Wingate & Finchley completed the double over Leiston after a late winner secured three vital points in a 1-0 away victory, at Victory Road, writes Khalid Karimullah.
Ryman League Premier Division:
Leiston 0 Wingate & Finchley 1
Saturday, 13 February, 2016
With the opening minutes being marred by an Alfie Bartram injury, Keith Rowland made the decision to bring on who would later be the match winner, Karl Oliyide. The first chance of the game arrived after Tommy Tejan-Sie exchanged with Oliyide, who’s first time pass played Tommy Cummings away down the left flank, though the latter saw his precise cross cleared away.
Ola Sogbanmu then led a counter attack for the visitors, driving through the centre of the pitch, though his speculative effort from near 30 yards went well wide. With Wingate’s top scorer Billy Healey yet to get into the game, his first chance at goal from a half-volley went wide, leaving Leiston’s keeper Ashlee Jones relieved.
Minutes later, Healey was taken down inside the area and a penalty conceivably should have been awarded, though the referee decided to wave away the call. Tejan-Sie’s following precise cross-field pass then found the feet of Marc Weatherstone, who couldn’t get a proper connection to his attempt. With the away side having the momentum, Alex Addai made his way to the by-line prior to finding Tejan-Sie who’s effort was blocked. However, with the ball only half cleared, Ahmet Rifat hit a thunderous, arrowing effort which looked destined for the top corner, though Jones pulled off a spectacular save.
Being led by captain Weatherstone, the visitors solidarity at the back allowed the forward players to express themselves. Addai charged through the middle though had his effort fly over the bar, before the hosts had their first chance. A Gareth Heath hopeful lobbed pass from midfield found Tom Winter, though Weatherstone made a superb inch-perfect tackle to deny a one-on-one opportunity.
A well worked set-piece out on the right then saw Addai find Weatherstone again inside the area, though he could only fire over. Tejan-Sie’s following cross was then half cleared only as far as Cummings, who’s low drilled shot was blocked. As the referee was about to blow for half-time, a bizarre sending off for Leiston’s Danny Cunningham had the hosts facing another 45 minutes with ten men.
Addai, soon after the restart, cut inside from the right flank finding Tejan-Sie who’s effort went wide of Jones’ left hand post. The influential Addai, again causing difficulties for Leiston’s back four, then had his near post cross just evade Healey, before a rare home attack. Billy Clark found himself clear inside the area after finding an opening, though Bobby Smith was equal to his attempt getting down low to his left.
With a flurry of Wingate attacks continuing to come, Tejan-Sie, after great skill and endeavour through the middle then fired just over. Seconds later, Tejan-Sie broke away down the left channel before finding the head of Healey, who’s back post header almost fell to Oliyide, though Jones closed him down. Addai’s cross was then cleared only as far as Mark Goodman, who’s effort looking for Healey was just denied by Tom Bullard.
Patrick Brothers late bombarding run up the left flank forced Weatherstone to concede a corner. From the resulting set-piece, Joe Jefford put his header inches wide. With a change of formation to unlock the hosts’ stubbornness, Cummings almost saw an opening which was denied at the last minute, as he attempted to create a one-on-one chance. Before, as aforementioned, a deserved winner arrived.
Sogbanmu found Addai out wide, who skilled his way past Brothers prior to his low and quick paced cross finding Oliyide, who made no mistake from close-range. With the spectacle then coming to a close, Oliyide broke away before finding Addai inside the area, who’s curled effort was saved by Jones. Then with Healey following through attempting to lob Leiston’s shot-stopper, the keeper somehow again made another stop.
With three vital points coming from a victory in which everyone played their part, the Blues can now look forward to a League Cup Quarter-Final against Enfield Town on Tuesday.
WingateTV interview with Alex Addai:
Ashlee Jones, Jack Ainsley, Patrick Brothers, Kelsey Trotter, Joe Jefford, Tom Bullard, Leon Ottley-Gooch, Gareth Heath, Tom Winter (Jake Taylor 78), Danny Cunningham, Billy Clark
Subs not used:
Stuart Boardley, Jake Taylor, Aaron Thurlow, Alex Rossis
Wingate & Finchley:
Bobby Smith, Mark Goodman, Tommy Cummings, Ahmet Rifat, Marc Weatherstone, Bradley Hewitt, Alex Addai, Ola Sogbamnu, Billy Healey, Tommy Tejan-Sie (Dan Brown), Alfie Bartram (Karl Oliyide)
Subs not used:
Dan Brown, Karl Oliyide, Jack Read
Mr Robert Hyde