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Solid defensive display propels Blues over relegated rivals

Updated: Apr 15

By Noah Bercott


After two long seasons looking down rather than up the Blues are on the cusp of a playoff spot following Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Haringey Borough. 


There were high levels of optimism as kick off came, and it fuelled the Wingate fans to cheer on their team in their battle to reach the playoffs. However, with an unusually stale first 10 minutes it was clear that our attacking trio were going to find it hard to put the ball in the back of the net all afternoon. 


But there was a good chance for the hosts in the 11th minute with some fantastic play by Elliot Long. He passed the ball to Ruben Carvalho who narrowly put ball wide of the right post from inside the box. The chance was followed by the first substitution of the game, with Ahmet Biler having to be replaced by Loic Hernandez. After going off against Potters Bar with a quad injury, he managed just 11 minutes before being forced off in this one.  


From then on Wingate and Finchley began to create a few more chances in the first half, with relegated Haringey only able to hit the side netting. 


One of the best of these was in the 45th minute, when Carvalho whipped in a corner with Cracknell heading the ball at goal, only to find a Haringey defender there to clear it off the line. But nevertheless, 0-0 was how the sides went in at half-time. 


The players emerged for the second half with a look of determination, which later showed on the pitch. As by the 56th minute, Wingate and Finchley had struck for the opening goal. Rhamar Garrett-Douglas had found his way through two Haringey players to set up the tap in for Chuks. It was a deserved lead for Wingate and Finchley, who hadn’t sparkled, but had been solid to that point. 


Anointed Chukwu converts from close range against Haringey Borough

Ten minutes later, however, they were hit with another injury, as Alkeo Bani was forced off, being replaced by Will Seager. It speaks to a relative spike in injuries in the last few weeks, and the Blues will be hoping this doesn’t impact them too much as they head to the business end of the season.

 

The second half progressed in a relatively calm way, with the Blues’ final chance of the game coming when Chuks tried to double Wingate’s lead from outside the box. His shot went just wide however. 


Chukwu’s lone goal was good enough to carry the day, with Wingate and Finchley’s defence shutting up shop for the whole game: Soloman, Cracknell, Frempah and Bani all put in fantastic shifts for the side. 


Alkeo Bani battles in midfield against Haringey Borough

The win leaves us one point from a playoff spot, and our fight for the playoffs continues in Kent on 20th April against Margate. We finish off our campaign at home against Carshalton on 27th April, so come and join us as we battle to be playing National League South football next year. 


A reminder that supporters can cast their vote in the supporters' player of the season poll here ahead of our awards evening on 27th April.


Wingate & Finchley: Goode; Solomon; Cracknell; Bani (Seager 75’); Frempah; Frimpong; Garrett-Douglas; Carvalho; Chukwu; Long (Newton 59’); Biler (Hernandez 11’) .

Unused Subs: Webb; Deslandes  Photos courtesy of Martin Addison

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