Wingate & Finchley finished 2016 with an entertaining 1-1 draw at Dulwich Hamlet, in a game which had drama bar the goals.
The Blues shocked a crowd of 1,910 after Reece Beckles-Richards back-heeled home Steve Wales' floated corner after just three minutes. The Hamlet, featuring former Summers Lane Captain Marc Weatherstone, looked for an instant response through Chris Millar who found himself through on goal, only to be denied by Shane Gore's legs.
Tanasheh Abrahams sent a shot wayward from long-range, before Ryan Sellers was forced to make a timely challenge on Dumebi Dumaka who had a straight run at Gore. Dumaka, who caused continous problems for the Wingate back-line, rose well connecting with Nathan Green's corner to plant the ball into the bottom corner to equalise.
Luke Ifil won a challenge from 20-yards out, Tommy Tejan-Sie's following free-kick flew inches wide past the left-hand post. Wales' perfectly-weighted free-kick wasn't dealt with giving Beckles-Richards a chance, only to see his powerful drive go wide.
The ebb and flow continued, as Gore was called into action getting down low to parry away Ashley Carew's free-kick prior to Sellers clearing the danger. Nyren Clunis' cross couldn't be kept down by an unmarked Ibra Sekajja's volley from close.
Matt Drage's goal-ward header was placed away from Gore, only for the hosts to be frustrated by Abrahams' goal-line clearance. Rob Laney broke the offside trap to find himself away forcing Drage to bring him down inside the area. Wales stepped up just seconds before the break, but was denied by Preston Edwards who got down low to his left. At the other end, Gore tipped Drage's near-post header spectacularly over the bar from a yard out.
Dulwich started the second period in strong form. Millar swerved a strike just over the bar from 20 yards, before Danny Carr broke on the right into the area forcing an unfortunate clip from Sellers. Carr stepped up himself but his penalty down the centre was pounced onto by Gore.
Jordan Gibbons just about did enough to ease Green off the ball who tumbled inside the area, but the call for another penalty was waved away. Clunis, who found joy on the wing, guided his cross into the danger area which was almost diverted into the top corner by Ifil.
In the last attack of the game, Carew smashed a free-kick over the bar as Keith Rowland's outfit took home a deserved point.
WingateTV: Alfie Young and Marc Weatherstone Post Dulwich Hamlet: HERE
Report by Khalid Karimullah