Wingate and Finchley won their fifth consecutive league match as they defeated rivals Enfield Town 2-1 on Tuesday. Reece Beckles-Richards opened the scoring for Wingate in the first half before Sean Cronin doubled the lead from the penalty spot. Jack Higgs pulled one back for Enfield however Wingate held out for the win.
The first half was one which was absent of clear chances for either side. Higgs and Rob Laney both saw shots fly wide for Enfield and Wingate respectively. The breakthrough came after 18 minutes, when Ben Pattie, the only change from Saturday’s win over Burgess Hill, cut apart the Enfield defence with an incisive pass to set Beckles-Richards through on goal. After setting himself, he finished through the keeper’s legs to give Wingate the lead.
The final chance of the half came just before the break, as the provider for the opener, Pattie’s cross was met by Rob Laney, whose guided header struck the underside of the bar and bounced clear. The teams went into the break at 1-0 – Wingate knowing that they were in control however Enfield aware that the game was still very much open.
Just 6 minutes into the second half, Wingate were gifted a chance to extend their lead when Laney was tripped inside the box and the referee awarded a penalty. Cronin confidently stepped up and duly converted, smashing past the keeper to send the Blues into a 2-0 lead.
With 20 minutes remaining, Wingate seemed to be cruising to a victory however Enfield would not give up without a fight. Jack Higgs pulled a goal back on 70 minutes, rifling into the top corner from the edge of the box. As the closing minutes passed, the tension grew and Enfield wasted two set-piece opportunities with not long to go, as Wingate tried to hold on for what would be an important victory.
Substitute Joe Sharpe struck one over with one minute remaining however Enfield were unable to fashion a clear-cut chance in injury time and Wingate held out for the win. This win puts the Blues into fourth place, level on points with both Hendon and Leiston in second and third however Enfield drop down to 15th, this defeat being their second in four days.
WingateTV: Sean Cronin and Reece Beckles Richards post Enfield Town: HERE
Report by Jamie Grossman