W&F win 5-4 on penalties
It was a case of Velocity Trophy progression for Wingate & Finchley, whose 3-3 (4-5 pens) victory at The Len Salmon Stadium over Bowers & Pitsea booked a place in the last 16 of the competition.
Tim Monsheju ensured the Blues started off on the front foot within six minutes, yet despite breaking with speed, curled wide from the edge of the area.
Eight minutes on, Chace O'Neill's speculative volley looked to catch Andrew Wilton off his line, from 25 yards out, but dipped into the away support. In the 28th minute, the north Londoners took the lead. Isaac Ebelebe broke forward and despite his initial strike across goal being palmed away by Wilton, the stopper could do nothing when Monsheju rifled into the top corner on the turn.
Monsheju, from 25-yards out, stung the keeper's hands ten minutes later, who managed to hold on. Five minutes before the break, it was almost double-trouble for the hosts. Calvin Ekpiteta - debuting for the Club - saw his shot-cum-cross from wide left saved by Wilton at the near post. Five minutes into the restart, it was all-square. Thomas Stephen's corner arrived to the back-post for Callum Leahy to head down inside the post.
Three minutes on, Lewis Putman's goalbound free-kick deflected wide. From the resulting corner, O'Neill had a second attempt at delivering and picked out Monsheju's near-post run, who headed wide from close. On 65 minutes, David Manu stabbed home his first Wingate goal past Wilton, after latching on prior to holding off Richard Halle and Stephen. 15 minutes on, Manu grabbed a wonderful brace when he cut inside off the right and curled with clout into the top corner.
A free-flowing move in the 84th minute saw Samir Bihmoutine chip a cross from the inside left back into centre for O'Neill to volley goalwards, yet straight at the 'keeper. Bowers pulled one back two minutes later when former Blue, David Knight's free-kick from wide left was touched in by James Thomas. In stoppage-time, the home side drew level. Tyrone Baker broke to the byline and crossed towards Luke Hirst, who slammed in from close and result in penalties.
The Blues legend, Bobby Smith got a strong hand to Knight's penalty, but the power took it in. O'Neill, Monsheju, Joe Sharpe and Carl Stewart all scored to tie-up the shoot-out at 4-4. Ryan Sammons hit wide, giving Bihmoutine the chance to seal the deal - which he duly obliged.
Report by Khalid Karimullah