Wingate & Finchley suffered their second consecutive league defeat as they fell to a 3-1 loss to East Thurrock United on Saturday.
Wingate took the lead midway through the first half through Charlie Ruff but following Tanasheh Abrahams’ red card, the match turned and the hosts scored three goals in quick succession to take the three points out of the Blues’ grasp.
The early exchanges were quiet, with neither team grabbing hold of the game; that was until the 24th minute.
Wingate debutant Oluwaseun Akinsanya, who joined this week from Ware, drove towards goal and knocked it past the defender, before squaring to Charlie Ruff who, on his return to the starting line-up, took his time before firing into the roof of the net.
Following a couple of half-chances for East Thurrock, the Blues’ lead was almost extended 10 minutes before the break. Tage Kennedy chipped in a dangerous ball which was powerfully met by Olumide Oluwatimilehin, the midfielder’s bullet header going narrowly wide of the post.
The hosts grew into the match somewhat in the second period, but Wingate continued to search for the second goal which has so often eluded them this season; Akinsanya saw a header saved low down by Jack Giddens and substitute Alan Fleming’s attempt was kept out at the near post.
It appeared that Wingate were about to rue their missed chances when an East Thurrock player was brought down in the box, however Frankie Merrifield gave the Blues what appeared to be a reprieve.
However, in the aftermath of the penalty, Abrahams was given a second yellow card, leaving Wingate with 10 men for the remaining 20 minutes.
The second goal so nearly came with 12 minutes remaining when Tommy Tejan-Sie nicked Luke Ifil’s cross onto the post.
However, the numerical advantage of the hosts was telling and, as seems to have been the case many times this season, the Blues were unable to hold the lead.
With 6 minutes remaining, Mitchell Gilbey fired home an equaliser for the hosts and it seemed that if there was going to be a winner, it would be the hosts.
It was East Thurrock’s substitutes who did the job, with Sewa Marah smashing past Shane Gore on 87 minutes to edge his side ahead, and Sean Bonnet-Johnson finished the job to compound Wingate’s misery in injury time, converting a volley.
Wingate remain in 21st position however recent performances have been encouraging and fans will be hoping that the addition of Akinsanya, who has 16 goals to his name this season, will provide a much-needed goalscoring threat.
Report by Jamie Grossman