Wingate & Finchley fell to a 2-0 home defeat against Royston Town, consequently seeing their hopes for an FA Trophy adventure cut short. writes Khalid Karimullah.
In a game marred by injuries for the Blues, it was the visitors who looked confident from the opening and unfortunately for Simon Lane’s side, their constant pressure paid dividends.
With just five minutes played, Royston constructed an opening down their left channel before the ball found it’s way to Kaan Fehmi, who cut inside prior to Mark Goodman’s challenge bringing about a penalty call from the Evo-Stik Southern League Division one side, but referee James Vallance appeared to make the correct call by deeming the challenge to be fair. At the other end, Tommy Tejan-Sie made space for himself before finding the on rushing Karl Oliyide, who after leaving Gus Scott-Morris trailing, drove across the six yard box, but he could only hit his effort over the bar.
Rob Laney, returning after the birth of his new baby daughter, looked eager to find the back of the net with a curled effort, however he couldn’t hit the target. Not long after, his strike partner Billy Healey broke away on the right flank, before he delivered a dangerous ball looking for Tejan-Sie, however Ronnie Yates was quick off his line to gather the cross. The movement of Martel Powell, Tejan-Sie, and Oliyide began to cause problems for the visitors, as the formers’ delightful pass over the defence found Tejan-Sie drifting into the box, prior to his first time cross attempting to find the head of Oliyide which was cleared for a corner. From the well worked resulting set-piece, Powell found Laney before the ball subsequently came to the feet of Brad Hewitt, however the towering centre halves shot from inside the area was well blocked.
The Blues pressure almost found the opening goal of the game. After Tejan-Sie delivered a stunning ball over the defence towards Marc Weatherstone, he out-muscled Scott-Morris and with just the keeper to beat, he couldn’t get enough power behind his effort as Yates made a comfortable save. Jack Metcalfe, who had been largely untroubled, then had to be at his best as a Royston in swinging corner found the head of Fehmi, whose diving header had to be palmed swiftly away by the Blues’ keeper. Another contentious penalty decision came and was again waved away, this time the decision was against the visitors. A good interchange of passing gave Oliyide an opportunity to burst into the box, before his delivered cross appeared to strike the arm of Jack Bradshaw, however the hosts were left frustrated as only a corner was given.
On 37 minutes, the first goal of the spectacle arrived. Ryan Ingrey drifted just in front of the back four, before he attempted to skill his way past Weatherstone in the box, and unfortunately for the Blues’ Captain, the decision was given against his side as he was deemed to have clipped the forward. Fehmi stepped up to take the spot kick, however just as against Hampton & Richmond on Tuesday prior, Metcalfe made another save, but the celebrations didn’t last long as Rhys Hoenes headed in the rebound.
Just before half-time, with Wingate eager to get level, Leon Solomon’s corner found the head of Laney who made intelligent movement in the box, though the forward could only hit his effort agonisingly over the bar. After the restart, Liam McDevitt headed over from a corner, before Laney exchanged passes with Ben Andreos, and the latter’s cross came to Tejan-Sie who passed back inside to Kyle Watson getting forward from the back, but his speculative curled effort went wide.
Wingate kept on pushing for that elusive goal, which almost came after Scott Bridges’ backward header fell perfectly into the path of Andreos, who skilfully flicked the ball away from his defender, although his powerful attempt went over. The forward had another effort just minutes later, which came through Tejan-Sie who penetrated into the box prior to finding his teammate, however Yates made a tremendous reaction save diving full stretch to his right.
Metcalfe again was called into action as he then made a commanding save from the visitors counter attack, this gave the hosts the impetus to throw bodies forward. After Laney powerfully met Tejan-Sie’s corner, it was only the cross bar which alleviated any opportunity of an equaliser, as the ball bounced off the woodwork and away from danger. Despite Wingate’s efforts, it was Royston who found the second goal of the game, and much like the first, a penalty was the deciding factor. After Scott-Morris was taken down inside the area, Hoenes stepped up to take the spot kick, and albeit Metcalfe diving the correct way, the ball bounced back off the post and out to Bridges on the edge of the box, whose deflected shot off the penalty taker went into the net.
Joe Sharpe’s shot-cum-cross was creeping in right at the end of the match, though Yates was equal to his effort tipping the ball over the bar. The game ended in frustrating fashion for Wingate, who felt after the game that it was an opportunity missed.
Wingate & Finchley:
Jack Metcalfe, Mark Goodman, Kyle Watson (Karl Stevenson 85), Leon Solomon, Marc Weatherstone, Brad Hewitt, Martel Powell (Joe Sharpe 45), Tommy Tejan-Sie, Billy Healey (Ben Andreos 33), Rob Laney, Karl Oliyide
Subs not used: Marcus Rose, Joe Sharpe, Karl Stevenson, Ben Andreos, Cameron Lyttle
Ronnie Yates, Gus Scott-Morris (George Powell 85), Daniel Braithwaite, Scott Bridges, Jack Bradshaw, Liam McDevitt, Ryan Towner, Erkan Okay, Ryan Ingrey, Kaan Fehmi (Luke Robins 56), Rhys Hoenes
Subs not used: Chris Watters, Luke Robins, Robert Mason, George Powell, Stuart Bridges