A well-deserved 2-0 victory at home this weekend against Corinthian-Casuals fires the blues up into 16th place.
Saturday's clash at the Maurice Rebak Stadium was the first clean sheet on home turf since, November 13th. Wingate & Finchley ended Corinthian’s five-match unbeaten run with prolonged periods of pressure and domination throughout the match. Following their fantastic performance in the previous match which saw them into the first round of the Buildbase FA Trophy, The Blues came out determined to grab another win.
In the opening stages of the match, the hosts were raring to go. In the tenth minute, Reece Beckles-Richards had his first attempt at goal aiming to add to his season tally, but the ball evaded the right-hand post, striking fear into the opposition. Maintaining intensity and possession, The Blues were gifted with a free kick on the right side of the area, which Beckles-Richards sent soaring into the centre of the box where Marc Weatherstone was waiting to meet and head straight to goal. Official, Joel Mannix disallowed the goal as striker Charlie Cole was called offside when having the last touch of the ball, just before it met the back of the net and denying Wingate & Finchley an early opener in the 17th minute. This did not slow the north Londoners down. They were irrepressible in the 20th minute, forcing the away side to sit deep, which led to their first goal. Captain Sean Cronin lashed the ball into the back of the net from a Beckles-Richard's corner. The atmosphere from the home fans became electric on the cold Saturday evening.
Whilst the first period was almost one-sided, the Casuals finally grew into the game, causing danger in the last remaining minutes of the first half. Trying to remain composed and in formation, the Blues seemed to become quite startled from a succession of attacks they faced down their wings. Luckily, the first attempt that the visitors had on goal, Warren Mfula fired over the top post. The Blues kept a clean sheet in the first half as keeper Shane Gore securely denied Jordan Clarke’s sudden curling shot.
After a startling end to the first half for The Blues as the Casuals seemed determined for a comeback, both sides came out looking energised and ready to battle for a win. The effort from both teams at the start of the second half could not be faulted as it seemed relatively tight. A loose pass from the Casuals in the 58th minute allowed Beckles-Richards to surge forward on the break - who in the first half was at the heart of the action – and play through Reece Mitchell who struck across ‘keeper Daniel Bracken to make it 2-0.
At this point, Wingate seeming to be the stronger side. Despite the second goal, Corinthian still seemed eager to come away from this game with at least a point, showing frustration as they aimed to drive the ball forward and clear it from their own half at every chance they got.
Corinthian Casuals were still unable to reap a comeback from their efforts. The closest sight to a goal came from Juevan Spencer’s strike which struck the bar. The Blues saw the game through gaining three points and boosting their confidence going into next week Tuesday's game away to Bowers & Pitsea in the Velocity Trophy.
Report by Tamia Padotan