Wingate & Finchley travelled to the home of the Swans, Wheatsheaf Park, to take on a Staines Town side who were looking for a rare home win, writes Khalid Karimullah.
The hosts started on the front foot in the opening minutes of the match after Mark Goodman’s superb awareness allowed him to clear a Jeremy Boakye effort off the line. Then Luke Wanadio, who almost set up the opening chance, sparked more creativity as his whipped in cross just evaded the head of Pat Cox.
Minutes later, good interplay between Boakye and Fumnaya Shomotun gave the latter a chance at goal, as he crafted his way into the box before his curled effort looking for the top corner hit against the top of the crossbar. Wanadio’s and Shomotun’s movement was creating problems for the visitors, before the former’s shot from just inside the box was deflected comfortably into the hands of Bobby Smith.
The combination of Boakye and Shomotun then won a free-kick out on the right channel, as the latter was picked out brilliantly before being fouled just outside the box. From the resulting set-piece, a Jack Bennett free-kick hit against the side netting. Afterwards, Wingate were just starting to creep into the game after a good counter-attack between Alfie Bartram and Lee Barney almost found Billy Healey at the near post, but Darren Purse was on hand to clear the danger.
Despite being under pressure, Wingate almost found themselves leading. Leon Solomon made a strong bombarding run up the left channel before his precise whipped in cross found the head of Barney, though the forward’s header went inches over. Minutes later, Barney won back possession inside left channel before finding the influential Tommy Tejan-Sie, who’s perfectly weighted cross almost came through to Billy Healey though Joe O’Cearuill just managed to clear the chance.
Boakye with space in the centre of the park delivered a cutting pass through the defence to Cox, who after getting clear on goal just couldn’t beat the full stretched Smith diving low to his right. Not long after, Smith had to make another important save, this time from Wanadio – who’s effort from 12 yards was met again by the keeper this time going to his left.
Just before half-time, the North London outfit produced a spectacular quick flowing move. Rob Laney, Tejan-Sie and Bartram combined a range of passes before the latter’s shot-cum-cross forced Jack Turner to palm the ball away from danger with Barney and Healey waiting at the back post.
Simon Lane’s side began the brightest in the second half. Solomon’s deep cross from out wide left evaded everyone bar Laney, who combined with Bartram to almost set up a goal scoring opportunity though again the visitors were denied. After 51 minutes played, Wingate grabbed a deserved lead which left Turner flabbergasted. Bartram again made his way past Mitchal Gough before cutting the ball back across to Healey, who made no mistake from outside the box as his first time accurate drive found the bottom corner.
Smith again had to be on hand to make a save from Erivaldo Felix’s low close-range effort after he somehow made his way into the box unchallenged, prior to Healey almost getting his second of the game. Good attacking play between Tejan-Sie and Bartram gave Healey a chance at goal, though his 20 yard outside of the foot effort just went past the post.
Shomotun again broke away down the right before his whipped in cross was met powerfully by the head of Cox, which Smith had to tip over the bar. Healey looking hungry for more goals then forced another save from Turner just outside the box, before the hosts almost found an equaliser. Shomotun then found Felix 12 yards from goal before his pass looking for Cox forced Marc Weatherstone to clear the danger.
Then after 66 minutes played, the home fans were delighted as their side scored a well executed goal. After a loss of possession in midfield, the ball came out to Wanadio who skilfully made his way into the box before curling a great finish past Smith. Felix then broke away minutes later down the right, prior to finding Boakye who forced another great close-range save from Smith.
Frustrated to concede, Tejan-Sie found substitute Karl Oliyide who brilliantly allowed the ball to roll off his feet before sending a half-volley towards the bottom corner, though Turner made a comfortable save. From a Jack Hutchinson corner, Cox rose the highest before his effort hit venomously against the underside of the crossbar. Then at the other end, Martel Powell and Solomon allowed Oliyide a chance at goal, though his placed effort was cleared off the line by Bennett.
As the game was coming to a close, the Blues broke Swans hearts as they found themselves leading in the 92nd minute. From a Solomon throw in, the ball was controlled by Powell before his stunning skilful drag-back found Tejan-Sie inside the six yard box, who slotted the ball past a devastated Turner to send the away fans into jubilation. Just as the referee was about to blow for the final whistle, Goodman, much like in the opening minutes, had to make a vital goal bound effort by Cox to send all involved with Wingate home delighted.
WingateTV interview with Tommy Tejan-Sie:
Staines Town FC:
Jack Turner, Mitchal Gough, Jack Bennett, Tommy Brewer, Darren Purse (Erivaldo Felix 31), Joe O’Cearuill, Ashley Lodge (Terence Vancooten 59), Jeremy Boakye, Pat Cox, Luke Wanadio, Fumnaya Shomotun (Jack Hutchinson 78)
Subs not used:
Jack Hutchinson, Harry Churchill, Terence Vancooten, Callum McAllister, Erivaldo Felix
Wingate & Finchley:
Bobby Smith, Mark Goodman, Leon Solomon, Daniel Brown, Marc Weatherstone, (Tarik Moore-Azille) Rob Laney (Joe Sharpe 84), Tommy Tejan-Sie, Billy Healey, Lee Barney (Karl Oliyide 72), Alfie Bartram (Martel Powell 71)
Subs not used:
Martel Powell, Karl Oliyide, Courtney Austin, Joe Sharpe, Jack Metcalfe