Wingate emerged victorious in their last pre-season match as they beat Royston Town 3-2 on Saturday. On a sunny day at the Maurice Rebak Stadium, it was Wingate who scored the first goal after 20 minutes. After Tommy Tejan-Sie failed to convert from Reece Beckles-Richards’ cross just minutes before, it was Beckles-Richards himself who broke the deadlock. After good play in the midfield, Beckles-Richards found himself through on goal. He still had lots to do however when ‘keeper Welch came off his line, Beckles-Richards took the ball past him and finished well to give Wingate the lead.
However, Royston grabbed the equaliser within a minute of the restart. Adam Marriott received the ball just outside the box and unleashed a superb strike beyond the reach of Blues ‘keeper Luke Sheldrick and restore parity.
Beckles-Richards continued to be at the centre of Wingate’s play in the first half, as once again he got past his man on the right flank and crossed but striker Marc Charles-Smith was unable to make sufficient contact with the ball and five minutes later took a shot himself which was tipped wide by Joe Welch. A final chance came before half time for Wingate, as Tejan-Sie’s attempt from the left side of the box was caught by Welch after more superb play by Beckles-Richards.
As the half-time whistle went, the scores were level and both teams looked as though they could win the match in the second half. The first chance of the second half was squandered by Wingate’s Luke Ifil as his ambitious strike from the edge of the box flew narrowly wide. Somewhat against the run of the play, Royston went ahead after 65 minutes. Sam Ives scored a wonderful goal as his volley from the edge of the box struck the left post and nestled in the back of the net after a scramble from a Royston free kick.
Wingate made a host of substitutions as they searched for the equaliser: Spencer McCall, Afolabi Obafemi, Kunle Otudeko and Ben Pattie replaced Luke Ifil, Reece Beckles-Richards, Tommy Tejan-Sie and Marc Charles-Smith. These substitutions proved to win the game for Wingate. First, the equaliser came from Ben Pattie with six minutes remaining. He took the ball past his defender and placed an audacious lob over the keeper to level the score once again.
Then, just a minute later, the equaliser came after a combination of three of the substitutes. McCall won the ball and sprayed a superb pass to Pattie who raced clear past the Royston defence with Obafemi by his side. Rather than shooting, Pattie squared across to Obafemi who had a simple task and converted with aplomb.
This win capped off a mixed pre-season in terms of results, however Wingate will go into their opening league match away at Merstham on Saturday with some confidence and hopefully kick-start a successful season.
WingateTV: Spencer McCall and Joe Kizzi: HERE
Report by Jamie Grossman