Tuesday 21st October 2014
Wingate & Finchley
Charles 27, Knight 88
Ryman Premier League
After a defeat away at Leatherhead on Saturday, Wingate & Finchley faced Metropolitan Police in a clash between the 5th and 7th place clubs at the time, aiming to avoid a fifth straight defeat in all competitions. The game began evenly and both sides had good spells of possession. Rob Laney began especially well on the right hand side of midfield, an unfamiliar position for the tall target man.
The first effort on goal was an excellent hit from Ola Sogbanmu - who hit a shot from 25 yards out that flew just over Stuart Searle's crossbar. Minutes later, Met Police's Bradley Hudson-Odoi received the ball on their left hand side and shot just wide on 16 minutes. Met Police's high line meant the hosts were continuously looking to play long balls over the top to try and get in behind. Some clever link up play between Leon Fisher, David Knight and Nico Muir resulted in the latter slicing the ball wide of the post as the home side grew into the game.
However, this didn't last long as an uncleared corner resulted in Michael Charles placing the ball into the back of the net and giving the away side the lead after 27 minutes. The home side reacted well to the setback and Marc Weatherstone's inch perfect cross evaded the entire Wingate front line. In the final minutes of the half, Laney took aim from nearly 30 yards out and his shot seemed to be tipped onto the crossbar - but a goal kick was awarded to the visitors, who went into half time 1-0 up.
The second half began as conservatively as the first and on 53 minutes, Knight's clever effort from the edge of the box skimmed over the bar. Minutes later, Knight's freekick hit the wall and his rebounded effort was flicked wide of the post by the keeper from Laney's diversion. Met Police had a strong shout for a penalty just after the hour mark but the claims were confidently waved away by the referee.
Both sides made changes between the 65th and 81st minutes and all substitutes made an impact. For the home side, Mark Goodman replaced namesake Marc Weatherstone and immediately looked dangerous down Wingate's right hand side, with a fantastic cross met by Knight but his shot was rifled over the bar. In the dying embers, the hosts were made to pay for their missed chances as a long ball over the top was misjudged by Kieron Street and Met Police's substitute Jack Knight finished well passed an on-rushing Bobby Smith in the 88th minute - putting the game to bed.
Report by Nikhil Saglani
Wingate & Finchley