Wingate and Finchley's 2-1 Ryman Premier League loss at home to Billericay Town was overshadowed by a horrific injury sustained by defender Tommy Cummings. Quentin Monville had handed the visitors a lead midway into the first half before Tommy Smith's equaliser just before the break.
But a late tackle on Cummings from Kreshnic Krasniqi with seconds to go until the end of the half saw both leave the pitch, one straight down the tunnel and the other in an ambulance. And despite playing the second half against ten men, Conor Hubble's late goal left the Blues still searching for their first league win of the season.
Both sides came into this game winless in their respective campaigns and the home side came closest to taking an early lead through Ahmet Rifat, but the captain saw his shot blocked by a bundle of players on the line. Wingate's solid defence was eventually breached after 23 minutes when Quentin Monville slid in at the back post to convert Joshua Oyinsan's low cross and send Billericay 1-0 up.
Wingate striker Reece Beckles had three chances to level the game, one from outside the box, one from inside the box and one with his face, but none were clear cut and it was left to Smith to pull the home side level. Rising highest from a corner, the 6'2" centre back powered a header past goalkeeper Jack Giddens to tie the game just before half time. But seconds before the whistle, a poorly-timed horror tackle from Krasniqi left Cummings requiring emergency medical attention for his leg, eventually leaving the Maurice Rebak stadium on a stretcher in an ambulance.
With the defender rightly sent off, Wingate played the second half against ten men, though they were unable to assert their dominance. Hubble's shot on the turn just after the restart rebounded back off Shane Gore's post and chances from Beckles, Rifat and Rob Laney at the other end were either off target or well dealt with by an impeccable Giddens. And with just seven minutes left on the clock Hubble gave Billericay the lead, poking a loose ball home from close range after Wingate failed to clear their lines.
Billy Healey could have become a late super-sub but his one-on-one effort was well parried by Giddens and the visitors left Finchley with all three points. However with games like this the result is the last thing that matters. Everyone involved with the club wishes Tommy a healthy and speedy recovery.
Report by Andy Gerlis