Wingate & Finchley continued their fine form with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Concord Rangers, who drop to the foot of the table following defeat, while the Blues move up into 4th place.
Concord Rangers were relegated last season after nearly a decade in National League South and came into this game in improved form this season. They demonstrated their quality in glimpses throughout the game, with the side from Canvey Island making a fast start, spending the opening 10 minutes camped inside Wingate & Finchley’s defensive third. Ultimately, however, they were unable to fully test skipper Ben Goode in the Blues goal in the opening exchanges.
Wingate grew into the game, and when a cross from Rhamar Garrett-Douglas on the right flank found its way to Elliot Long, he laid the ball on a plate to striker Anointed Chukwu on the edge of the box who applied a quality first time finish to secure his 10th of the season. Shortly before half time, Concord had their defender on the line to thank as he made a goal-line clearance from Elliot Long’s header to keep the deficit at one goal heading into the break.
The game was a tense affair, littered with fouls and stoppages, meaning neither side could get into their rhythm. There were five on-field yellow cards, bookings for both managers and the referee’s matchday action culminated in issuing a red card to Concord striker Duane Ofori-Acheampong in the dying minutes for a second yellow card after a desperate lunge.
Down to ten men, Concord were helpless when the Blues threw men forward in search of a second goal and when a rebound fell to debutant Luke Deslandes, signed from Concord’s neighbours Canvey Island this week, he made no mistake from close range in the 89th minute to ensure that all 3 points stayed in North London.
That was the Blues’ last home fixture of 2023 however we have a busy festive period, starting with a London Cup tie away at local rivals Hendon on Tuesday 19th before back-to-back away league fixtures, returning to the Maurice Rebak Stadium on New Year’s Day against Cheshunt.
Wingate & Finchley: Goode; Solomon (Hernandez 63’); Cracknell; Bani; Frempah; Achuba; Garrett-Douglas; Carvalho (Deslandes 72’); Chukwu; Long; Biler
Unused subs: Yeboah; Ifil; Newton
Check out our post-match interviews with Rhamar Garrett-Douglas and first team coach Tristan Thomas below: