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Clean Sheet brings three more points in Cheshunt

At full-time in Cheshunt, Ben Goode, along with the rest of the Wingate team went over to the travelling faithful to thank them for their support following the 1-0 win. He signed and donated his gloves to a young Wingate fan who had made the journey, no doubt making his day in the process. But in truth he may be slightly sad to lose the gloves, representative as they are of a first clean sheet this season. 


Not that they were used all that much. 


While he did his part, claiming with confidence crosses that found their way into the Wingate box all afternoon, he didn’t really have a save to make. A new look backline, that saw Ola Williams return from an injury that had seen him miss four weeks of training, were indomitable. They read the game terrifically to snuff out Cheshunt attacks before they could materialise, and they won their physical battles, much as they did on Saturday. 


In fact the whole team were “dogged” out of possession, as First Team Coach Ricky Machel put it in his post-match remarks. To a man, they hassled their opponents and more often than not were able to get a foot in and win back possession for their side. That meant that the traffic was largely away from Goode’s goal for the majority of the game, and it gave rise to a number of chances; the front three of Long, Chukwu, and Cheshunt favourite Zack Newton looked threatening all afternoon. 


It was that combination that did for the winning goal, as Chukwu and Long combined well on the left-hand side, which allowed Elliot a yard of space on the inside-left channel in the area. He fired away a shot towards the keeper’s far corner, where it brushed the chest of Zack Newton before rolling in off the post. Both attackers will no doubt claim the goal, but it looks like Newton, in a remarkable repeat of last weekend at Whitehawk, picked up his third goal of the season thanks to some good positioning and awareness. 


Frankly, it could have, and perhaps should have been more. Elliot Long looked for all the world to have been scythed down in the area early in the first half, only to see, unbelievably, a free-kick awarded against him for simulation. 


Zack Newton hit the post in stoppage time at the end of the first half, and Alkeo Bani drew a fine save from the Cheshunt keeper with a free-kick from 20 yards that looked to be headed for the right corder. There were a few half chances for Anointed Chukwu, who fought well against two enormous centre-halves all afternoon, and Ahmet Biler continually found space on the left flank to put dangerous balls into the Cheshunt area. 


You can understand then when First team coach Ricky Machel said in his post-match remarks: “I just thought we were outstanding today. I must say the boys to a man today were so good out of possession”. Since the humbling defeat at home to Folkestone on the opening day, the team have reacted fantastically, picking up 10 points from a possible 12, and heading into the first FA Cup break of the season sitting in 8th place, only one point behind Hornchurch in the playoff places, who will visit the Maurice Rebak Stadium in our next league fixture on September 9th. 


That will be another test for the Blues, but after today’s positive showing against a competitive National League South side from last season, confidence will no doubt be high, and for good reason. 


“We’re getting better. We’re still forming partnerships as a new squad and they’re getting to know each other and us as a coaching staff”. It is this sentiment that is giving so much optimism around football in N12 recently - this is good and everything, but what else are the team capable of? 


Before the players can attempt to continue this run in the league, there is the small matter of an FA First Qualifying Round tie against Step 5 Whitstable Town, who will come into the game full of confidence knowing that anything is possible in this cup competition.


Wingate & Finchley: Goode; Williams; Seager; Bani; Frempah; Achuba; Ifil (Nazor 90’); Newton (Garrett-Douglas 80’); Chukwu; Long (Carvalho 67’); Biler

Unused Subs: Mitchell-Nelson; Roberts


By Chris Cummings

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