Mark Goodman​, Orlando Joao​, Joe Sharpe (Harrison Georgiou 63), Stuart Lake (Coby Rowe 78), Brad Hewitt, David Knight, Tommy Tejan-Sie (c), Jack Read (Karl Oliyide 54), Ola Sogbanmu, Rob Laney

Subs not used:
Coby Rowen, Karl Olyide, Karl stevenson, Harrison Georgiou, Jack Metcalfe

Bognor Line-up:
Chris Winterton​, James Crane​, Daryl Wollers (Dale Hayes 45), Charlie Oatway (Omar Lawson 80)​, Dan Sackman​, Craig Robson(c), Stuart Green​, Jake Thomson​, Jason Prior​, Terry Dodd​, Ollie Pearce, (Lloyd Rowlatt 70)

Subs not used:
Omar Lawson, Callum Overton, Dale Hayes, Lloyd Rowlatt

Referee:
Lee Forrester

Attendance:
127