Wingate & Finchley secured a third successive victory at home to local rivals, Harrow Borough with a fine 3-1 win to keep the North London outfit in the play-off spots. The first fifteen minutes saw both sides enjoy spells of possession but neither team found the cutting edge to open the scoring. However, Shane Gore had to make a smart save on the quarter of an hour mark, before Reece Beckles-Richards curled an effort just wide from the edge of the area.
The best chance of the opening half hour fell to Harrow, but nobody was on the edge of George Nicholas’ low cross on 23 minutes – with more than half of Gore’s goal open for anyone arriving at the back post. Ten minutes later, Harrow were ahead. Michael Bryan found space 25 yards out from goal and sent a swerving effort into the bottom left corner of Gore’s goal, with a small touch from the keeper not enough to keep out the attempt. However, Wingate’s resilience was shown once again as Ahmet Rifat bundled home from a scrappy corner to level the game just four minutes after the hosts went behind, and it was 1-1 at the break.
The second half began in much sharper fashion for the hosts, who saw Tommy Tejan-Sie’s effort blocked in the opening minute. From the resulting corner, Sean Cronin’s knockdown found Rifat, again, who powered home a header at the back post to put Keith Rowland’s side 2-1 ahead.
Steve Wales had a glorious chance to put the Blues 3-1 up, and arguably out of sight, but curled an effort over the bar from inside the area despite having time and space to pick out the back of the net. Ten minutes later, Rob Laney was inches away from the third, but just missed Beckles-Richards’ skewed shot across goal. Laney had another chance on 67 minutes, but saw Luke Williams come out bravely and smother the ball to safety.
In the dying embers of the game, Gore showed just why he was rewarded with January’s Goalkeeper of the Month award – diving to his left to save Shaun Preddie’s header from point blank range to keep Wingate ahead.
Just as Wingate fans were beginning to settle for a 2-1 win, Beckles-Richards led a counter attack, had his run halted and saw the ball fall to Ben Pattie, who rifled the ball home to put the game to bed and ensure Wingate remained in the top five spots, with just ten games remaining of the season.
WingateTV: Ahmet Rifat and Tanasheh Abrahams Post Harrow Borough: HERE
Report by Nikhil Saglani