Wingate and Finchley’s saw their play-off hopes ended as they were beaten by a VCD side who’s win gave them a huge boost in their bid for survival.
Ryman League Premier Division:
VCD Athletic 2 Wingate & Finchley 0
Saturday, 11 April, 2015
On a sunny day in South East London, Wingate went into the game missing veteran defenders Marc Weatherstone and Ahmet Rifat through injury.
There was an early chance for VCD as they breached the disjointed Blues offside trap, but Bobby Smith made an incredible save at Michael Power’s feet. Power soon made amends for this miss in the 10th minute, heading home Elliott Cox’s deep cross from six yards.
VCD were more committed at this stage, and continued to create chances. Karl Dent sent a volley on the turn which narrowly missed the top left corner.
David Knight had Wingate’s best chance of the half with five minutes remaining before the interval – as he sent a volley goalwards but it was saved low by a confident goalkeeper Nick Blue. Power continued to threaten at the other end, and his central free-kick curled inches wide of the top left corner.
Wingate had been given a rocket during the half-time team talk, and came out a different side after the break. They completely dominated for a 15 minute spell but were unable to capitalise. Youth product Harrison Georgiou was denied by an incredible diving save by Blue from just outside the area that seemed destined for the bottom left corner. A few minutes later Georgiou was unlucky to hit the post from a similar position. Between these two chances, Ola Sogbanmu’s shot from close-range was blocked by defender Ben Payne with the goalkeeper beaten.
VCD weathered this storm and Wingate seemed to lose belief for the final half hour. On a VCD attack, Lanre Azzez was set free inside the box to the left side, and he cut inside and drove at goal but Smith blocked superbly.
In the final minute VCD secured the win from the spot after a trip in the box, Power scoring the penalty into the bottom left corner.
David Norman was bitterly disappointed with the result, saying: “For the first time this season I felt the majority of the players let themselves down, the basic core principles which have made it a fantastic season were lacking today.
“I felt they looked for excuses and did not work hard enough. Having said that, they have been a credit to themselves and the club for the whole year. We now aim to finish as high as possible to achieve a memorable season and both myself and Danny will be looking for a reaction next Saturday against Bognor.”
Wingate & Finchley Lineup:
Smith, Goodman (Stevenson 83), Joao, Lake, Hewitt, Georgiou (Sharpe 65), Knight, Tejan-Sie (Read 77), Laney Sogbanmu, Oliyide. Subs: Nielsen, Metcalfe.