On bank holiday Monday, the Wingate & Finchley Development team beat Ware Sports FC 3-2 in the final of the HSCL Premier Division Cup. It was a less than ideal start after our opponents raced to a 2-0 lead before half-time. In the 60th minute, Aden Brazil pulled a goal back for the Blues with an attempt that came off his chest. However, 5 minutes later, hopes of a comeback were dashed after Blues ‘keeper Finn Rushton was given his marching orders by the referee for a late tackle on the Ware Sports forward. With no substitute goalkeeper on the bench, midfielder and captain Hamzet switched shirts, put on the gloves and took up his place in goal. He saved the resulting freekick comfortably which in turn provided the team with the confidence to go out and turn the game around. Suffice to say the Blues left it late, but in the 80th minute, Cheikoumar Watt Ndongo equalised in a goalmouth scramble to make for a nervous last 10 minutes. The comeback was completed 2 minutes from time as Josip Jevdjic notched the winner after a delightful cross which saw Wingate & Finchley Development team crowned winners of the HSCL Premier Division Cup. It was a remarkable feat for the team who not only lost the first game of the competition but were also made up predominantly of U18 players. Peter Renkin, Lee Protheroe and Tashan Bradshaw-Brown put the team together 5 weeks ago just with the view to playing in the cup competition. It’s testament to the coaches that they found the perfect blend of U23s and U18s to guide the side to victory. Peter said “We’re incredibly proud of the effort the boys have put in over the last 5 weeks. Some of those games were really physical but the character of the squad shone through and we’re really delighted for them, especially the younger ones.” UP THE BLUES!
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