WINGATEWEBWingate & Finchley suffered a first loss in the 2015 at the hands of the league leaders, Maidstone United, writes Nikhil Saglani.

Ryman League Premier Division:
Wingate & Finchley 0 Maidstone United 2
Saturday, 7 February, 2015

TABLE
FIXTURES & RESULTS

The game began relatively quietly, with the visitors getting in behind twice but to no avail. However, it suddenly burst into life on 13 minutes when Wingate goalkeeper Bobby Smith made a smart double save to deny Tom Mills and then prevented the visitors from tapping into an empty net. A minute later, Brad Hewitt slid in to prevent Jay May from tapping into an open goal.

However, Maidstone took the lead on 20 minutes when Frannie Collin controlled, spun, shifted the ball onto his right foot and rifled a shot into the top corner from 25 yards out, a goal worthy of its plaudits from the travelling support. Wingate aimed to equalise with speculative attempts but conceded a penalty on 36 minutes after Brad Hewitt nudged Billy Bricknell in the back. Collin stepped up and converted confidently into the top right corner of the goal to double his, and Maidstone’s, tally.

The second half was a less entertaining affair. Wingate’s Jack Read sliced a shot onto the bar from outside the box and also had an excellent shot saved by Lee Worgan from 25 yards out. Karl Oliyide had a chance to halve the deficit but his shot was deflected just wide of the net after a corner was headed away into his path. The hosts’ goalkeeper, Smith, was once again on hand as a low shot from Alex Brown was palmed wide by the keeper, who had already made a string of fantastic saves throughout the game, keeping the score at 2-0. 

The leaders held on in a game that lacked cutting edge from either side. The visitors didn’t have to do much on the day to win and will cross the capital happy with the three points.

Wingate & Finchley:
Smith; Goodman, Weatherstone, Hewitt (Read, 37), Marsh-Brown; Graham (Suddell, 75), Lake (Oliyide, 59), Sogbanmu, Tejan-Sie; Laney, Rifat.

Unused: Wright, Sharpe.

Maidstone:
Worgan. Stone, Mills, Watt, Miles, Rogers, Porter (Greenhalgh, 85), Parkinson, May (Bodkin, 88), Collin (Brown, 75), Bricknell.

Attendance:
375

Referee:
J Smith