Wingate& Finchley sealed a place in the Third Qualifying Round of the Buildbase FA Trophy after a hard-fought 3-1 win away at Corinthian Casuals. Goals from Ben Pattie, Rob Laney and Reece Beckles-Richards saw Keith Rowland’s side defeat a well organised Bostik South Division side on Armistice Day.
After a well observed minute’s silence, the action got underway and the hosts were on top from the off. Danny Cunningham saw his effort from inside the area parried to safety by Wingate keeper, Shane Gore, before Mu Man fired wide from inside the area. Wingate’s first chance fell to skipper, Ahmet Rifat but he could not guide his header on target from a Keir Dickson corner. Marc Charles-Smith’s early involvement paid off as he shrugged off his defender but could not direct the ball past Danny Bracken in the Corinthians net.
Just after the half hour mark, the hosts’ initial dominance paid off as David Hodges’ low effort from inside the area found the bottom corner of Wingate’s net after superb wing play from Coskun Ekim to find his left back inside the box.
Pattie came close to equalising just five minutes later, but his weak effort saw the ball float wide of the post after Luke Ifil’s pinpoint cross. However, five minutes subsequent to that, Pattie stepped up to curl home a delicious free-kick - reminiscent of his late winner at Kingstonian last season - and get Wingate level. A second Pattie free-kick just four minutes later was tipped over the crossbar well by Bracken.
After the half time break, Rowland’s tactical change saw Wingate attacking with more impetus and causing the hosts far more problems. Both Beckles-Richards and Charles-Smith had good chances, the former saw his effort blocked whilst the latter’s whistled across the face of goal to safety.
The hosts continued to pressurise the Blues as Kevant Serbony drove through the heart of Wingate and fired towards goal but saw his effort sail harmlessly over the crossbar. On the hour mark, Beckles-Richards had a golden chance to put the visitors ahead but somehow blazed over from six yards out after Charles-Smith found his strike partner from the left side.
However, Wingate only had to wait four minutes for their second. A floated ball into the area was met by Rifat, who headed towards the back post, where Laney was on hand to head across goal and into the bottom corner; to send the travelling fans into bedlam. Gore and Jake Eales had to resort to last ditch efforts to prevent a quick equaliser from the hosts, before a succession of corners saw Corinthians eventually find the net, but Maan was in an offside position before slotting home.
With 10 minutes to go, Laney won a duel with Hodges on the right flank, composed himself inside the area and squared to Beckles-Richards - who made no mistake this time and sealed Wingate’s progression in a competition they progressed well in last season.
Rowland’s side now play their first league game in 24 days, as Brightlingsea Regent travel to Summers Lane on Tuesday night
WingateTV: Marc Charles Smith and Rob Laney post Corinthian Casuals: HERE
Report by Sam Jones