Wingate & Finchley welcomed Leatherhead to Summers Lane hoping to pick up their first win since beating local rivals Enfield Town. writes Khalid Karimullah.
Ryman League Premier Division:
Wingate & Finchley 1 Leatherhead 1
Saturday, 19 March, 2016
The first chance fell to the home side; as Mark Goodman played a delightful ball over the top to Alex Addai, who in turn found Leon Fisher driving through the middle, though the midfielder could only place his effort wide. Despite the hosts’ bright start, Leatherhead came close to the opening goal after Kiernan Hughes-Mason drifted into the area from the left channel, and with just the goal gaping, Goodman made a vital block.
Great movement from Alfie Bartram then opened up space for Fisher to hit a ferocious effort inches past Lennie Pidgeley’s right hand post. Bartram’s creative instinct then saw him play a cutting pass over the top to Healey who found Fisher, though this time his low placed effort was cleared.
With 24 minutes on the clock, Healey made a bursting run into the box before being dragged down by Jerry Nnamani. The Blues’ top goalscorer made no mistake from the spot as he sent Pidgeley the wrong way. Minutes later, Karl Oliyide made a skilful run down the left channel, prior to finding Healey inside the box who forced a fine save from the Leatherhead shot-stopper.
At the other end, Hughes-Mason floated in a sudden teasing ball towards the head of the diving Phil Walsh, who forced a good stop from Wingate debutant Charlie Crowley. Minutes before half-time, in the 43rd minute, Leatherhead grabbed a goal which came against the run of play. Steve Watt took full advantage of a loose punch by Crowley inside the six yard box, as a deep floated ball was delivered in to test the young keeper.
With there being frustration going in at the break all-level after largely having the momentum throughout the first 45 minutes, Keith Rowlands’ side started the brightest. Oliyide drifted past Josh Hare, before his cross fell to Addai, who could only fire wide from inside the area. From having a chance to nearly providing a certain goal, Addai’s low drilled cross almost arrived at Healey making a run to the far post, though Watt just managed to make a vital clearance.
A carbon-copy chance was created minutes later, as Oliyide again made his way past Hare, though his cross just couldn’t come through to Healey who had made more intelligent movement inside the area. With Oliyide continuing to cause havoc out on the left channel, he skilled his way to the byline as his cross looking for Healey was just headed clear by the towering Watt.
With the North Finchley outfit looking the most threatening, Addai had a great chance to give the Blues all three points. The diminutive midfielder cut inside from the right channel, before his cut back effort looking for the bottom corner was in reach of Pidgeley, who ensured the points were shared.
Wingate & Finchley:
Charlie Crowley, Mark Goodman, Tommy Cummings, Ahmet Rifat, Marc Weatherstone, Leon Fisher, Alex Addai, Alfie Bartram, Billy Healey (Rob Laney 81), Ola Sogbanmu, Karl Oliyide
Jack Read, Karl Stevenson, Rob Laney
Lennie Pidgeley, Josh Hare (Adam Cash 74), Adam Green, Nathan Campbell, Steve Watt, Jerry Nnamani, Matt Bodkin (Alfie Paxman 90), Paul Semakula, Phil Walsh, Frannie Colin (Ryan Mahal 53), Kiernan Hughes-Mason
Daryl Cooper-Smith, Louis Wells, Ryan Mahal, Adam Cash, Alfie Paxman
WingateTV: with Marc Weatherstone & Alfie Bartram: