Wingate & Finchley took a giant leap up the Isthmian Premier League table on Tuesday night, climbing 8 places to 6th after a convincing win against playoff hopefuls and FA Cup first round qualifiers Horsham.
Ahmet Rifat made four changes from the side which held on to beat Hastings United on Saturday, with fresh legs coming into the side in the form of Ahmet Biler, Ola Williams, Matty Achuba and recent loan signing from Dover Athletic, George Wilkinson.
The first half, although goalless, was played at a decent tempo and both sides had chances that they might have expected to have converted. For the Blues, Elliot Long, fresh from his hat-trick at the weekend, got onto the end of a Ruben Carvalho cross but headed against the crossbar after quarter of an hour. Ruben Carvalho was as lively as ever and gave the Horsham defence no respite, having a couple of chances of his own in the first period. Horsham had a couple of decent opportunities themselves but couldn’t find the target, and thanks to some heroic defending from player of the month Ben Frempah right before the interval, goalkeeper Ben Goode had a largely untroubled match for his 100th Wingate & Finchley appearance.
The Blues look the lead shortly after the break with Ruben Carvalho’s 6th goal of the season, tapping in after the Horsham keeper saved his initial attempt. The goal brought the Sussex side to life and Horsham pressed for an equaliser but it was Wingate & Finchley who doubled the lead 15 minutes later through Elliot Long's calm finish, making it 4 goals for him in two games. As the game meandered to a close it was the Blues who looked more likely to score again with Anointed Chukwu firing narrowly wide and the Blues defence were resolute against Horsham's attempts, allowing them to hold on for a second clean sheet in the league this season.
Manager Ahmet Rifat said that he was very pleased with his side’s effort during his post-match interview but now turns his attention to another tough, physical home game against Canvey Island on Saturday, with further home clashes against Dulwich and Enfield to follow this month.
Wingate & Finchley: Goode; Garrett-Douglas; Williams; Wilkinson (Yeboah 72’); Frempah; Achuba (Frimpong 83’); Ifil (Webb 63’); Carvalho; Chukwu; Long; Biler
Unused Subs: Siggers; Francis-Adeyinka