A last minute winner from Tommy Tejan-Sie secured a dramatic 2-1 away win for Wingate and Finchley against Grays Athletic. Rob Laney had put The Blues ahead, but Grays equalised after the break to set up a thrilling finale at Mill Field. The visitors nearly took the lead early on when Luke Ifil fired just over from the edge of the box after Ahmet Rifat's knockdown. Laney, a constant menace for the Grays defence, then barged his way into the box but saw his shot curl over the bar from a tight angle.
Grays threatened too and almost scored when Kieran Bishop tried to round Shane Gore, but the Wingate stopper got a strong hand to the ball and turned it away for a corner. The busy Ifil then attempted an audacious bicycle-kick from Tejan-Sie's cross and watched it miss by the target by inches. At the other end, Joao Carlos had the ball in Wingate's goal, but the offside flag was up well before his shot hit the back of the net.
Laney’s influence on the game continued as he drilled a shot just wide of Amadou Tangara's post. Minutes later, Ifil jinked his way into the box and fired a low effort that Tangara did well to block from close range.
The deadlock was finally broken on the 37th minute when Laney cut inside the box and curled a shot in off the post. But Wingate’s star man could have doubled their lead soon after, when he found himself unmarked in the box, but could only divert his header wide after a dinked cross from Ben Pattie.
Wingate went into half-time with only a slender advantage. And they would soon rue those missed chances. But only after Shane Gore did his best to deny Grays. Firstly coming off his line to block the ball at Carlos’ feet, before a superb double-save denied Lartey Sarpong from close range. However, the ‘keeper could do nothing to stop Kwabena Osei’s bullet header making it 1-1 after 68 minutes. The Grays player rose highest at a corner and diverted his header past Gore. The goal gave the home side momentum, but they were unable to fashion another clear-cut opportunity during a good spell.
In the final few minutes of normal time, Grays failed to clear a corner and the ball fell to centre-back Sean Cronin at the back post. The Welshman’s effort was turned behind by Tangara, but Wingate found the net from the resulting corner. Tejan-Sie controlled the ball expertly on the edge of the box and his shot bounced up over the head of Afalabi Obafemi, before going through the ‘keeper’s legs and rolling just over the line.
Grays almost levelled at the death when Bishop’s shot struck the post, before the rebound was skied well over by Osei when it looked easier to score. Tejan-Sie could have grabbed his second in stoppage-time when he tried to convert an Ifil cross, but Tangara managed to smother the ball. It did not matter as Wingate took all three points back to Summers Lane.
The win sees Wingate move up four places in the league. Next up is Tuesday night’s home game against Cockfosters in the London Senior Cup.
WingateTV: Afolabi Obafemi Post Grays Athletic: HERE
Report by Sam Jones