Wingate & Finchley were held to a 0-0 draw at Lewes FC in part one of their Easter weekend double-header writes Nikhil Saglani.
Ryman League Premier Division:
Lewes 0 Wingate & Finchley 0
Saturday, 26 March, 2016
Keith Rowland made one change from Tuesday’s win at Brentwood Town, Alfie Bartram replacing Ola Sogbanmu in the starting eleven.
The hosts seemed to feed off the positive atmosphere inside the ground, with the fans knowing a loss would have seen them relegated this afternoon. Charlie Coppola and Ronnie Conlon had Lewes’ first chances, with the former firing a shot straight at Charlie Crowley and the latter’s shot blocked by Ahmet Rifat. On 8 minutes, Alfie Bartram found Karl Oliyide but the winger’s effort with his weaker foot just curled beyond the far post.
Alex Laing should have put the hosts ahead on 21 minutes but put his volley from five yards out straight at Crowley. Wingate’s danger man, Billy Healey, headed over from Mark Goodman’s cross on 36 minutes, after good work down the right wing from Goodman and Alex Addai.
Crowley was required to make a low save down to his right at the start of the second half and the rebound was put wide by Conlon – when it looked easier to score. Goodman created problems down Lewes’ left-wing in the opening stages of the second half – and his shot from outside the area nearly put Wingate 1-0 up on 68 minutes, but the ball swerved just wide and skimmed the side netting. The second half passed by with few clear-cut chances created, with Wingate centre backs Ahmet Rifat and Marc Weatherstone ensuring that Lewes’ pacey forwards were unable to cause Crowley any problems.
The result leaves Wingate in 11th position; a win would have put Rowland’s side into 10th position but the Blues will take positives from a three game unbeaten streak despite injuries to several key players. Hendon travel to North Finchley on Easter Monday before Wingate host East Thurrock on Saturday.
Winterton, Brinkhurst, Redwood, Carey ©, Freeman, Malins, Muggerigdge, Hammond, Coppola (Greenfield, 61), Laing, Conlon.
Unused substitutes: Okojie, El-Mhanni, Badger, Stroomberg.
Crowley, Goodman, Cummings, Rifat, Weatherstone ©, Fisher, Addai, Bartram, Healey (Read, 77), Laney, Oliyide (Foley, 82)
Unused substitute: Stevenson
WingateTV interview with Marc Weatherstone and Rob Laney: