Wingate & Finchley secured a point at home to Lowestoft Town in an end-to-end game of football. On the balance of the 90 minutes, neither team deserved to win but the visitors would have left the Maurice Rebak Stadium with a tinge of disappointment after losing their lead right at the death.
Wingate began the game looking fitter than their opponents as Billy Healey and Rob Laney played an intricate one-two, but the pass into Laney was too quick and Jamie Waite collected easily. Joseph Marsden then hit the side netting for the visitors from the right side of the area, though many had initially thought his effort had flown in.
Lowestoft caused Wingate’s wingers problems for large parts of the first half. Adam Smith beat Ola Williams and Sean Cronin down the left wing and shot past Shane Gore, but Ryan Sellers was on hand to clear. A minute later, Marsden beat Sellers down the left, shot past Gore but Cronin got back onto the line to save Wingate.
A superb Tommy Tejan-Sie pass found Laney on 24 minutes, but his cross was a mere few inches ahead of Healey, who would have had the simplest of tap-ins and put the hosts ahead. Gore was then required to keep Wingate in it as he saved low to his left from Jake Read - showing why chairman, Aron Sharpe brought him to Summers Lane.
However, the visitors took the lead on 41 minutes. Marsden beat Sellers for pace and the left-back tripped the winger inside the box. Michael Spillane, a centre half, slammed home from the spot – with Gore nearly getting fingers on the spot-kick.
The second half a quieter one, but was largely dominated by the hosts. Luke Ifil blazed his effort wide after good work from Healey and Freddy Moncur. Marsden then fired well wide for the visitors from inside the area, despite being one-on-one with Gore. Moncur then fired over from inside the area for Wingate before the hosts were denied a penalty shout when Reece Beckles-Richards claimed to have been brought down by Waite.
Wingate’s best chance fell to Tanasheh Abrahams, who was played in over the top but fired his volley well over the bar and provided a huge let off for a sleeping Lowestoft defence. A minute later, Read should have punished a sleeping Wingate defence but fired over from eight yards with an open goal to aim at – giving the hosts five minutes to get an equaliser.
John Mbamarah, solid for the entire game at centre back for Wingate, hit the outside of the post from a deep Steve Wales corner – and many thought that Wingate’s chance at gaining a point had gone. However, a Wales corner in the 89th minute was met by a towering Cronin – who wheeled off in celebration knowing he’d ensured a gritty second half would get some merit.
Wingate host Kingstonian FC on Tuesday night in the Ryman Premier League.
WingateTV with Shane Gore and John Mbamarah: HERE
Report by Nikhil Saglani