Wingate & Finchley welcomed local rivals Hendon to the Harry Abrahams Stadium in attempt to pick up three crucial points, as they aim to better last seasons 12th placed finish, writes Khalid Karimullah.
Ryman League Premier Division:
Wingate & Finchley 1 Hendon 1
Saturday, 29 March, 2016
Within the opening minute, the Blues managed to find an early lead. From Leon Fisher’s corner, the ball arrived to Billy Healey at the far post who made no mistake from close-range. Rob Laney then had his overhead kick blocked by Dave Diedhiou inside the area, after a great cross from Alex Addai.
With Wingate using their wing presence extremely well, Fisher fed a lovely pass into the path of Alfie Bartram, who had his dangerous near post cross looking for Healey just cut out by Luke Tingey. Karl Oliyide, on the other flank, drifted past Oliver Sprague before his cross looking for Healey was also cut out – this time by Diedhiou. Oliyide again caused more problems out on the right, before his cross was headed away but only as far as Bartram, who arrowed his effort just wide.
Hendon themselves had a great chance reaching half-way through the first half, after Sam Murphy’s floated in cross evaded everyone inside the area bar Sam Flegg, who headed inches past the post. With 21 minutes on the clock, it was all level. Flegg’s corner arrived at the head of Diedhiou who powered his effort into the back of the net, leaving the Wingate defence frustrated.
Soon after, an intelligent quick taken free-kick from Fisher played Oliyide away who attempted to find Healey, though Sprague again made a vital clearance. Just before half-time, two great chances fell for either side. First, Brandon Adams forced a close range save from Charlie Crowley inside the area. At the other end, Addai powered his way past Sprague, prior to finding Rob Laney at the near post who took his time as the danger was cleared.
Soon after half-time, Joe Foley made a tantalising run through the centre though could only place his attempt over the bar. Addai then fed a pass into Mark Goodman, who cut inside before unleashing a strike which sailed over Joe Wright’s right hand post. Addai again floated in a superb deep ball to the far post which found Oliyide who got his head to the ball, but lacked the power as it came easily to Wright. Minutes later, the hosts almost took a deserved lead. Fisher drove through the middle before playing a cutting pass into Rob Laney, who also placed his effort inches past the post.
Continuing to dominate, a flurry of chances arrived. Laney broke away on the right as he cut inside and found Oliyide, whose half-volley was denied from close by Sam Murphy. Healey then played Jack Read away on goal, who within minutes of coming on, hit his powerful effort over the bar.
Intricate passing between Read, Addai and Fisher saw the latter play the former in on goal, who just couldn’t get enough power behind his effort from six yards. With the game drawing to a close, Goodman did superb to track Ben Pattie all the way, before getting a vital touch to clear the danger. Following that clearance, Goodman stayed with Brandon Adams, before making a last ditch header at the far post to deny the forward.
A double chance arrived in injury time. Oliyide played a pass to Read who floated into the box, as his close-range effort was blocked. Then Goodman, on the follow-up, fired over from long-range.
Wingate & Finchley:
Charlie Crowley, Mark Goodman, Tommy Cummings, Ahmet Rifat, Marc Weatherstone, Leon Fisher, Alex Addai, Alfie Bartram (Joe Foley 45), Billy Healey, Rob Laney (Jack Read 67), Karl Oliyide
Subs: Jack Read, Karl Stevenson, Joe Foley, Joe Sharpe
Joe Wright, Luke Tingey, Oliver Sprague (Addison Garnett 76), Dave Diedhiou, Sam Flegg, Sam Murphy, Carl McCluskey, Keagan Cole (Ben Pattie 80), Kezie Ibe, Brandon Adams, Tony Taggart (Mahrez Bettache 45)
Subs: Addison Garnett, Mahrez Bettache, Charlie Kuehn, Ben Pattie, Oliver Achille
WingateTV: Mark Goodman Post Hendon interview: