Wingate & Finchley were on the hunt to get back to winning ways and book a place in the London Senior Cup semi-final, but fell short to a 2-1 defeat to Metropolitan Police at the Maurice Rebak Stadium. The Blues came out the traps flying. Ben Pattie gathered possession 25-yards out, but his fiercely, drilled strike was guided away by Olli Robinson. Jordan Gibbons bombarded up the right flank and saw his shot-cum-cross dip over Brannon Daly, ultimately slamming off the top of the crossbar.
Ryan Sellers on the opposite flank delivered a pinpoint cross which saw Laney glance a header wide from inside the area. Sellers was called upon at the other end moments later to stop Roman Michael-Percil from breaking through for a one-on-one. Michael-Percil’s guided pass into the path of former Wingate powerhouse, Ola Sogbanmu, ended up with his attempted volley go well over the crossbar arriving just inches away from Summers Lane.
Joe Sharpe’s near-post corner gave Sean Cronin a chance to power his header towards goal, but was left frustrated by inches. Sam Williams curled towards goal, forcing Shane Gore to palm the danger clear on the stretch. Luke Ifil struck from distance which took a deflection off Will Salmon, safely looping into Daly’s arms. Sellers broke up the left cutting inside, however he couldn’t get enough power behind his shot as the ball trickled into the path of Daly.
Three minutes before the break, a defensive mix-up between Robinson and Daly allowed Laney to pick up possession. He shimmied round the ‘keeper, prior to his curled, cool-as-you-like finish from distance hitting the back of the net. Pattie tried his luck after Rob Bartley’s half-clearance, but fired a scorching strike wide from inside the area.
Three minutes into the restart, Michael-Percil was deemed to have been tumbled over by Cronin from inside 12-yards, as the visitors were handed a lifeline. The winger himself stepped up sending Gore the wrong way from the spot. Ifil’s fizzing effort swerved wide hitting the side-netting, Sellers’ inch-perfect cross looking for Pattie came within a whisker of getting a solid connection from just six-yards out. Claudiu Vilcu was dismissed on the stroke of an hour for dissent, but 10-man Wingate were still maintaining control.
Tommy Tejan-Sie fired over on the volley after Sellers’ cross was headed clear by Bartley. Reece Beckles-Richards broke the offside trap for a one-on-one, without testing Daly, who could count his fortunes with the ball arriving directly at him. Cronin rose highest from Sharpe’s corner, forcing the busy Daly to get down low to meet his bouncing header. Gore kept out Michael-Percil at his near-post, prior to diving the other way moments later deny the latter again on the dipper.
In the 77th minute, Rylan Myers broke away finding Michael-Percil who wasn’t to be denied in acres of space finding the net with ferocity. Any chance of Keith Rowland’s outfit finding an equaliser was soon dashed following Gibbons’ last-minute dismissal – which marked a disappointing end to proceedings.
Report by Khalid Karimullah