Wingate & Finchley and Farnborough played out an entertaining goal filled spectacle at the Harry Abrahams Stadium under gloomy weather conditions, writes Khalid Karimullah.
After a superb come back against Grays Athletic in their last outing, the Blues looked eager to continue in that same vein of form. It took just three minutes for the first chance of the game to arrive after Leon Solomon skilfully passed Matt Brown, before finding Karl Oliyide rushing in at the back post, however his side footed effort flew over the bar. Despite the hosts’ strong start, it was Spencer Day’s side that took an early lead after eight minutes. After a hopeful pass found its way into the box attempting to find Tommy Wright who had made intelligent movement, Ahmet Rifat at first was on hand to see the danger clear, however an unfortunate slip allowed the forward with a chance at goal and he took full advantage, as he curled the ball past Jack Metcalfe.
The home side looked for an immediate response, which almost came through Rob Laney, who was looking for his second goal in as many games. From an in-swinging corner, the ball was cleared only as far as Rifat, whose effort bounced off the surface before Laney reacted superbly with a placed header, forcing Joe Tupper to make a spectacular save. Seconds later, Tommy Tejan-Sie’s short taken corner on the right found Oliyide, who passed back to the diminutive midfielder, before the former’s deep cross towards the near post was met subsequently by the head of Laney, who powered his effort into the net after 11 minutes.
Oliyide then drifted past his full-back before cutting inside, prior to his shot-cum-cross almost creeping in, however Tupper reacted well to make an important save. Just minutes later, Nick Brown won the ball in midfield before charging through the centre, preceding playing Wright through on goal with a one-on-one chance, and despite Metcalfe closing him down, the forward grabbed his second of the game to put the visitors in the lead.
With Simon Lane’s men pushing to get level, Oliyide burst into the box after cutting inside from the left channel, though the midfielder could only place his curled effort past the post. Then two goals separated by just one minute found the Blues in a well deserved lead. After Wingate won a corner, the visitors could only clear the ball to as far as Reece Tison-Lascaris, whose speculative effort fell to Solomon, and after the defender forced a full stretched save from Tupper looking for the bottom left hand corner. However, Oliyide never gave up the pressure as he laid the ball back into Lee Barney, who rocketed the ball into the roof of the net.
Then as the hosts had the impetus, Solomon’s in-swinging free-kick was met by the head of Laney, and the forward found his strike partner Barney at the near post unmarked, who neatly poked the ball into the net from two yards. Suddenly, the scoreline was 4-2, as Dan Brown’s well executed through ball was met by Laney charging in on goal, who finished superbly past the visitors keeper for his third goal in two games. Just before half-time, the Blues were eager for an even bigger lead. First, Tejan-Sie on his weaker right foot from 18 yards forced a superb save from Tupper, before Solomon just inside the box found Barney, who looked for the top corner, but he could only curl his effort wide.
Straight after the restart, Tejan-Sie’s corner came to Barney, and as the forward’s header bounced back off the woodwork, the ball fell kindly to Laney but his deflected shot went just wide of the post. At the other end, Wright hit a shot over under pressure from Ahmet Rifat, before Mark Goodman broke away on the right, before finding Oliyide with a superb cross, however the latter hit his shot straight at the keeper. Not long after, Day’s side were fortunate after Tejan-Sie’s precise free kick found the head of Laney, though the forward from six yards uncharacteristically placed his header inches over the bar. The task was made more difficult for the away side after Fred Grant was sent off for a foul on Barney, consequently picking up his second yellow card of the game.
After good creative play on the left, Oliyide drifted into the box but could only shoot just wide, before Tejan-Sie and Oliyide exchanged passes, prior to the former looking for the bottom corner from 18 yards, though Tupper again made a good save. With the game coming to a close, Tejan-Sie from a Laney whipped in cross, side footed his attempt wide, then not long after, Barney won possession and found the overlapping Tejan-Sie, who again was left frustrated as his placed effort went inches wide.
With the last significant action of the game, from a corner, the ball came to Tom Broadbent who made no mistake from six yards as he grabbed a late third goal for Farnborough, although there were suspicions of a handball. With the amount of chances created, the home fans were left mesmerised at how the game concluded with a surprisingly narrow scoreline than the game suggested.
Wingate & Finchley:
Jack Metcalfe, Mark Goodman, Leon Solomon, Daniel Brown, Marcus Rose (Brad Marriott 88), Ahmet Rifat, Rob Laney, Tommy Tejan-Sie, Lee Barney, Karl Oliyide (Ben Andreos 87), Reece Tison-Lascaris (Joe Sharpe 67)
Subs not used: Joe Sharpe, Brad Marriott, Ben Andreos, Karl Stevenson
Joe Tupper, Matt Brown, Fred Grant, Pery Ryan, Garry McDonald (Deane Whittingham-Joseph 58), Tom Broadbent, Lewis Collins, Bogdan Vastsuk (Bradley Fraser 45), Tommy Wright, Nick Brown
Subs not used: Jack Barton, Bradley Fraser, Deane Whittingham-Joseph, Sean Simms
WingateTV interviews with Lee Barney, Dan Brown and Marcus Rose: