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Successful Easter weekend for Blues

Updated: Apr 4

Going into the long weekend, there was a degree of "make-or-break" about the double-header which the Blues were facing in the form of Hornchurch and Potters Bar. Fast forward a few days and it certainly wasn't a "break" for Wingate & Finchley in terms of effort levels or potential playoff hopes.

Hornchurch - Saturday

After Chatham Town failed to win on Friday, over 1,000 Hornchurch fans turned out in anticipation of a potential crowning moment at home if Hornchurch could secure all 3 points against the Blues. Given that the Urchins were unbeaten at home all season, they could've been forgiven for being confident going into this fixture. It took just 9 seconds, however, for Elliot Long to cast doubt over the Urchins title celebrations, a long ball forwards from Ben Goode neatly flicked on by Anointed Chukwu into Long's path who made no mistake, in the process moving onto 20 goals in all competitions this season.

There were no further goals in the first half, but certainly no shortage of attacking chances, the best of which came after good work from Long as he turned provider for Chukwu who controlled well but fired narrowly wide after a quarter of an hour. Hornchurch on the other hand didn't trouble the Blues goal in the first half.

In the second half, the Blues came out quickly and it was Long again who had a chance, this time deflected to take the sting out of the strike. Within 10 minutes of the restart, the Blues did double their lead, again through Elliot Long. Good work from Will Seager in defence meant that he could put a neat pass through to Long who controlled and finished in trademark fashion.

Hornchurch did liven up in the final 30 minutes and eventually got a goal through an Ollie Muldoon header, the midfielder reacting quickest to a flick-on in the box. The Blues did have chances to extend their lead including a snapshot from Chukwu which cleared the bar and an excellent mazy run from Long before Hornchurch removed the danger. In added time, Muldoon went from potential hero to zero with a desperate lunge that saw him given his marching orders.

Wingate & Finchley: Goode, Seager, Cracknell (Frempah 86'), Frimpong (Bani 83'), Webb, Achuba, Garrett-Douglas, Carvalho (Newton 79'), Chukwu, Long, Biler.

Unused subs: Solomon, Deslandes.

Potters Bar Town - Monday

After the elation of an excellent away win against the champions-in-waiting, the Blues returned to N12 just 48 hours later to face one of the in-form sides in the division, Potters Bar Town. Having already lost twice to the Scholars this season, the Blues were fully aware of the danger faced, and the need to keep up the momentum that has been built in recent weeks by Ahmet Rifat's men.

A quiet opening exchange was quickly livened up by a rapid counter attack after 20 minutes from the Wingate & Finchley forwards. Elliot Long, off the back of his brace on Saturday did well having come deep to collect the ball, his clever pass found Anointed Chukwu who easily turned his man before laying the ball on a plate for Ruben Carvalho to calmly slot home in the North London downpours before celebrating with the crowd behind the goal.

There were no further goals for a long period either side of the break, but the Blues did eventually double their lead to calm any nerves when a long ball forward from centre back Alex Solomon was collected by substitute Zack Newton. The winger did well to keep hold of the ball on the right flank before returning it to Solomon who had burst into the box and applied a smart finish to beat the Potters Bar goalkeeper at his near post.

The Blues then took a 3-goal lead late in the game when Ben Frempah powered home a header for his first goal of the season. Bar scored a late consolation, with Blues defender Billy Cracknell adjudged to have got the final touch.

Wingate & Finchley: Goode, Solomon, Cracknell, Bani, Frempah, Achuba (Frimpong 77'), Garrett-Douglas, Carvalho, Chukwu (Newton 73'), Long, Biler (Seager 44').

Unused subs: Webb, Deslandes.

Next up for the Blues is a trip to Concord Rangers on Saturday who are looking for points to remain in the division, while we return to the Maurice Rebak Stadium next Tuesday for an enticing clash against fellow playoff hopefuls Hastings United. Adult tickets can be purchased in advance here or on the gate. Cash and card are accepted throughout the ground.

Photos courtesy of Martin Addison


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