Wingate and Finchley kicked off the season in poor form with a disappointing home defeat to Bowers and Pitsea.
Wingate started off the game on the attack, looking to continue on from their 3-2 friendly win over National League side in the last home game. The early stages of the game saw the hosts have several decent efforts, including one that almost saw the visitors concede an own goal. However, disaster would strike on the twenty minute mark.
Within the space of sixty seconds, the Blues would firstly find themselves down to ten men, with J’Ardell Stirling being shown a second yellow for a bad foul, before Bowers scored a goal directly from the resulting free kick, through none other than former Wingate man Quentin Monville.
The next twenty minutes would see another flurry of chances for Wingate, notably including those from our latest high profile recruit Mauro Vilhete and Luke Ifil. Their efforts finally paid off on the 42nd minute, when Billal Sayoud coolly fired into the top of the net to take Finchley into the break on level terms.
The Blues continued to hold their own deep into the second half, withstanding the pressure being applied by Pitsea, having a couple more decent efforts.
Despite gallantly showing their resilience for much of the half, in the final period of the game Wingates’ tiredness and Bowers’ man advantage started to show, with the Essex side starting to have some dangerous changes. This eventually led to a great goal by Daniel Trendall, who latched onto a low cross before scissor kicking the ball into the net, in what would prove to be the winning goal.
The result would see the Blues be defeated on their first competitive game of the season. This week then sees a double header against Folkestone Invicta, firstly a home FA Cup tie on Wednesday, then an away trip in the League on Saturday.
Report by Josh Palmer