In true festive style Wingate and Finchley and Staines shared the gift of a point each with a 1-1 draw on Boxing Day. Early goals for either side from Tanasheh Abrahams and Adrian Clifton were the only moments to warm up a chilly crowd. Possible excess over the festive period took its toll as wayward shooting and missed chances meant the goals stopped coming after 11 minutes, though not for lack of trying.
The result leaves Wingate three points above the relegation zone, albeit with three points in hand on 21st placed Metropolitan Police. Rob Laney and Reece Beckles-Richards were both able to get early shots off, but it was Abrahams who opened the scoring for the hosts after just four minutes. A lay-off from Laney on the edge of the box set the winger up for a sensational volley that flew past a helpless Jack Turner and into the top corner.
Abrahams was on hand at the other end just two minutes later to hook a header clear off the line, but Staines were quickly able to get themselves level. Clifton found the ball at his feet on the edge of the box after Wingate failed to clear the danger and the midfielder fired a shot past Shane Gore into the bottom corner with just 11 minutes played.
Both sides were afforded big let-offs before half time. Beckles-Richards saw his header chalked out for offside while Clifton and Mohamed Bettamer both fired gilt-edged chances wide. A fantastic save from Turner prevented Beckles-Richards from giving Wingate a 66th minute lead when he flew off his line to deny the striker. And the goalkeeper had to be alert seven minutes later to parry away Ben Pattie’s over-head, hooked volley.
Late claims by Wingate for a handball were overshadowed by Tommy Brewer almost tackling the ball into his net but for a Turner save, and the game finished even.
Wingate head to Dulwich Hamlet at 1pm on New Year’s Eve as they look to extend a two game unbeaten run into three for the start of 2017.
WingateTV: Tanasheh Abrahams & Tommy Tejan Sie Post Staines Town: HERE
Report by Andy Gerlis