Wingate and Finchley strolled into the last 16 of the Velocity Isthmian League Cup thanks to a 2-0 home win over fellow Premier Division outfit Bowers and Pitsea.
Despite being defeated, the scoreline somewhat flattered the Essex side, as Wingate dominated much of the game, and could have easily scored several more, but failed to take their chances. With forwards Alex Read and Olu Akinsanya both being cup tied, the Blues could have used some help from their finishing.
The visitors, who were promoted from the Isthmian North Division last season, came into the game in a similar position to Wingate, having struggled in the league, sitting only two places above in the table.
The game was in Finchley’s hands right from the start, with the Blues applying the pressure and dominating the possession throughout the whole game. Around the quarter hour mark, the blues had some key chances, but failed to capitalise on them.
The deadlock was finally broken on 19 minutes, when Alan Fleming scored off of the post from a few feet out, thanks to a well timed Luke Ifil cross.
The score would remain for just two minutes, with Charlie Ruff getting deep into the box before firing home what would prove to be the final goal of the game.
Between the goals and half time, Wingate kept pushing forward and had several decent shots, and could have had a couple of more goals by the break, but just could not get the ball over the line, despite their best efforts.
After a quick flurry of substitutions, Wingate failed to capitalise on their dominance, and weren’t able to make the scoreline reflect their true efforts throughout the game. In the dying minutes of the game, the visitors had several half chances to score, but the safe hands of Shane Gore made easy work of the saves to make sure Wingate went through and also maintain a clean sheet along the way.
Wingate’s tasks was made easier on 47 minutes, when Fleming was brought down just outside the box, resulting in a red card for the offending Bowers player. Wingate kept on having shot after shot, but failed to score again, despite their one man advantage.
Finchley go again this Tuesday, away to arch rivals Hendon in the Middlesex Senior Cup, hoping to secure three wins in three different cup competitions.
Report by Joshua Palmer