"1-0 wins bring a different sort of vibe" said Loic Hernandez following the victory and clean sheet against Margate on Saturday afternoon. “You know you worked hard for it - it could have gone the other way - so when you make it through to the other side it’s a breath of release”.
Loic was returning to the side after missing the game against Lewes, to make his fourth start of the year. He looked calm with the ball, and was confidently able to win his battles off the ball, as were all of his defensive partners. Just like at Lewes, they stood firm, kept their composure, and this time they were rewarded with a clean sheet for their hard work.
Margate were able to hit the bar twice, both from long range, in a second half performance that was far superior to their first, but ultimately they weren’t able to fully test Ben Goode in goal all afternoon.
And for Wingate’s customary attacking movement and chance creation that saw Ruben, Elliot, and Chuks all go close throughout the 90 minutes, it was Loic Hernandez’s defensive partner Billy Cracknell who managed to make the telling contribution. He rose highest from a ball in from Ahmet Biler, and headed the ball downwards and under the Margate keeper. It was his first goal in the Blue of Wingate & Finchley, and one that was crucially scored with his head, a relatively rare occurrence this season for Wingate.
His arrival from Bishop's Stortford has helped to consolidate the Blues’ league position, which now sees them sitting fifth after 15 games. It has been a welcome rise up the league following the lower mid table finishes of the past few seasons, but the next few weeks will be a litmus test for this team. They travel to third placed Chatham on Tuesday, followed by a trip to Carshalton, who sit in seventh currently. The next home game is against Billericay Town, who are fourth in the league having conceded just ten goals all season.
And so whilst the season will not be made or broken on the back of three results at the end of November, it will help to give the team and the club of where this team stands heading into the new year. We look forward to welcoming you the MRS for the visit of Billericay on December 2nd, where Rifat and the Blues will look to make it consecutive home wins.
Wingate & Finchley: Goode; Cracknell; Hernandez; Frimpong; Frempah; Achuba; Garrett-Douglas; Carvalho (Yeboah ‘76); Chukwu (Newton 82’); Long; Biler
Unused Subs: Webb; Siggers; Nazor