Wingate and Finchley fell to a 3-2 home defeat to 4th place Hornchurch, despite having equalising after being two goals down.
The game couldn’t have started any worse for Wingate, conceding a penalty in the fifth minute after a Hornchurch player was brought down in the box by a defender,
resulting in a penalty. The visitors converted the spot kick, taking the lead leaving the Blues with a mountain to climb so early on.
The visitors doubled their lead on 16 minutes, when Chris Dickson ran past Finchleys' defence before slotting home his second of the afternoon.
Despite being two down to the playoff hopefuls, the Blues did not give up and kept on pushing. In response to the East London sides’ second goal, Wingate started to pile on the pressure. After a few decent efforts, Charlie Ruff caught the end of a well taken corner, knocking the ball into the back of the net, past the helpless ‘keeper.
On 34 minutes, Ruff was brought down in the box, with the referee again pointing to the spot. Ruff failed in levelling the score, with his penalty effort being saved. This did not deter Wingate, however, as just three minutes later Ruff picked up the ball after a slip up by a Hornchurch. He then handed the possession over to Alphonso Kennedy, who took his time before shooting in the equaliser.
The first half ended with Ochieng striking the ball from 20 yards out, with the opposition goalkeeper needing to make a stretching save to deny him an almost certain goal.
The second half started just as the first had, with Chris Dickson rounding several defenders and goalkeeper Shane Gore before slotting home his hattrick. The rest of the second half saw relatively little action. The only events worthy of note in the middle part of the half was both sides using up their substitutions, with neither side looking like scoring.
Akinsanya took a 25 yard free kick with ten minutes left on the clock, optimistically choosing to shoot it straight at goal, which was ultimately saved. This would prove to be Wingate’s last real effort on goal, falling to defeat.
We go again next Saturday away at Corinthian Casuals.
Report by Josh Palmer