Wingate & Finchley once again showed their resilience, and ability to score stunning goals, in a 1-0 win at rivals Hendon. Tanasheh Abrahams’ screamer late in the first half gave the unchanged Blues all three points at Silver Jubilee Park.
The opening exchanges, however, were anything but spectacular, with a Tommy Tejan-Sie half chance flying over the bar being the only real noteworthy chance of the first five minutes. Defender Claudiu Vilcu then tried his luck from near the halfway line but saw it fly well past the Hendon goal.
The hosts’ first chance came from a Reis Stanislaus free-kick, from which he forced Shane Gore to punch away – the first of numerous excellent stops from Wingate’s number one at Silver Jubilee Park. Wingate’s free-kick on 21 minutes nearly produced a goal in itself, but Rob Laney could only poke an effort straight at Berkley Laurencin from Steve Wales’ set piece. The best chance of the game fell to former Wingate man, Karl Oliyide but he could only run the ball out of play after rounding Gore on 24 minutes.
A quiet spell followed until the moment of the match, which took away the breath of many inside the ground. After winning a 50-50 on the halfway line, Abrahams audaciously took aim from 40 yards out and Laurencin could only help the ball into the back of his net via his fingertips, causing raucous scenes amongst the travelling Wingate faithful.
As a result, Keith Rowland’s side came out in the second half buoyed by Abrahams’ brilliance and nearly found themselves two up inside ten minutes, but Spencer McCall – formerly of Hendon – curled a free-kick just over. Another free-kick, on 76 minutes, was smartly pushed around his post by Laurencin after Sean Cronin took aim from just outside the penalty area.
On 82 minutes Gore produced a superb save from Oliyide, who placed an effort to the keeper’s left from inside the six-yard box; only to see it palmed away to safety.
Wingate safely saw out the remaining eight minutes, and stoppage time, to complete the double over their arch rivals, extending their unbeaten run to eleven games in all competitions.
WingateTV: Ahmet Rifat and Tanasheh Abrahams Post Hendon: HERE
Report by Nikhil Saglani