Wingate and Finchley suffered a fourth successive league defeat against Met Police as the Blues lost 2-0 in an ill-tempered encounter at Imber Court. Two first half goals from Calum Kealy sealed victory for the home side, who sat back and soaked up Wingate's second half pressure to earn three points and a clean sheet on a wet Tuesday night in Surrey. Both teams ended the game with ten men as Ahmet Rifat and Tom Hickey saw red late on.
The visitors started on the front foot but their early possession counted for little as they failed to create a clear cut opening. Marc Charles-Smith fired a low cross into the box, but no one was able to get on the end of it. When Met Police broke the deadlock after 16 minutes, it came against the run of play. Calum Kealy latched onto a loose ball in the Wingate defence and prodded it past Shane Gore.
Met Police almost doubled their lead when Jonny Wright got his head to a cross, but his diving effort went narrowly wide. It was soon 2-0, however, as Kealy bagged a brace just before the half hour mark. Wingate failed to clear their lines and after a goalmouth scramble, Kealy tapped in at the back post.
The Blues tried to half the deficit straight from kick off but Rob Laney's acrobatic bicycle kick was held at head-height by Luke Williams. Wingate were then denied a penalty despite Joe Kizzi appearing to be hauled down in the box by Jay Gasson, as he tried to get on the end of Keir Dickson’s free kick at the back post.
Back at the other end, Gore had to pull off a fine save to deny Sam Gallagher’s curling effort, which the Wingate stopper tipped onto the roof of the stand behind the goal. Met Police almost killed the game off before half time, but Dickson was on hand to clear a corner off the goal line, before Charles-Smith fired wide to end a Wingate counter attack on the stroke of half-time.
The second half was attack versus defence as Wingate launched an offensive on the Met Police goal, starting with Reece Beckles-Richards’ low shot, which Charles-Smith failed to divert goalwards. Tommy Tejan-Sie then had another long range effort – this time palmed away by Williams.
The pressure continued past the hour mark as Rifat headed just over from Dickson’s corner, before Beckles-Richards’ header failed to find the target. With seven minutes remaining both sides went down to 10 men, as Rifat was shown a second yellow card for a foul, before Tom Hickey was given his marching orders for getting involved in the aftermath.
There was still time for one last chance as substitute Ben Pattie’s curling effort cannoned back off the crossbar, ensuring it would not be Wingate’s night.
The Blues are back in action this Saturday as Merstham travel to the Maurice Rebak Stadium (3pm).
Report by Sam Jones
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