U23 Match reports

  • Brentwood Town 0-0 W&F

    Dean Barker’s Wingate & Finchley U23 side warmed-up for Friday’s Champion of Champions clash against Margate with a goal-less and quiet, but hard-fought 0-0 draw at Brentwood Town.

    That result ensured the title-winners of the Bostik Development North League at the very least maintained morale, by picking up an away point at The Arena.
    Lennie Armstrong’s perfectly-weighted pass picked out Adebambo Akinjogbin in space, who worked his way into the area, before seeing his shot tipped over the upright by Daniel Blockley. Luke Alfano then fired over from the resulting corner within seven minutes.
    A large period of the frustrating first-half came to an end a minute prior to the break. Keir Dickson weaved his way into the final third and fired with clout which went inches past the right post.
    Vassili Mandeville’s header skimmed the top of the crossbar within 10 minutes of the restart. Reuben Rabstein needed to be at his best two minutes on, when he parried Mitchell McCabe’s shot before recovering to smother at Louis Brown’s feet.
    Tom Leach then burst in on goal and took aim, but Rabstein denied the effort with his legs on 65 minutes. And with that save, brought a less than eventful final league game to an end.

    Report from Khalid Karimullah

    Wingate & Finchley:
    1. Reuben Rabstein (GK)
    2. Lennie Armstrong
    3. Franco Saviano
    4. Isaac Ebelebe (12. Lee Dykes 63)
    5. Vassili Mandeville
    6. Ibrahim Conteh
    7. Adebambo Akinjogbin
    8. Luke Alfano (13. Davis Boateng 81)
    9. Ned Clarke
    10. Jamaal Radway (14. Hakeem Nuaama 75)
    11. Keir Dickson (c)

    Substitutes (not used)
    16. Jack Baker

  • Witham Town 0-3 W&F

    Wingate & Finchley U23’s arrived at Witham Town’s The Village Glass Stadium for the penultimate league game of the season with their sights set on gaining at least a solitary point, which would guarantee their success as Champions of the Bostik Development North League 2017-2018.
    And that came to fruition with a well-deserved 3-0 win, which was never in doubt from the get-go. Ben Pattie fired in a cross which Afolabi Obafemi connected with from six-yards, but could only hit wide. Two minutes later, Ned Clarke cut inside into the box after strong hold-up play and saw his strike parried behind.
    25 minutes passed when the hosts finally threatened. Connor Bolton burst towards goal and took aim, which Reuben Rabstein got down to his left to keep out. Adebambo Akinjogbin’s mis-hit cross was goal-bound which forced Harry Aldridge to tip over the upright a minute later. With half an hour played, Clarke took aim from the edge of the box and curled just wide.
    The Blues broke the deadlock five minutes before the break. Clarke latched onto possession over the top which sent the in-form striker through on goal, who fired across Aldridge with a composed finish. A minute following the restart, Dean Barker’s side doubled their lead. Pattie, taking advantage of a goalmouth scramble, fired in from close to ensure it was double-trouble for Witham.
    Obafemi struck an effort with clout past the right post from distance 10 minutes on. Just past the hour mark, Olaobajuwon Olagbush came closest at the other end heading inches over, with the north Londoners’ remaining stern. With 15 minutes to go, Pattie scuffed his shot wide on the half-volley in a relentless attacking display.
    Two minutes on, Ricardo Price prodded in Pattie’s shot after Aldridge could only parry the attempt, but the goal was disallowed for offside. With the last meaningful action of the half, Pattie cut inside off the right and whipped in a cross towards the six-yard box for Price to guide home.
    A victory which completed an historic night and maintained their chances of a potential treble.

    Report from Khalid Karimullah

    Referee: Tommy Breen

    Wingate & Finchley U23: 1. Reuben Rabstein, 2. Ben Reynolds, 3. Franco Saviano, 4. Isaac Ebelebe, 5. Vassili Mandeville, 6. Ibrahim Conteh, 7. Afolabi Obafemi (14. Lee Dykes 81), 8. Luke Alfano, 9. Ned Clarke (16. Jamaal Radway 75), 10. Ben Pattie (c), 11. Adebambo Akinjogbin (12. Ricardo Price 72).
    Substitutes (not used): 13. Davis Boateng (GK), 15. Lennie Armstrong.

  • W&F 2-1 Haringey Borough

    Ben Pattie’s last-gasp brace saw Wingate and Finchley through to the Bostik Development League Cup semi-finals with a 2-1 win over Haringey Borough. Any win would have seen the Blues qualify, but they made hard work of it as they went behind to Ross Dedman’s flick after a goalless first half.
    But two moments of brilliance from Pattie in the 84th and 94th minute saw the Blues qualify for the semis on the night, at the expense of their opponents and third group member Greenwich Borough.
    Wingate must wait to discover their opponents, with multiple teams still yet to qualify.
    It was the goalkeepers making the headlines in the early stages. Oscar Pulpito contrived to give away an indirect free-kick in his own box which saw Pattie’s shot blocked by a wall of players.
    Pulpito then punched a cross straight at Ricardo Price’s feet but was fortunate to see the striker’s snapshot fly wide of the post. At the other end, a far more composed Reuben Rabstein pulled off a David-De-Gea-esque tip over the bar from Quba Gordon’s point-blank header.
    And Rabstein, who leads Wingate U23s in appearances this season, was again perfectly placed to palm Djovan Carvalho’s angled shot over the bar and keep the game goalless at half-time.
    The closest Wingate came to opening the scoring came when Pattie’s delightful 25-yard free-kick clattered back off the crossbar eight minutes after the restart. But Haringey took the lead from a quick free-kick, driven in low and flicked in at the near post by captain Ross Dedman with 67 minutes on the clock.
    The Blues pushed for an equaliser and were almost caught out on the break, but Rabstein used his feet to block Carvalho’s shot.
    And the goalkeeper’s excellent performance was to pay dividends when his long free-kick was flicked on to Pattie, who was able to poke the ball past Pulpito to pull Wingate level with five minutes left.
    The momentum swung back and forth between the sides as they both pushed for a winner but, in the dying seconds, Pattie collected a pass inside the box, cut onto his magical left foot and curled the winner into the top corner.
    In truth, the game could have gone either way. As it is, the end result was a positive one for both sides and they may yet meet again in the competition.

    Wingate and Finchley: Rabstein (GK), Conteh (Reynolds, 76), Saviano, Ebelebe, Mandeville, Clarke, Akinjogbin, Alfano, Melford-Rowe, Pattie (C), Price (Baker, 67)
    Unused Subs: Boateng (GK), Armstrong, Ferguson
    Attendance: 43

  • W&F 8-0 Greenwich

    Wingate and Finchley Under-23s got their Development Cup group stage up and running with a comprehensive 8-0 victory over Greenwich Borough Under-23s at the Maurice Rebak Stadium.
    After being on the wrong end of a 6-4 scoreline in the reverse fixture, Wingate were out for revenge – and they got it in emphatic style. Ben Pattie scored four to take his tally to 20 for the season, as Wingate were clinical in front of goal, while goalkeeper Ruben Rabstein produced a man of the match performance to keep a clean sheet.
    Having lost their opening two fixtures - away to tonight’s opponents and Haringey - it was a must win game for the home side. But it was the visitors who started on the front foot, Shonibare beating the offside trap before Rabstein did well to divert the ball out for a Greenwich corner.
    Dean Barker’s youthful outfit soon got into the game. Melford-Rowe headed Pattie's outswinging free-kick towards goal but it bounced wide of the post. There were chances at both ends early on. Delgado Hibbert fired a low effort across goal but it flashed wide.
    Moments later, Wingate were ahead. Emmanuel Melford Rowe gave the Blues the lead, tapping in after Clarke's shot was parried into his path. The lively Delgado Hibbert toe-poked a low shot towards goal but Rabstein got down well to parry the ball away. Greenwich were left to rue their missed chances when Vass Mandeville headed straight in from an in-swinging Pattie corner to make it 2-0.
    Aikhionbare's shot almost crept under Rabstein but the Wingate keeper grabbed the ball at the second attempt to keep Greenwich out.
    Captain Pattie got on the scoresheet before the break when he flicked the ball in from Ibrahim Conteh's cross. Foley got a hand to it but couldn't keep it out. The Blues searched for a fourth when Clarke pounced on a defensive error, but Foley came out quickly to deny the striker's close range effort. Pattie then curled in an inviting cross from the left, but Foley was there once again to save Clarke's powerful header.
    Clarke wasn’t to be denied for much longer as the striker chipped the ‘keeper from outside the area to open his account on the night. He had his second soon after, pouncing on a lax defensive pass before emphatically smashing the ball into the top corner.
    The chances kept on coming as Luke Alfano tried to lob the 'keeper from the half way line, but Foley just got back in time to save and deny the midfielder what would have been the goal of the game.
    Wingate had their ‘keeper to thank for keeping the score at 4-0. Delgado Hibbert had half the goal to aim at from close range, but Rabstein did brilliantly to make a diving save with his legs, before denying Shonibare when the striker was baring down on goal.
    Pattie got his own brace just after the hour mark when he volleyed home from the edge of the box. Things got worse for the away side, who were down to 10 men when Skinner was dismissed for dissent.
    Wingate looked to make their numerical advantage count but Pattie’s free-kick was tipped over the bar and Baker could only flick the ball wide from close range. Pattie finally grabbed his hat trick with five minutes to go with a low right footed shot into the bottom corner.
    Greenwich still looked to get a name on the scoresheet but Rabstein pulled off an incredible double save to preserve his clean sheet. And Pattie went up the other end to score his fourth – and Wingate’s eighth – with a clinical finish from inside the box.
    A win against Haringey in the final group match will see Wingate into the knockout stages of the cup. The young Blues are back in league action when they travel to Brentwood on Thursday 12th April.

    By Sam Jones

    Wingate: Rabstein (GK), Conteh, Saviano, Ebelebe (Baker, 58 mins), Mandeville, Humphrey, Melford-Rowe (Reynolds, 71 mins), Alfano, Clarke (Dykes, 79 mins), Pattie (C), Akinjogbin.
    Unused Subs: Radway, Ferguson.

    Referee: Michael Iddenden-Smith
    Attendance: 27

  • Haringey Borough 2-1 W&F

    Wingate and Finchley remain top of the Bostik Development League North table despite a 2-1 defeat to Haringey Borough at Coles Park. Ned Clarke’s early goal handed Wingate the advantage but Haringey’s second-half comeback courtesy of Djovan Carvalho and Morachid Gomes gave the home side all three points.
    The first meaningful action of the game came after seven minutes when Emmanuel Melford-Rowe raced through on goal and appeared to be pulled down in the box, but the referee was unmoved.
    Ned Clarke opened the scoring 10 minutes in, exchanging a neat one-two with strike partner and captain Ben Pattie, before slotting the ball into the bottom corner.
    Clarke almost grabbed a second when he flicked Melford-Rowe’s cross goal wards, but the ball cannoned off the bar to deny him a brace. Incisive and purposeful passing from Wingate led to them carving open the home side on numerous occasions. But it was a long range effort from Ibrahim Conteh that nearly doubled the visitor’s lead. The full-back took aim from 40 yards out and Oscar Pulpito was equal to it in the Haringey goal.
    The home side created their first opportunity when Christopher Benjamin crossed to Gomes, but his header went narrowly wide. Then the dangerous Carvalho skipped past a few challenges before Rabstein saved his shot. Back at the other end, Seymour’s shot was saved. Then Pattie’s effort went wide after good skill down the right. Keir Dickson played in Seymour again, whose volley was parried away by Pulpito.
    The second half was devoid of many clear cut chances, but Seymour again went close when his close range effort was cleared off the line. Soon after Pattie’s curling effort was parried away by the ‘keeper.
    However it was the home side who equalised when Carvalho rounded Rabstein and finished to level the scores with 20 minutes to go. Wingate almost immediately regained their lead when Vassili Mandeville’s header from a Dickson corner was tipped away by Pulpito. In the closing stages, Emmanuel-Rowe twice squared to Pattie, but twice Pattie was unable to finish.
    The killer blow came late on when Kabamba Mengi crossed to Gomes in the box, who scored to complete the turnaround. Despite late pressure, Wingate were unable to find a way through and were made to rue missed chances. Next up for the Blues is a home cup match against Greenwich Borough next Wednesday. (Kick off 7:45pm).

    By Sam Jones

    Wingate: Rabstein (GK), Conteh (Matete, 87 mins), Dickson, Ebelebe, Mandeville, Humphrey, Melford-Rowe, Alfano, Clarke (Price, 77 mins), Pattie, Seymour (Springer-Downes, 83 mins).
    Unused Subs: Baker, Reynolds.

    Referee: Gheorghe Moraru

  • Greenwich 6-4 W&F

    Wingate and Finchley U23s were on the wrong end of a 10-goal thriller with Greenwich Borough in their first Bostik Development League Cup match on Thursday night.The Blues went two-up early on but Greenwich had equalised by half-time.
    The second-half saw Borough also throw away a two-goal lead before a quick-fire brace late-on gave the home side victory.
    The group format of the competition means Wingate are still in with a shot at the trophy, with three games left to play before the semi-finals.
    Ben Pattie gave the Blues a 1-0 lead when he sent Jack Spurling the wrong way from the penalty spot after the goalkeeper’s foul.
    Wingate’s lead was then doubled by deubtant Jack Baker who headed home from a corner earned after Spurling had saved his initial 1-on-1 effort.
    Though Wingate looked comfortable, a defensive error allowed Josh Shonibare to nip in and pull one back for Borough.
    And Chinedu McKenzie, a constant thorn in Wingate’s side over 90 minutes, pulled Greenwich level by half-time when he reached a pass before goalkeeper Reuben Rabstein and poked the ball past him.
    In a mirror image of the first 45 minutes, Greenwich went 3-2 up early on when Calvin Ekpiteta’s corner sailed straight into Wingate’s net. And McKenzie opened up the hosts’ two-goal lead with a delightfully controlled touch and volley from a deep free-kick.
    Another set-piece afforded Wingate a lifeline when Keir Dickson curled a magnificent free-kick around the wall and into the bottom corner.
    And the comeback to 4-4 was complete when 16-year-old Jay Matete – brought on for his debut at half-time – finished low under Spurling from the edge of the box.
    The game was far from over, however, and it could have gone either way but McKenzie coolly slotted under Rabstein to complete his hat-trick with a couple of minutes left on the clock.
    And Greenwich’s 6-4 victory was confirmed deep into injury time when Ali Fuseini broke through the offside trap and rolled the ball home. Borough will visit Summers Lane on the 21st of this month ahead of home and away games with Haringey Borough.

    Wingate and Finchley U23s: Rabstein (GK), Conteh, Dickson, Baker (Reynolds, 70’), Ebelebe, Humphrey, Springer-Downes, Alfano, Dykes, Pattie (C) (Matete, 45’), Seymour (Radway, 85’)

    Unused subs: Nuaama, Saviano
    Attendance: 22
    Referee: Liam Vitoria

    By Andrew Gerlis

  • W&F 10-2 Tilbury

    Wingate & Finchley U23’s took another step closer to the Bostik Development North League title, following a sublime 10-2 domination of Tilbury U23’s at a soaked Summers Lane.
    An early cross from Ibrahim Conteh culminated in Ben Pattie firing wide inside two minutes. Pattie again had two attempts blocked, before Quentin Monville took aim but hit wide of the right hand post, with only four minutes on the clock.
    The visitors slowly wrestled back momentum when Ayomikun Odukoya spun and rifled a shot at the near-post, which Reuben Rabstein did well to produce a strong stop eight minutes later.
    And they took the lead in the 14th minute when Rujorn Tuitt scuffed a shot across goal which wrong-footed Rabstein to open proceedings.
    It took only eight minutes for The young Blues to equalise. Pattie’s corner was met by Vass Mandeville who headed across into the top corner.
    Elijah Seymour went on a mazy run, prior to seeing his shot palmed away for Emmanuel Melford-Rowe to duly place home to complete the turnaround on 24 minutes. Melford-Rowe hit wide on the volley from Pattie’s cross with 39 minutes gone and it was soon 3-1, three minutes on in treacherous conditions.
    Melford-Rowe latched onto Luke Alfano’s splitting pass down the middle before firing with clout across goal into the top corner. Pattie made it four when he let loose from 25-yards out with a little assistance from the wet surface on 45 minutes.
    Tilbury hit back two minutes into added time at the end of the first half through Lance Ledgister, who headed across into the far corner to make it a two goal game.
    16 minutes after the restart, Pattie’s right footed strike went across the face of goal. However, he grabbed his brace with 67 minutes played, as he cut inside off the right and curled into the far corner.
    Pattie hit a 30-yard free-kick from a central position past James Brett, who was unable to keep it out with ten minutes to go for his hat-trick. Pattie’s back-heel saw Monville cross to substitute Ned Clarke, who headed in from close on 82 minutes.
    84 minutes and Pattie, from a similar long-range distance, had his shot go through Brett’s grasp for his fourth.
    Monville then broke free and rounded Brett before he squared to Clarke for a quick brace, four minutes from the end.
    The last meaningful attack of a game which literally rained – goals and weather – came to a satisfying end on 88 minutes when Clarke headed in from close for his hat-trick after a goalmouth scramble.

    By Khalid Karimullah

    Attendance: 33
    Referee: Gheorghe Moraru

    Wingate & Finchley U23’s: 1. Reuben Rabstein, 2. Ibrahim Conteh, 3. Franco Saviano, 4. Ricardo Price, 5. Isaac Ebelebe (17. Conor Ferguson 73), 6. Vassili Mandeville, 7. Quentin Monville, 8. Luke Alfano, 9. Emmanuel Melford-Rowe (12. Ned Clarke 76), 10. Ben Pattie (c), 11. Elijah Seymour (14. Adebambo Akinjogbin 68).
    Substitutes (not used): 15. Rhys Springer-Downes, 16. Ben Reynolds.

  • W&F 3-2 Haringey Borough

    Wingate and Finchley Under-23s extended their lead at the top of the Bostik Development North League to 14 points with a 3-2 victory over Haringey Borough Under-23s at the Maurice Rebak Stadium.
    A Ben Pattie brace, either side of Eliyah Seymour’s second half strike, secured all three points for the Blues after Jordan Edwards had given the visitors an early advantage and then got another goal in stoppage time.
    Haringey broke the deadlock inside the first minute as the lively Edwards strode forward, cut inside onto his right foot and powered a strike past Ruben Rabstein into the bottom corner of the net.
    It took Dean Barker’s side a while to get going and their first opportunity came via a set piece as Ben Pattie’s free-kick flashed narrowly wide of Curtis Jackson’s goal. Elijah Seymour then tried to lob the ‘keeper from 40 yards out, but saw his effort sail over the bar.
    At the other end, Carvalho did well to beat Keir Dickson down the right and cross for the goalscorer Edwards in the middle, whose header was palmed away by Rabstein.
    Wingate levelled the game up just after the half hour mark. Dickson played Pattie in down the left and the Wingate captain sprinted through on goal before calmly slotting the ball into the far corner.
    The home side were ahead for the first time soon after the restart. Seymour raced down the left and curled a right footed shot into the far corner of the net. And Wingate started to gain control of the game when Pattie went in search of his second goal, but saw a powerful strike saved at point blank range by Jackson. Dickson then crossed towards Ned Clarke but when the striker went down in the box appealing for a penalty, the referee was unmoved.
    The game started to become stretched after the hour mark, with chances at both ends. First Seymour let fly from range but saw the ball sail over the bar, just before a similar opportunity for Haringey from Edwards also went over.
    The away side’s best chance of a leveller came soon after when the ball was squared to Andrew Alkivindos on the penalty spot, but he shot wide with half the goal to aim at.
    It was end to end as Monville used his pace down the right but shot into the side netting from a tight angle. But the Wingate winger soon had an assist to his name, putting a wicked delivery into the box for Pattie to volley home for his tenth goal of the league season.
    There was a late consolation for Haringey as Edwards grabbed his second in stoppage time, with a shot fired into the top corner from inside the box. But it was not enough for the visitors to get anything out of the game.
    Next up for the Blues is a home game against Tilbury U23s on Wednesday 14 February, (7:45pm).

    By Sam Jones

    Wingate: Rabstein (GK), Conteh (Springer-Downes, 72 mins), Dickson, Alfano, Humphrey, Ebelebe, Monville, Ifil, Clarke, Pattie (C) (Price, 80 mins), Seymour (Akinjogbin, 77 mins).

    Unused Subs: Mandeville, Ferguson.

    Attendance: 32
    Referee: Fernando Costache

  • W&F 1-0 Cheshunt

    Another late 1-0 win against Cheshunt FC was enough to keep Wingate and Finchley 11 points clear at the top of the Bostik League Development North table. When the sides met in November it took Ned Clarke’s injury-time penalty to separate them and Wednesday’s game was close-run too.
    The Blues created a handful of chances against a strong Cheshunt defence but on a bitter night often got cold feet in front of goal. But Keir Dickson’s hot-footed mazy dribble late on allowed Pattie to secure the Blues’ 10th league win of the season.
    Reuben Rabstein had kept five clean sheets this season and did well to block Romaro Dyte’s shot with his legs in the opening stages.
    Isaac Ebelebe and Pattie came close to breaking the deadlock in the first half but sent a header and free-kick just over and wide, respectively.
    A 47th minute Pattie free-kick was met at the back post by Jack Humphrey but the debutant contrived to head the ball away from goal with the net gaping.
    Pattie was at the centre of the action for much of the second half and managed to put a shot over the bar from 6 yards out after some good work on the byline by Afolabi Obafemi. Another Pattie shot whistled past Aaron Bull’s post and the striker then rolled a shot against the foot of the post from the edge of the box with half an hour left on the clock.
    But a fantastic run past four players from Keir Dickson allowed him to pull the ball back from the byline for Pattie to finally tap home the opener with 20 minutes to go.
    Ned Clarke could have doubled the Blues’ lead but glanced a header just wide and denied Pattie an assist when he kneed his cross over from close-range just before the final whistle. Don’t be fooled though, Wingate have scored 14 goals in their last four games and with the title within touching distance will take three points any way they can get them.
    But they face an unknown quantity when third-placed Haringey Borough visit for the first time this season on January 31st.

    Wingate and Finchley: Rabstein (GK), Conteh, Dickson, Alfano (Patrick, 81’), Humphrey, Ebelebe, Akinola (Clarke, 67’), Tejan-Sie (C), Obafemi (Springer-Downes, 86’), Pattie, Seymour

    Unused Subs: Price, Mandeville

    Attendance: 36

    By Andy Gerlis

  • Harlow Town 0-1 W&F

    Wingate & Finchley’s U23 side moved ever closer to the Bostik Development North title with a late 1-0 win at Harlow Town. Despite being without their first choice goalkeeper and lacking any substitutes, the hosts put in a creditable performance and were unlucky to end the game on the losing side.
    It was the hosts who began stronger, forcing Ruben Rabstein to block a shot by striker Obisamya within the opening 10 minutes. Five minutes later, Rabstein was again forced to sweep up to prevent the pacy Harlow striker getting a shot on goal. Tommy Tejan-Sie then saw two goals ruled out for offside. The first came from a chipped ball over the defence by Keir Dickson, which Tejan-Sie dispatched coolly across goal whilst the second arrived at the midfielder’s feet after Ned Clarke had hit the post - but neither was to stand.
    On 38 minutes, Clarke then took aim again from the edge of the area but couldn’t find the target with his curling effort. The last chance of the half fell to Tejan-Sie but his weak effort was well held by goalkeeper, Mason.
    Obisamya had Harlow’s best chance of the game straight after the restart but couldn’t divert his shot on target from six yards out. On 73 minutes, Wingate’s best chance of the game fell to Clarke. He received the ball on the six yard line, composed himself but could only fire straight at the goalkeeper and the score stayed at 0-0.
    However, on 87 minutes, the winner finally arrived. A deep corner was not cleared by Harlow, Rhys Springer-Downes controlled the ball and fired into the roof of the net to seal the three points.
    Wingate were able to hold on in the final three minutes and go 11 points clear at the top of the table.

    By Nikhil Saglani

    Wingate XI: Rabstein (GK), Conteh (Springer-Downes, 66), Patrick, Ebelebe (Akinola, 69), Mandeville, Eales, Seymour, Alfano, Clarke, Tejan-Sie (C), Dickson Subs: Reynolds, Ferguson, Price

  • W&F 5-1 Witham Town

    Wingate and Finchley U23s sent themselves eight points clear at the top of the Bostik Development North League with a spectacular 5-1 win over second-placed Witham Town.
    The Blues, who already had two games in hand over Wednesday’s visitors, took the lead through Emmanuel Melford-Rowe before Olabatuwon Olagbasu levelled for the Town.
    But stunners from Elijah Seymour and Afolabi Obafemi gave Wingate a two-goal cushion at the break, before both scored again in the second half to complete a dominant win.
    The Blues could potentially be 11 points clear at the top of the table heading into 2018 depending on the outcome of November's Ware abandonment and, with just eight games left to play, are emerging as favourites for the trophy.
    George Ponta was forced into a couple of nervy saves early on but was left wrong-footed by Melford-Rowe’s shot into the bottom-corner after 22 minutes. At the other end Reuben Rabstein pulled off some impressive stops before Olagbasu got his head to a corner in front of his hand to equalise 10 minutes later. But Seymour restored Wingate’s lead almost from kick-off with a glorious curling strike into the top corner from the edge of the box and the Blues never looked back.
    Obafemi cracked a free-kick in off the post to round off the half at 3-1 and the side emerged from the tunnel as if there hadn’t been a break. Seymour took advantage of a slippery surface to squeeze his second goal agonisingly through Ponta’s hands and across the line after 66 minutes. And a beautiful flowing move saw Antoine Akinola beat his man and squaring to Ned Clarke to lay off for Obafemi, the striker curling his second and Wingate’s fifth into the bottom corner.
    With next week’s game against Billericay in doubt this may have been Wingate’s last match of 2017 - a year that has now seen them win 9 out of 12 games, with one loss, one draw and one abandonment. In that time they have also scored 41 goals and conceded just 11.
    Here’s to more of the same in 2018.

    Wingate and Finchley U23s: Rabstein (GK), Conteh, Dickson (c) (Price, 15’), Ebelebe, Mandeville, Ferguson, Melford-Rowe (Akinola, 70’), Patrick, Clarke, Obafemi (Esposito, 73’), Seymour.

    Unused Subs: Reynolds, Laniyan Att: 51

  • W&F 9-0 AFC Hornchurch

    A Ned Clarke hat-trick helped Wingate and Finchley Under-23s emphatically beat Hornchurch Under-23s 9-0 to stay top of the Development League table.
    Elijah Seymour netted an early goal, before Clarke took centre stage to get the Blues back on track. Ben Pattie got his own hat-trick in the second half and a brace from Keir Dickson rounded off the scoring. It was a perfect response to losing for the first time this season at Barking last time out.
    Wingate started on the front foot with a fierce Pattie strike driven from 25 yards out that stung the palms of Will Perfect in the Hornchurch goal.
    Ibrahim Conti then played Clarke in, but the striker’s effort cannoned back off the bar, before the ball fell to Pattie, whose shot was deflected over. Wingate took the lead after four minutes. Pattie played in Seymour down the right and the winger tucked the ball into the far corner with his first touch.
    The Blues doubled their advantage when Keir Dickson’s cross hit Clarke, rebounded off the defender and then back to Clarke, who flicked it in from close range. A flurry of chances ensued for the home side as Pattie, Ricardo Price and Clarke all saw efforts blocked by some heroic defending. Pattie then played in Dickson, whose shot rebounded back off the post for Pattie – but the striker saw his latest effort saved.
    The third goal was a brilliant solo effort from Ned Clarke, who jinxed his way through the defence before unleashing a powerful strike into the top corner from 20 yards out.
    Hornchurch almost gave themselves a lifeline when Joe Syanahav struck the crossbar, but Wingate managed to clear the danger. Clarke, on a hat-trick, almost grabbed his third just before the break, but saw his low drive tipped round the post by Perfect. Wingate did have the ball in the net again soon after the restart when Price’s shot was parried into the path of Pattie. The striker nodded home from close range, but the offside flag was up.
    A counter attack down the left saw Dickson cut inside onto his right foot and curl wide from inside the box. The home side did not have to wait long for another goal. Clarke sealed his hat-trick with a left-footed strike from 20 yards out that nestled into the bottom corner.
    The visitors almost got a consolation when a mistake from Wingate ‘keeper Ruben Rabstein allowed Farmer in. But Rabstein atoned for his error, saving well with his feet, before Carl Pearce cleared the rebound off the line.
    Dean Barker’s side were not done yet as Pattie finally got his name on the scoresheet. The striker hammered home from inside the area with his favoured left foot to increase the advantage.
    Left-back Dickson joined the party soon after, rifling home from well outside the area with his left foot to make it 6-0. Captain Pattie then expertly curled a free-kick into the bottom corner to put himself on a hat-trick. But despite being through on goal moments later, he could not find a way past Perfect.
    The home side were running riot in the closing stages – Pattie found Dickson on the left hand side, who cut inside to shoot across the ‘keeper into the net. It was nine when Dickson dribbled through several Hornchurch players before unselfishly squaring the ball for Pattie to tap in for his own hat-trick.
    The young Blues go into the next game, a trip to Haringey Borough a week on Monday, five points clear at the top of the table, with two games in hand.

    By Sam Jones

    Wingate: Rabstein (GK), Conteh, Dickson, Ebelebe, Gyimah, Pearce, Price, Alfano (Mandeville, 77 mins), Clarke (Akinola, 67 mins), Pattie (c), Seymour (Ferguson, 72 mins).
    Unused subs: Vural (GK), Patrick.

  • W&F 4-2 Brentwood Town

    Wingate and Finchley Under-23s beat Brentwood Town Under-23s 4-2 in an entertaining encounter at the Maurice Rebak Stadium, to stretch their unbeaten league run to eight games.
    A Ben Pattie hat-trick inside the first half an hour put Wingate in full control, but Brentwood twice got back into the game courtesy of goals from Alfil Teacock and Harry Rawlings, before Joe Patrick sealed all three points in stoppage time.
    The Blues started the brighter of the two sides and could have taken an early lead when Ned Clarke headed Afolabi Obafemi’s cross towards goal, but James Alborough tipped it onto the post.
    Two minutes later Obafemi caused more problems down the right, and Tom Mann almost turned the cross into his own net.
    Wingate’s pressure finally paid off when Emmanuel Melford-Rowe got the better of his man down the left wing and sent a pinpoint cross into the box for Ben Pattie to volley home with his side foot, 24 hours after netting the winner for the first team.
    Pattie doubled his tally soon after when he robbed the defender on the edge of the box and finished into the top left corner from inside the area.
    Dean Barker’s men were pegged back on 20 minutes when Mitchell McCabe played through Alfil Teacock, who beat the offside trap and finished past the onrushing Ruben Rabstein.
    The home side regained their two goal advantage after half an hour when Pattie created a carbon copy left-footed finish, leaving the ‘keeper rooted to the spot. The ball fell to him inside the area and the striker made no mistake, taking a touch and placing the ball into the corner.
    The visitors came out firing in the second half, and Rabstein was forced off his line to tackle substitute Dan Wilson as he raced through on goal.
    Wingate went straight up the other end as Melford-Rowe and Joe Patrick exchanged passes, before the latter’s shot was parried into the path of Obafemi – who also saw his effort blocked.
    Obafemi’s latest shot was saved and Melford-Rowe's follow up attempt was cleared off the line from close range. Pattie’s inswinging free-kick was then headed goalwards by Obafemi, but Alborough made a comfortable save.
    Town were right back in the game with 20 minutes to go as Harry Rawlings weaved past a couple of defenders before curling the ball into the bottom corner.
    The away side piled on the pressure in the closing stages and had a guilt-edged opportunity to draw level, but Olly Bell blazed over from the edge of the box.
    Wingate held firm, before Joe Patrick robbed the ‘keeper at the other end, and finished into an empty net with the last kick of the game, to ensure Wingate remained on top of the table.
    The young Blues travel to Barking for their next league fixture.

    By Sam Jones

    Wingate: Rabstein (GK), Reynolds, Mandeville, Pearce, Mavila, Patrick, Obafemi (Esposito, 84 mins), Ebelebe, Clarke (Seymour, 42 mins), Pattie (Price, 79 mins), Melford-Rowe.
    Unused subs: Akinola, Gyimah.

  • W&F 2-2 Ware

    Wingate and Finchley’s game at home against Ware FC was abandoned after 56 minutes when a dramatic series of events saw the linesman and the away team leave down the tunnel.
    After conceding two goals from corners, Ned Clarke pulled a goal back for the Blues to make it 2-1 just before half-time, before Afolabi Obafemi's penalty levelled the scores early in the second half.
    But two red cards being awarded to Ware caused uproar from the away side, leading to both the linesman and the visitors refusing to participate in the remainder of the game.
    After a long consultation the game was abandoned by the referee and both sides will now wait to see the outcome of Ware’s actions. Set-pieces were the easiest way to get at goal in a tight game and Nathan Mavila flashed a free-kick past Ware’s post after six minutes. But two corners led to two goals for Ware, courtesy of the heads of Simeon and Kayembe.
    Wingate pressed to find a way back into the game and Mavila’s cross allowed Clarke to head easily past Akbas to make it 2-1 at half-time, though Ebelebe’s shot came within inches of levelling things up before the break.
    The Blues’ momentum carried into the second-half and when Akinola was tripped inside Ware’s box five minutes in, Obafemi stepped up and converted the penalty to pull his side level.
    On the back foot, Ware’s Kayembe saw a chance flash narrowly over the bar before a bad tackle from Nickolas sparked off events that would ultimately end the game half an hour early.
    A two-footed lunge after the whistle had been blown led to Nickolas’ instant dismissal, something goalscorer Simeon and Ware’s bench were loudly aggrieved at.
    Simeon was handed a second yellow for dissent before the referee’s assistant appeared to fear for his safety and chose to leave the field of play.
    Confusion ensued and - with a linesman being sought from the stands - Ware also simply refused to continue; with their remaining players, coaches and substitutes walking straight off the field and down the tunnel.
    The referee eventually declared the game abandoned at 2-2, and both clubs will now wait to see how the game’s result is determined. Wingate’s unbeaten league record does not appear to be in danger, however.

    by Andy Gerlis

    Wingate and Finchley: Rabstein (GK), Reynolds, Mavila, Patrick, Pearce (C) (Price, 49’), Mandeville, Akinola, Alfano (Ebelebe, 40’), Clarke, Obafemi, Melford-Rowe.
    Substitutes: Seymour, Leong, Esposito.

  • W&F 5-1 Harlow

    Wingate and Finchley U23s continued their fine league form by beating Harlow Town 5-1 at the Maurice Rebak Stadium on Wednesday night.
    Goals from Elijah Seymour and braces from Afolabi Obafemi and Ricardo Price sealed victory, but only after Nathanuel Donaldson had given Harlow an early lead. Town played the whole second half a man down after Samson Esian was sent off before the break.
    Harlow started the better of the two sides and went ahead inside the first three minutes when Jermaine Francis’ in-swinging free-kick was flicked home by Nathanuel Donaldson.
    But the Blues levelled five minutes later when Antoine Akinola’s quickly taken free-kick found Elijah Seymour at the back post, who calmly finished into the bottom corner to restore parity.
    Wingate were now on the front foot and pushing for a second. Seymour's free-kick was met at the back post by Carl Pearce, but the defender was unable to divert the ball goalwards.
    The home side then won a penalty as Ned Clarke was brought down in the box. Afolabi Obafemi coolly slotted home the spot kick into the bottom corner to give Wingate a first half lead.
    Harlow threatened from a corner but Joseph Elliott shot straight at Reuben Rabstein. The away side were then reduced to 10 men when Samson Esian was given a second booking for a late tackle.
    Wingate looked to make their numerical advantage count as Luke Alfano had sight of goal from outside the box - but saw his effort go past the post. At the other end, Jermaine Francis fired just wide from the edge of the box as Harlow searched for an equaliser.
    The second half started slowly but got going after the hour mark when Akinola's swerving free-kick was well saved by Keenan Yates.
    The Blues then found some breathing space when substitute Ricardo Price scored with his first touch. He smashed the ball home after a cut back from Akinola.
    Akinola tried to grab a goal of his own as he went on a mazy run leaving defenders in his wake, but shot wide from the edge of the box.
    It was four in the last minute of normal time when Joe Patrick played in Obafemi to score his second of the game from close range.
    Price put further gloss on the scoreline in stoppage time when he flicked in Ellis Routledge’s cross at the near post. Dean Barker’s side are back in action next week when they travel to Cheshunt FC.

    By Sam Jones

    Wingate: Rabstein (GK), Reynolds, Ferguson, Patrick, Pearce, Mandeville (C), Akinola (Esposito, 78 mins), Alfano, Clarke (Price, 61 mins), Obafemi, Seymour (Routledge 66).
    Subs not used: Ebelebe, Leong.

    Referee: Fernando Costache

    Attendance: 35

  • W&F 3-0 Billericay

    Wingate and Finchley U23s continued their unbeaten start to the Bostik Development North League season with a convincing 3-0 win at home over Billericay Town.
    The Blues dominated a goalless first half but the pressure eventually told as Elijah Seymour’s brace and Ben Pattie’s close-range finish put paid to the Town.
    After over a month without a match, Wednesday’s victory means the 1-1 draw against Ware in their opening game of the season remains the only time they have dropped points.
    Since the start of the campaign the Blues have outscored their opponents by 14 goals to 4 and are now on a three game winning streak.
    Ned Clarke almost put the hosts ahead but his acrobatic volley flew just over the crossbar. Pattie’s 19th minute cross hit the post and the striker saw another shot cleared off the goal-line as the first-half ended without any score.
    It was Clarke’s turn to hit the post after the restart when his curling effort bounced clear off the upright but Wingate’s dominance eventually told.
    A 62nd minute long-range shot from Pattie was parried to the feet of Seymour who was able to tap into an empty net. Pattie’s pair of shots after mazy dribbles by Ellis Routledge and Ben Reynolds proved fruitless, but his curling pass around the defence with 10 minutes left allowed Seymour to double Wingate’s lead from close-range.
    Joe Sharpe and Ricardo Price both saw efforts kept out by Billericay keeper Lawrence Whymark, and it took Wingate three bites of the cherry to finally put the third goal past him.
    Price’s initial shot was saved before Leong inexplicably hit the crossbar from the rebound – though his blushes were spared as Pattie tucked the resulting loose ball into an empty net deep into injury-time.
    The Blues now travel to Tilbury on Saturday as they look to stretch their lead at the top of the Bostik Development North League table even further.

    Wingate & Finchley U23s: Sheldrick (GK), Reynolds, Routledge, Alfano, Pearce, Mandeville, Akinola (Price, 82’), Sharpe (C), Pattie, Clarke (Patrick, 79’), Seymour (Leong, 87’)

    Unused subs: Rabstein (GK), Esposito

    Attendance: 61

  • W&F 2-1 Barking

    Wingate & Finchley Under-23’s made their intent known early on Wednesday evening against Barking at Summers Lane – and Manager Dean Barker would have been delighted with his side’s mental toughness following a 2-1 win, ensuring all the spoils.
    Ben Reynolds crossed low into Ben Pattie on the edge, who forced Paul Garret into early action tipping his stinger over. Eusebio De Silva directed Josh Duah’s low cross towards the near-post, Reuben Rabstein palmed clear prior to Darious Ikuzenne striking wide on the follow through.
    Ikuzenne cut inside finding James Dobson, who saw Rabstein push his strike wide on the stretch. Joe Sharpe’s corner was headed out towards Antoine Akinola on the edge, whose returned volley was hooked away acrobatically by Eusebio De Silva. Ned Clarke rolled across for Matteo Esposito to zip past the far-post. Akinola shimmied from right to middle, narrowly firing wide.
    Akinola found Clarke far right, whose spectacular dipper evaded the upright. Luke Hammond volleyed Dobson’s inside right free-kick over from six-yards.
    The Blues deservedly led reaching 27. Clarke countered spraying into Pattie, who cut inside firing across into the bottom corner from 20-yards. Duah broke the lines, but couldn’t beat Rabstein palming over the bar.
    Timi Abiola played inside to Dobson, who curled wide of the right post. Esposito struck low with clout, which Garret gathered on the second-attempt with Pattie following-up.
    Ikuzenne aimed for the top left from the edge, which saw Vassili Mandeville make the vital block. Garret turned Pattie’s menacing strike from the inside left away with his feet.
    It was double-trouble for the visitors two minutes before the break. Akinola broke through for a one-on-one, calmly slotting past Garret for a composed finish.
    Sharpe’s corner came within a whisker of creeping in, which Garret had to palm over. Abiola’s drilled cross was almost turned in by De Silva.
    Sharpe latched onto Esposito’s pass, striking low from distance which Garret held onto. The side from Mayesbrook Park responded on 64. De Silva burst through on goal from the inside left, placing across into the far corner.
    Joe Patrick picked out Esposito whose dipper evaded the target. Rabstein read and held onto Jack Mason’s swerved strike from 30-yards.
    Ellis Routledge’s glorious cross from wide left dropped ahead of Clarke rushing in on goal. De Silva latched onto a loose bounce, burst through on goal only for Conor Ferguson to steer the frontman off target.

    By Khalid Karimullah

    WingateTV with Dean Barker: HERE

    Referee: Yashar Yekta

    Wingate & Finchley U23’s:
    1. Reuben Rabstein, 2. Ben Reynolds, 3. Ellis Routledge, 4. Joe Sharpe (15. Isaac Ebelebe 86’), 5. Conor Ferguson, 6. Vassili Mandeville (c), 7. Antoine Akinola (17. Franco Saviano 75’), 8. Luke Alfano, 9. Ben Pattie (12. Joe Patrick 66’), 10. Ned Clarke, 11. Mateo Esposito

    Subs (unused): 14. Hakeem Nuama, 16. Joe Toscani

  • Ware 1-1 W&F

    Wingate and Finchley suffered a late equaliser against them in their opening Bostik Development North League match away to Ware as they opened the season with a 1-1 draw.
    On a clear Wednesday night in Ware, it was Wingate and Finchley who opened the scoring. After some neat build-up play, Elijah Seymour was brought down inside the box, giving Wingate the chance to take the lead 30 minutes into the match. Antoine Akinola stepped up and duly converted past the Ware keeper to give Wingate the advantage.
    There were few chances in the first half, however Akinola and Matt Esposito’s attempted crosses for Wingate weren’t met with real conviction, nor were Ahmed Mohammed or Rheo Josephs’ for Ware.
    Wingate were ahead at the break, however Ware had showed attacking intent and were very much still in the match. Much like the first half, the second lacked clear cut opportunities. Ware pushed for an equaliser and shots from Warren Kayembe and Josh Oyibo were saved well by ‘keeper Reuben Rabstein, as the pressure built.
    Wingate were handed a golden chance to seal the match as Akinola was set through on goal, however his shot didn’t have the power to beat the ‘keeper.
    The equaliser came for Ware in stoppage time at the end of the match. As they piled men forward in search of a goal, a cross was met by Josh Oyibo who deftly finished into the bottom right corner to break Wingate hearts.
    Both sides will be looking to better Wednesday’s result as Wingate host Barking and Ware entertain Haringey Borough.

    Wingate and Finchley lineup:
    Rabstein, Reynolds, Saviano, Alfano, Ferguson, Mandeville, Akinola, Leong, Clarke, Esposito, Seymour

    Subs:
    Ebelebe, Vural, Toscani, Price, Wright.

    Report by Jamie Grossman