Wingate and Finchley secured a valuable 2-1 victory over Brightlingsea Regent on Tuesday, courtesy of a stoppage time winner. Rob Laney had given Wingate the lead midway through the first half before Josh Gould’s equaliser for the visitors. However, substitute Ben Pattie was on hand to provide the finish to gift the Blues three much-needed points in the second minute of injury time.
The first twenty minutes provided little goalmouth action, with neither side showing any real attacking prowess, although Luke Ifil had a shot deflected wide for Wingate.
However, after just 24 minutes, the first goal of the match was provided by the head of Laney. Nathan Mavila confidently dribbled past two defenders on the left wing before curling in a peach of a ball and although there was still lots to do for the Blues’ winger, Laney powered a header into the bottom corner, far beyond the reach of Cowler.
The goal was the only genuine piece of quality in an otherwise dull first half, with clear-cut chances, or any chances at all for that matter, proving hard to come by.
Despite Wingate captain Ahmet Rifat coming within inches of doubling the hosts’ lead through a curler from 25 yards out, Brightlingsea’s early second half pressure paid off just after the hour mark. Aaron Condon’s free kick eluded the Wingate defence and Josh Gould was able to nod in, past the reach of Shane Gore to restore parity for the visitors.
The equaliser sparked the game into life and just a few minutes after, Ifil’s audacious chip was just tipped onto the post by Cowler as Wingate searched for a winner. Rifat came close again with 15 minutes to go and was unlucky to see his powerful strike cannon off the post.
Although it was Wingate doing much of the late pressing, Brightlingsea could have also had a late goal – Jack Newman’s attempt from inside the box was saved by Gore and a matter of seconds later, Gore pulled off another stop to deny Newman’s header.
After Rifat’s header slightly eluded the touch of Cronin and soared just wide of the post, it seemed that the match was destined to end in a draw. Yet, this was not to be – Laney surged down the left hand side before crossing into the six-yard-box; Pattie was denied at the first attempt however after a goalmouth scramble, the ball somehow crossed the line courtesy of the substitute.
Wingate boss Keith Rowland can be delighted with the result, although the performance was not the best shown by the Blues this season, and by the character displayed to dig in and snatch a winner.
WingateTV by Geoff Shreeves: Sean Cronin and Ben Pattie post Brightlingsea Regent: HERE
Report by Jamie Grossman