Acheampong. WF win 3-0 on penalties.
Wingate and Finchley claimed their first cup win of the season with a 3-0 penalty victory over Coggeshall Town in the FA Trophy, after a 1-1 draw.
The Blues, who are a division above the Seed Growers, were aptly given a scare on Halloween when the hosts had a shot in the first minute, which took a slight deflection before hitting the post.
After that moment, Wingate started to dominate the game but struggled to really test Towns' keeper, until Chris Doyle hooked a left footed shot just wide and Ahmet Rifat fired just over the bar.
An audacious shot by Bilal Sayoud, which hit the side netting from an impossible angle, was followed up by a header at goal from Mauro Vilhete and a shot from Sully Bakalandwa was put behind, before Rifat fired the resulting corner over the bar.
The deadlock was finally broken on the half hour mark, when Bakalandwa crossed deep to Sayoud, squaring to Duane Ofori-Acheampong, who poked home, ensuring that the Blues went into the break a goal up.
The second half started as the first half ended, with Sayoud putting in another dangerous cross to Ofori-Acheampong, who just couldn’t keep his header down. Several minutes later, Vilhete tried to wrongfoot the goalkeeper at a free kick, but the ‘keeper reacted well to tip the ball just wide.
The latter stages of the half saw a flurry of stoppages in play for injuries, notably when a Coggeshall defender collided with his own goalkeeper, being down for almost five minutes. Samir Bihmoutine was soon replaced, after crashing into the perimeter wall.
Vilhete went on to smash the crossbar with a header, and was very harshly given only a free kick on the edge of the area, instead of what was a clear penalty. Coggeshall took advantage of Wingates’ failure to capitalise, starting to pile on the pressure, missing several golden chances, as well as forcing Wingate ‘keeper Fergal Hale-Brown into some scrappy saves.
In the first of the six minutes added times, Wingate’s worst nightmare came true. Firstly Hale-Brown was booked for holding onto the ball for too long, which the referee award the hosts an indirect free kick. From the resulting flurry of corners, Nnamdi Nwachuku latched onto the ball, bundling it into the back of the net, much to the jubilation of the home crowd.
Due to the FAs rules for cup competitions for this season, which doesn’t allow for extra time or replays, the tie was to be settled on penalties.
The shootout couldn’t have gotten off to a better start for the Blues, with Town's first spot kick being blasted out the stadium, before Rifat casually put his effort past the goalie. Fergal did well to save Coggeshall's next two shots, whilst Billy Healey slotted home Wingate’s second, leaving it to Sully to take the potentially match winning shot.
Bakalandwa took no chances, firing low into the corner to put the Blues into the hat for the first round, showing his happiness with a celebratory dance on the goal line.
Report by Josh Palmer