It’s funny how the Football Gods can turn things around.
Just 3 days ago, Wingate & Finchley, away at Dulwich, would have felt aggrieved to go in at half-time 2-0 down, having arguably been the better side for the first half, creating some good opportunities, and having been the victim to two smart finishes from our hosts.
On Saturday against Lewes, there was a similar story, however this time the shoe was very definitely on the other foot.
It was the Blues who went in two goals to the good at half-time despite, and we’ll whisper this part, perhaps being second best for large portions of the first 45. They were the beneficiaries of two brilliant bits of skill from Elliot Long, whose 16th and 17th goals of the season came within a minute of each other to punish Lewes for failing to take their opportunities early on in the game.
Both of his finishes were fantastic, the first as he indicated with his eyes he was going to the left, before placing the ball neatly into the bottom right corner from 20 yards with inch-perfect placement. The second, coming as he received the ball in the box, before turning quickly and firing it across the goalkeeper and into the net.
Within the blink of an eye it was 2-0, but it could have been so different.
Lewes, who themselves had come off the back of conceding 3 goals on Tuesday, started the game with two wide players very high on the pitch, attempting to drag Solomon and Cracknell away from the middle, to allow the advancing midfielders space into which to run. And it was initially successful, with Ben Goode forced into two smart saves within the first 3 minutes. He was down well to smother the ball and made his presence felt in this team again, having missed out on Tuesday night.
But the Blues quickly adapted to this threat, and having got themselves two goals up, very neatly saw out the rest of the game, limiting the chances of their opponents.
In fact, early in the second half, when you felt the game could still have gone either way, Ruben Carvalho put the icing on the cake when he lifted one over the keeper from 20 yards, increasing the lead to three goals and ensuring that the team had a solid base to defend for the remainder of the game.
It is another clean sheet at home, and the three goals against Lewes make it 8 in the last two games in North London. The side are relishing the prospect of a visit by Chatham, and Tuesday night’s re-arranged contest looks set to be a cracker.
We’ll see you there!
Wingate & Finchley: Goode; Solomon; Cracknell; Frimpong; Frempah; Achuba; Ifil (Seager 73’); Carvalho (Bani 77’); Chukwu; Long (Newton 81’); Biler
Unused Subs: Roberts; Webb