Saturday 13th September 2014
Wingate & Finchley
McCluskey 30, Knight 59(pen)
Seward 53, Tuizana 81
FA Cup 1st Qual
The FA Cup was back at the Harry Abrahams Stadium and Ipswich Wanderers were the visitors for Wingate & Finchley's first qualifying round tie. And it was the home side who started the brightest, with some early corners and shots at the visitors goal. Marc Weatherstone sent an early rasping effort from distance on target, which the keeper had to do well to tip over, and the defender went close with two other opportunities in the opening stages. For Ipswich, Craig Jennings picked up on a short back header but his shot was smothered by Wingate's Jack Metcalfe, and at the other end Jack Slurping was strong to keep out Nico Muir's drive.
Wingate's first half dominance paid off on the half hour mark when Leon Fisher's shot was parried out by Jack Spurling to the feet of Carl McCluskey, who simply couldn't miss. Ahmet Rifat went inches away from scoring three minutes after the break. His header from a corner was tipped onto the post by Spurling and bounced down agonisingly close to crossing the line. The away side came back all guns blazing and equalised on 53 minutes. The ball was played across the box, evading two Wingate defenders, and was met by Paul Seward - who bundled it home. There was some doubt as to whether the ball crossed the line or not, but the linesman flagged for the goal immediately.
However, within six minutes, Wingate regained the lead after Marc Weatherstone was bundled down in the box and David Knight coolly placed the ball beyond the keeper's left hand. Wingate's dominance was showing and Knight had a chance to make it 3-1 after a fantastic raking ball from Tommy Tejan-Sie. Knight controlled, turned the defender but blazed the ball horribly over the bar. Wingate were made to pay for several missed opportunities when, on 81 minutes, Paris Tuizana was played in on goal and finished under an onrushing Jack Metcalfe to equalise once again.
Wingate were forced to go all out in the last nine minutes and had two shots cleared off the line as a stubborn Ipswich defence refused to be beaten. In the end, both sides had to settle for a draw and the tie will be replayed in Ipswich on Wednesday 17th September at 7:45pm.
Report by Nikhil Saglani
Wingate & Finchley