Ryman League Premier Division
Wingate & Finchley 0 Leiston 1
Saturday, 18 January, 2014
The pitch was heavy after the recent rain but was never a candidate for postponement.
Leiston’s Craig Parker fired an early shot from distance narrowly wide of of the right post, whilst Gareth Heath blazed over from inside the area after a short scramble. Joe Francis then hit the post from a wide angle as Leiston should have taken the lead.
Wingate weathered the early pressure, but after an even spell Leiston did then open the scoring in the 17th minute. After good work on the right side a low deep cross found Francis who side-footed the ball home into the roof of the net for what turned out to be the winning goal.
Leon Ottley-Gooch fired wide after being released down the right side, and defender David Head headed narrowly wide after a delicious whipped cross.
Wingate’s brightest spark was Ola Williams. After playing a one-two down the wing with Dean Mason he then cut inside his marker. His shot from close range was powerful but keeper Danny Gay was equal to it. Lewis Jones tested Gay with a low shot but this was as close as Wingate came in the first half.
It should have been 2-0 at the break but in injury time Bobby Smith denied Parker with an incredible fingertip save, as the ball safely bounced out off the inside of the post.
After the break Lewis Jones sent another shot which Gay held safely, and Wingate created a greater chance from a Marc Weatherstone cross. Adam Bolle had a free header from this swirling ball in but could not get enough power on his effort. The second half was much more even than the first as Wingate pressured the visiting back line, however created little after a succession of crosses. Leon Smith was inches away from diverting one of these crosses home but could not reach the ball.
Wingate & Finchley Lineup:
Smith, Williams, Wright, Tejan-Sie, Weatherstone, Henry, Morante, Henry (Anton Olondo 70), Bolle (Smith 77), Jones, Mason (McCall 46). Subs: Owen, McGonigle.