Wingate & Finchley will have been going into this tie with Enfield Town high on confidence having taken 9 points from their four league games so far in October, with only Dulwich Hamlet being able to slow the Blues’ momentum with a tight 3-2 victory at the Maurice Rebak Stadium last Tuesday. Enfield will also have been confident given their 6-3 win over Hashtag United last time out, so fans could expect plenty of goalmouth action on this Halloween night of derby football.
The first half of this derby was played with great energy, with chances at both ends throughout the half and some crunching tackles in the middle of the park. Enfield Town were first to take one of their early chances after just 8 minutes through former Wingate & Finchley forward Reece Beckles-Richards who was played the ball from the right flank and had a fairly simple finish from inside the penalty area.
Wingate & Finchley were playing good football, however and kept coming forward and creating chances. A number of well-worked chances were put into the area without anyone available to convert them. After 26 minutes, the Blues did take one of their chances as Ruben Carvalho found an extra yard of space and fizzed a powerful drive from distance which Towners keeper Rhys Forster could only parry into the path of Elliot Long who duly converted for his 9th goal of the season in all competitions.
Throughout the rest of the first half there were chances at both ends and both sides will feel they could’ve taken a lead into the break but ultimately going in at half time level was a fair reflection of a great first half of derby football. The Blues continued their bright play after the break but it was Enfield again who took the lead 8 minutes into the second half. A cross from the right was palmed away by Blues’ keeper Ben Goode but only as far as Enfield forward Marcus Wyllie who showed why he is 2nd in the Isthmian League top scorers charts this season by composing himself and finishing the chance.
Before too long, Enfield doubled their lead when a free kick was swung over from the right side and went past everyone, finding George Sykes whose sliding finish at the back post doubled the Towners lead and made the final half hour much more comfortable for the visiting fans.
The remainder of the second half was well-managed by the visitors and despite the attempts of Wingate boss Ahmet Rifat, who made a number of changes to try and claw a goal back, it was Enfield who scored again, an unfortunate own goal which nestled into the net, the final touch coming from a Wingate defender after 83 minutes, much to the joy of the travelling Towners fans behind the goal.
And so it ended 4-1 to the visitors, who were more clinical on the night and returned to Enfield victorious and up to 2nd in the Isthmian Premier table. Next up for Wingate & Finchley is another home fixture against Cray Wanderers on Saturday 4th November, 3pm kick-off.
Wingate & Finchley: Goode; Cracknell; Sellers; Wilkinson (Bani 62’); Frempah; Achuba (Yeboah 84’); Ifil (Newton 69’); Carvalho; Chukwu; Long; Biler
Unused Subs: Garrett-Douglas; Hernandez