When Brentford B showed up at the Maurice Rebak Stadium, they brought with them the air of a top quality professional side. Team chefs had pre-prepared post-game meals for the squad, there was a Club Doctor and paramedic crew on site, and the team sheet was filled with the names of young stars, some of whom have already represented their country at youth level, or made Brentford's first team squad this season.
It was a slightly different test for the Blues then, facing up to a side with such high pedigree, particularly in this competition. Regular finalists, last year’s quarter-final was seen as somewhat of a disappointment.
And so it’s into this context that we must put the Blues’ 2-0 victory.
The team defended well all evening, ensuring that Fergal Hale-Brown who was making his first appearance of the season, didn’t have too much to do throughout the game; and they broke with intent, looking dangerous on plenty of occasions, scoring twice and leaving a few more good opportunities out there.
It was this lethal break that did for both goals. The first was set up by Zack Newton making himself a nuisance up front, winning possession, and laying it off for Elliot Long to lift over the on-rushing goalkeeper in his first start since making his 50th appearance for the club at the weekend. Luke Ifil popped on the right hand side for the second goal, receiving a layoff from Chuks after he did well to win and hold possession up field, before smashing it underneath the keeper.
It could possibly have been more. Zack Newton had the best chance from 10 yards out on the angle with only the keeper to beat. He tried to squeeze it in at the near post, but his effort crept just wide. Similarly, Matty Achuba had an attempt from an even tighter angle after nicking the ball off the goalkeeper in his own box. The touch took the ball wide and so he could only find the outside of the post with the finish.
And in the dying stages, a corner swung in from the right looked to have been handled by the Brentford defence in a Hand of God moment while trying to clear their lines. The referee decided otherwise, however, and so it remained at just two goals for the Blues.
Much of the attacking spark was created down the left by youngster Tommy Roberts, who was making his first start for the club, and in senior football. He managed to put a few dangerous balls into the box from the left hand side, and was unafraid of putting his body on the line to win back possession for his team.
He was the victim of a nasty collision with the concrete hoardings in the second half, and the club is very grateful for the support of Brentford’s medical staff, both in assisting Tommy on the pitch, as well as also providing care to him afterwards. We wish Tommy a speedy recovery.
And so it’s through to the next round of the London Senior Cup, to face either Hendon or Glebe away from home. Given the history between Wingate & Finchley and Hendon, many will be relishing the prospect of visiting them in the next round, should they overcome Glebe in their First Round match in October.
Saturday is a rare off-day for the Blues as our scheduled opponents Enfield complete their FA Cup obligations. That game has been moved to Tuesday 31st October, and so next up is Bury Town at home in the first round of the FA Trophy on October 7th.
Wingate & Finchley: Hale-Brown; Seager (Ifil 36’); McLeod; Achuba; Mitchell-Nelson; Nazor; Garrett-Douglas; Newton (Chukwu 84’); Ward-Cochrane (Adeyinka 46’); Long (Yeboah 84’); Roberts (Sellers 72’)