Wingate & Finchley continued their winning run in London derbies this season, after Steve Wales’ 68th minute curling finish ensured of the bragging rights and all three points against local rivals, Enfield Town.
Keith Rowland’s outfit took control of proceedings early on at the Queen Elizabeth II Stadium, with midfield maestro Tommy Tejan-Sie causing havoc in the final-third. His bursting run through the Towners defence saw Jonathan Muleba commit a late challenge leading to Wales curling his free-kick from inside left past the upright. Claudiu Vilcu, returning to his old stomping ground, then saw his powerfully driven free-kick from a central position fail to test ‘keeper Nathan McDonald.
Ryan Sellers’ lung-bursting run and precision cross down the left flank arrived at the feet of Luke Ifil, who from six-yards out sliced his left footed strike inches past the post. Sellers was heavily involved again at the other end on the defensive side of the ball, as he made a list-ditch block to prevent Tyler Campbell’s attempt looking for the bottom corner.
Dernell Wynter came within a split-second of putting the hosts ahead against the run of play, though his low drive from 18-yards out was well tipped away by last month’s Goalkeeper of the Month, Shane Gore – who saw the attempt late.
The second period began with Rob Laney coming within inches of making a connection to Sellers’ cross to the far-post, but Ricky Gabriel was there to intercept and take the ball off his toes. Ifil’s weighted looped cross towards Vilcu saw Percy Kiangebeni follow suit with a vital block of his own, with the goal gaping.
Laney guided his shot wide after cutting inside from the left flank, as Ahmet Rifat, Ifil and Tejan-Sie all had strikes from outside the area test a stern backline. Minutes later, Wynter had a one-on-one with Gore who wasn’t to be beat diving low to deny his placed effort. As the 68th minute arrived, so did the games solitary goal for the breakthrough. Rifat won possession from Billy Crook prior to finding Wales, whose one-two with Ifil set him up perfectly for a guided curler across McDonald into the bottom corner for a huge morale boosting victory.
WingateTV: Steve Wales & Claudiu Vilcu Post Enfield: HERE
Report by Khalid Karimullah