Thursday 1st January 2015
Wingate & Finchley
Ryman Premier League
Wingate & Finchley kicked off 2015 in the best possible way, with a 1-0 home win over local rivals Enfield Town. The game kicked off in a lively manner, with both sides pressing and winning the ball back from each other. Karl Oliyide's shot curled over the crossbar after three minutes, a shot reminiscent of his goal at Hendon. Five minutes later, Stanley Muguo received the ball from a corner but his shot flew well over the crossbar.
A quiet spell followed, with neither side making the most of some good breaks and David Knight's curling effort was saved low by Nathan McDonald. The last chance of the half was engineered by Marc Weatherstone, Mark Goodman and Ola Sogbanmu, who fed the ball through to Rob Laney - but his effort just missed the near post.
The second half began with Ronayne Marsh-Brown sending his corner kick to the outside of the box but Oliyide's volleyed effort sailed over the bar. However, the deadlock was finally broken on the hour mark. Knight was played in down the left hand side and his cross to the back post was met by an onrushing Scott Shulton, who volleyed home from eight yards.
Enfield still had not registered a shot on target and on 75 minutes, substitute Liam Hope curled wide from outside the area. Four minutes later, Shulton attempted an audacious shot from the halfway line after spotting McDonald off his line but the shot fell just wide of the left hand post. A minute later, Rob Laney was played in on goal and lobbed an effort over the onrushing McDonald but Phil Kane ran back and headed away to prevent a certain Laney goal.
On 85 minutes, Knight had the chance to put the chance to bed but he curled well wide after excellent work to get him into a shooting position. An even better chance came Wingate's way on 91 minutes. Knight was once again played in, he turned inside the area and squared to Shulton - but the goalscorer somehow blazed over with only a defender on the line. In the dying embers, Enfield registered their first shot on target - a tame header from Mark Kirby into the hands of Bobby Smith.
The final whistle blew soon after and Wingate had completed the double over Enfield, starting the new year as they mean to go on.
Head Coach Dan Nielsen was very happy afterwards:. "I am pleased with the result and performance. We worked extremely hard to break down a very well organised and disciplined team in Enfield and deserved the win! We will need more performances like that in the coming games."
Report by Nikhil Saglani
Wingate & Finchley