Collins 54 (pen)
Wingate & Finchley suffered defeat at the hands of Met Police for the third time in the 2016/17 season, losing 3-2 at Summers Lane on Saturday, despite having far more chances than their visitors.
A quiet first half saw the teams go into the break at 0-0 but Wingate were left to rue several ‘nearly’ moments in the opening 45 minutes. Spencer McCall and Ben Pattie combined to set Reece Beckles-Richards free, but he could only send his shot wide of the post from 12 yards out, whilst trying to go across goal.
McCall and Beckles-Richards combined to good effect minutes later, but the former saw his powerful effort saved by Brannon Daly and the corner was cleared. McCall was at the heart of the action again, dictating play and creating chances, but his cross on 27 minutes was just too high for Rob Laney to head home at the back post.
The most amusing moment of the half saw ex-Wingate player, Ola Sogbanmu emulate Diego Maradona. As a cross came in from the left wing, Sogbanmu was only able to find the back of the net via his hand - and was rewarded with a yellow card for his sins. At the other end, Pattie was played in on goal but fired wide whilst off-balanced from a difficult angle.
The second half began with a goal, as Sean Cronin played in Laney, who squared across Daly for Pattie to tap into an empty net to put the Blues 1-0 up on 52 minutes. However, a minute later the Police were level. A clumsy push by Tanasheh Abrahams in the box saw the visitors awarded with a penalty, which Charlie Collins finished emphatically.
On 67 minutes, Pattie curled a 20 yard free-kick just over the bar after Beckles-Richards had been upended on the edge of the area. However, Beckles-Richards soon put Wingate back into the lead, finishing emphatically after Tommy Tejan-Sie floated an inch-perfect ball over the top to the striker.
However, once again, Keith Rowland’s side could not hold their lead. Olli Robinson found space inside the area and drilled home just three minutes after Beckles-Richards’ goal. In the final 15 minutes, Wingate had numerous chances to score a third. Claudiu Vilcu headed straight at Daly, Tejan-Sie fired inches wide of the post and then forced Daly into a smart, low save. Instead, the Met Police capitalised on a poor Luke Ifil clearance and, for the second time this season, Roman Michael-Percil scored the winner at Summers Lane.
Rowland’s side were left to rue numerous missed chances on a frustrating afternoon in their play-off chase, with a Middlesex Charity Cup game at Ashford Town giving them a good chance to rebuild some confidence ahead of the remaining league games.
Report by Nikhil Saglani