WINGATEWEBA series of incredible Bobby Smith saves were not enough to secure a win for Wingate & Finchley in the Ryman Premier League clash against Peacehaven & Telscombe, writes Nikhil Saglani

Ryman League Premier Division:
Wingate & Finchley 1 Peacehaven & Telscombe 1
Tuesday, 11 November, 2014

TABLE
FIXTURES & RESULTS

The sides could not be separated through the first half, but the home side dominated the second period before finally scoring a late winner.

After a duly observed minute’s silence for Armistice Day the game began slowly, with the visitors commanding possession and stringing passes together much better.

On six minutes, Ahmet Rifat intercepted the ball on the halfway line and charged forward, shooting just wide of Mark Zawadski’s right hand post. Five minutes later, a spell of good possession from the home side allowed the ball to be played into David Knight, who flicked the ball to Ola Sogbanmu but his creativity was intelligently intercepted before Ola could get his shot away. However, the hosts didn’t have to wait long to score. David Knight received the ball 30 yards out, ran into the box and shot straight at the keeper. However, Zawadski couldn’t hold onto the ball and it slipped under his body into the back of the net.

The visitors’ Josh Jones crossed perfectly onto the head of Joe Gatting from the left hand side but Gatting’s header was superbly pushed away by a diving Bobby Smith in the Wingate goal. A spell of half-chances followed until Stuart Lake’s perfectly weighted pass was met by a Rob Laney volley, however it flew over the bar. Just after the half-hour mark, a David Knight free-kick was missed by Peacehaven goalkeeper Zawadski and headed towards goal by Rifat but his effort was cleared off the line for a throw in.

Zawadski’s shaky first half continued after his missed punch off a corner, which fell to Knight but his shot was blocked in the six yard box and hoofed away. Knight’s busy first half also went on as he was played in by Laney, tried to finesse his shot into the top corner but it arrowed over the upright. The half ended with a last ditch challenge from Sami El Abd of Peacehaven to prevent a chance for Wingate to double their lead.

The second half began with the visitors piling pressure on the home defence. A cross was cleared away by Marc Weatherstone, fell to Tommy Fraser but his shot was brilliantly saved again by Smith. A corner was whipped in on 55 minutes and looked to be going under the bar but was superbly pushed out by Smith. The resulting corner caused the ball to end up at the feet of James Fraser, who’s low shot was once again saved by Smith, diving to his left.

A goal kick from Smith on the hour mark landed at the feet of Knight, who held the ball up, turned brilliantly but shot well wide of the target. Two minutes later the ball fell to Peacehaven’s Tom Burton, who curled superbly but his top corner bound effort was incredibly pushed away by a diving Bobby Smith: who was, at this rate, the man of the match. He sealed this on 66 minutes when Richard Graham tripped Jamie Brotherton in the penalty area and the away side were awarded a penalty. Gatting stepped up, placed the ball to Smith’s right but his effort was brilliantly pushed away by the home side’s goalkeeper.

On 79 minutes, Gatting tried to make up by turning on the edge of the box but his shot sailed high and wide of Smith’s goal, which seemed impossible to penetrate. Chances were few and far between after this and aside from a parried Laney shot. On 86 minutes Ronayne Marsh-Brown was given a straight red card for dissent after the referee didn’t give a foul for Wingate on the halfway line. This seemed to be the shift in the game as the home side’s concentration slipped. A ball was played through towards the Peacehaven attack but as it was rolling towards to goal, a sliced clearance evaded Smith and hit the post. The visitors’ Tom Burton ran onto the rebound and tapped home the equaliser.

The hosts looked to make amends for this moment of madness and a counter attack led by Sogbanmu was fed wide to Tommy Tejan-Sie, who curled a shot onto the crossbar. The rebound fell perfectly to Knight but his shot went high and wide, summing up the finishing on the night; with the full time whistle being blown soon after.

Wingate & Finchley:
Smith, Joseph, Marsh-Brown, Lake, Weatherstone, Rifat, Knight, Tejan-Sie, Laney, Sogbanmu, Graham (Wright, 68). Subs: Nielsen, Allen, Udoh, Metcalfe.

Peacehaven:
Zawadski, Metcalf, Knee, Tommy Fraser, Ash Jones, El Abd, Brotherton, Button, Gatting, James Fraser, Josh Jones.

Referee:
W Norcott

Attendance:
88