Wingate & Finchley failed to build on their 2-1 away win at Lewes on Saturday, falling to a 1-0 loss at home to Cray Wanderers.
The Blues knew going into the game that a win could take them up to 17th place, three points off of the relegation zone, and looked to build on the momentum gained from the weekends victory.
Last seasons’ Isthmian League South East Division winners took the lead after just three minutes, when Joel Rollinson hit a shot from 25 yards out, which went in off of the post, with Wingate ‘keeper Shane Gore just getting a glove to it, but couldn’t prevent the goal, which proved to be the match winner.
Much of the first half saw Wingate have limited chances in front of goal, with Cray having a majority of the shots, with Gore making a handful of decent saves. However, Wingate held a large part of possession in the first half, but failed to make it count, with the few shots on goal ultimately being wasted.
The early stages of the second half saw little action worthy of note, with both sides fighting it out for possession in the middle of the pitch.
The middle period of the half was littered by a mix of substitutions by both sides, looking to change their tactics to secure the game in their favour, and some hopeful but distant crosses and shots, that would prove to be fruitless.
With Finchley having brought on some more attacking players, the side started to dominate the game a bit more, having a few more efforts on goal. These included a shot hit by Luke Ifil on the 77th minute, which initially evaded the opposition goalkeeper, only for the ball to hit the far right hand side post, ricocheting off, rolling across the line and hitting the other post, with the goalie finally scooping it up, milliseconds before Oluwaseun Akinsaya could get a shot on it.
Many home fans would have undoubtably thought that the scoreline was unfair, as the sides had been quite even for most of the match, and Wingate had had a few decent shots, with at least a draw being a fair result.
The result sees Cray move up to fourth place, consolidating their position in the playoffs, whilst Wingate drop down to 19th, one place above the relegation zone, which they are being kept out of by a 2 goal superior goal difference.
We go again on Saturday, at home to sixth placed Worthing.
Report by Joshua Palmer