Ryman League Cup:
Wingate & Finchley 3 Hendon 4
Tuesday, 14 October, 2014
The turning point in a thrilling tie came shortly before the break, as a penalty and Kieron Street red card gave Hendon the upper hand.
Wingate opened the scoring in just the sixth minute. Paul Wright was released down the left wing and delivered a beautiful flat cross. Nico Muir met it at the near side and flicked it home off the near post from close range.
After a poor Hendon free-kick found the wall, the rebound was floated in beyond the crowd of players. Leon Smith did well to reach it and turned his effort at full stretch back on to the far post – Ahmet Rifat was on hand to somehow clear the ball over the bar from on the goalline.
Hendon were made to pay for this as two minutes later Wingate made it two. Ola Sogbanmu turned home a Ronayne Marsh-Brown cross from close-range, in similar circumstances to the first goal.
Hendon’s keeper Hazlett was on top form to keep the score down to two midway through the first half. Rob Laney and Muir played an intelligent interchange in a quick break forwards. An incredible diving save followed to turn the ball behind for a corner. Laney was denied again from Richard Graham’s resulting corner with a powerful header that was also turned over the bar.
Oliver Sprague drilled a low half-volleyed wide in a rare chance for the visitors, and the third Wingate goal game in the 32nd minute. Ronayne Marsh-Brown fired a low shot that skipped off the surface. The pace beat the previously unflappable Hazlett who fumbled the ball and Laney reacted quickest to tap it home.
Hendon importantly pulled a goal back five minutes later, when Andre Da Costa fed in Kezie Ibe in the right side of the area, and his shot across goal found the far post. The rebound fell to Max McCann who also had a simple tap in.
Hendon had a period of pressure and could sense Wingate were in trouble. Smith was denied by a one-on-one block by Jack Metcalfe, but the second goal soon followed as Kieron Street committed a professional foul. He was sent off and Sam Murphy scored the penalty.
After the break Leon Smith finally scored his goal against his former club, as he received a Murphy through ball on the hour mark, rounded Metcalfe and fired the ball into the roof of the net.
Hendon controlled possession with the extra man, but Wingate were organised and gave no chances away. Wingate had a rare foray forward with Leon Fisher breaking down the left. He cut inside and as he seemed certain to score, a last-ditch block by Elliott Braithwaite deflected the ball over.
Fisher had Wingate’s next chance with a firm low drive from the edge of the box towards the bottom right corner, but Hazlett tipped the ball around the post at full stretch.
The visitors went close when Tony Taggart had a free-kick parried away by Metcalfe low to his right, but the Hendon pressure finally told with only one minute remaining – Ola Sogbanmu deflected a cross in to his own net at the near post.
Wingate & Finchley Lineup:
Metcalfe, Marsh-Brown, Wright, lake, Street, Rifat, Fisher, Sogbanmu, Laney (Sharpe 80), Muir, Richard Graham (McCluskey 65). subs: Nielsen, Read, B Smith.