Wingate & Finchley suffered a second consecutive defeat of the season, leaving them at the bottom of the Bostik Premier League, losing 3-1 at home to Harrow Borough on Tuesday night. Keith Rowland’s side were looking to bounce back from Saturday’s disappointing defeat at Merstham, while Harrow travelled to Summers Lane in high spirits after an opening day win over Harlow Town.
Within 10 minutes, Harrow’s confidence showed as Kurtis Cumberbatch found space on the edge of the area and curled an effort past Shane Gore to put his side ahead. Wingate looked to respond quickly and Luke Ifil’s speculative effort had a couple of people off their seats but the ball sailed harmlessly over the bar.
Harrow were then prevented by a smart save by Gore from Adam Richards’ header, before Anthony O’Connor saw his left footed drive from inside the area strike the post and, for Wingate, found its way to safety.
After a quiet spell, Wingate began to turn the screw and forced a leveller just after the half hour mark. An inswinging Joe Sharpe corner was met by Marc Charles-Smith who nodded home his first Wingate goal, also against his former side; giving Sharpe his second assist in as many games. Shots from Afolabi Obafemi and Reece Beckles-Richards were unable to reverse the scoreline and the sides went into the break on level terms.
Within seven minutes of the restart, the visitors were back in front after a low, driven shot by Charles Banya crept inside the near post, beyond the reach of Gore and nestled into the back of the net. Banya nearly had his brace a minute later but, this time, Gore was level to his attempt and saved smartly.
Despite Wingate’s best attempts to push Harrow’s defence back, the travelling side were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box. A training ground routine saw Banya played in, his cross saved by Gore but O’Connor was on hand to nod home a third.
Sean Cronin saw his close range half-volley tipped over miraculously by Melvin Minter before seeing yellow for dissent. Two minutes before full time, a late - albeit not dangerous - high boot saw the former Wealdstone man sent off for a second bookable offence and Harrow were able to see the game out.
Their supporters see their side sit top of the Bostik Premier League whilst Blues fans will take solace in the fact that the 2016-17 season began with two defeats and ended with the play-offs, so all hope is not yet lost.
Report by Nikhil Saglani
Sent off 88