Wingate & Finchley entertain Harlow Town in their first home game of 2017. Harlow won the reverse fixture 3-0 back in August. But a lot has changed since then and Wingate will want to enact their revenge at the Maurice Rebak Stadium.
Wingate have not won in the league for nearly two months. You have to go back to the 19th November for the last time they picked up all three points. The Blues will want to change that statistic as quickly as possible.
Three consecutive 1-1 draws have seen Wingate slip to 17th in the Ryman Premier League table. But that does not tell the full story. The Blues showed fighting spirit and character to end the packed festive fixture list with two valuable away points against teams fighting for promotion in Dulwich Hamlet and Havant and Waterlooville. Games in hand against teams around them should see Wingate climb the table soon.
Harlow, meanwhile, currently sit in 11th position, but have played four more matches than their opponents. The Hawks kicked off 2017 with a 2-2 draw at home to strugglers Canvey Island, letting a two goal half-time lead slip.
Wingate should aim to keep Town top scorer Alex Read quiet if they are to get a positive result in this encounter. The striker has an impressive 16 goals to his name in 32 appearances so far this season. Fellow forward Joe Benjamin caused Wingate’s defence all sorts of problems when the teams last met.
The away side also have top flight experience in their ranks. Former Reading and Stoke City centre-back Ibrahima Sonko has become a key figure for the Hawks, picking up the Man of the Match award on four occasions.
Wingate will be hoping that new signing Afolabi Obafemi, and the returning Spencer McCall, can make an impact on their home debuts.
By Sam Jones