Games are coming thick and fast this season, and the latest against Hashtag United in Pitsea was the third in the previous 6 days for the Blues, having faced Farnborough on both Sunday and Tuesday in the FA Cup.
Both of the games were physical, and there is no doubt that they would have taken their toll on a Wingate side who came to Essex looking to get back to winning ways. But it was not to be on a glorious Saturday afternoon as the home side ran out 2-0 victors after converting their only two real opportunities in the game.
Alfie Cue was responsible for both: the first a free header from a corner at the back post after only five minutes, and the second, which killed the game off with 10 minutes to play, a well placed effort that went into the bottom right hand corner from the left edge of the box.
The second was particularly cutting as it came with the hosts playing with only 10 men - Percy Kiangebeni picking up two yellow cards in quick succession, the first for hauling down Ruben Carvalho just as the Wingate man was winding up a shot attempt on the edge of the box. It was shortly after when he went over the top of the ball when challenging Will Seager, giving the referee no hesitation in sending him for an early shower.
The Hashtag man can have no complaints with either booking, but he will be proud of how his team responded to go going down a man in the second half. They got their heads to the barrage of balls that come into their box, and generally looked assured in defence, earning their clean sheet.
And for all the possession and chances that the Blues had, they ultimately were lacking in the creativity required to unlock the Hashtag defence. Elliot Long and Zack Newton gave the team an impetus in attack when they were introduced from the bench, but it was too little too late, as the Blues were restricted to long range attempts and headed chances from set pieces.
It will be a frustrating result for the team to take and the vibe leaving Essex on Saturday afternoon was very much that it was points dropped, given how little their opponents created, and the extended period of playing against 10 men.
But there will be little time to rest, with Brentford B the latest in a string of really tricky opponents, as they come to the Maurice Rebak on Tuesday night in the opening round of the London Senior Cup. They are the defending champions, and so there are no allusions that the fixture will be anything but a tough game. With Saturday’s fixture against Enfield being postponed due to our opponents’ FA Cup obligations, it will be a chance for the coaching team to right some wrongs from the defeat in Essex
Wingate & Finchley: Goode; Webb (Sellers ‘46); Seager; Bani; Frempah; Frimpong; Dawodu; Carvalho (Newton ‘69); Ward-Cochrane; Yeboah (Long ‘62); Siggers
Unused Subs: Nazor; Chukwu