Wingate and Finchley put in a hugely impressive performance on Monday to beat Staines Town 5-0 away from home. Both sides went into the match in relatively good form – Wingate had won 3 matches on the bounce in all competitions and Staines had not suffered a defeat in their first 4 league matches.
There were few chances in the first 10 minutes, and the first real opportunity of the match was marked by a Wingate goal. Luke Ifil’s corner dropped to the feet of Sean Cronin who reacted well to find the bottom corner and give the Blues the lead after just 14 minutes.
Staines showed their intentions of getting back into the match, as Elliott Buchanan met Josh Webb’s cross but his header went straight into the arms of Shane Gore. More chances came for both sides in the first half – Spencer McCall and Marc Charles-Smith were denied for Wingate and Buchanan and Collins both missed the target for Staines. Arguably the most clear-cut chance of the half came with only 5 minutes until the break as Rob Laney broke through the Staines defence with a deft touch and had his low shot saved by Ashlee Jones.
Despite the slenderness of Wingate’s advantage at the break, Blues fans’ nerves were soon put to rest minutes into the second half. Nathan Mavila received the ball from Luke Ifil’s corner and played it to McCall on the edge of the box who struck it first time beyond the reach of Jones into the top left corner to double Wingate’s lead.
From this point, it was the away side who took control of the match and asserted their dominance with more chances. Ahmet Rifat played a one-two with Charles-Smith before firing over from 20 yards and Reece Beckles-Richards lobbed over after Ifil’s pass. Both substitutes, Afolabi Obafemi and Kweku Lucan had the opportunity to make it three – Obafemi headed Ola Williams’ cross wide and Lucan struck just past the post after receiving the ball from Beckles-Richards.
The third goal finally came with 7 minutes remaining. Mavila latched on to Ifil’s pass before crossing low into the path of Obafemi who had the simple task of tapping in. Despite only 5 minutes remaining, there were still two more goals to come. First, Ifil latched onto Beckles-Richards’ pass, took the ball past two defenders and slotted into the far corner.
The last goal of the match came in the last minute of it. The lively Mavila was taken down inside the box by Mitchal Gough, and Cronin scored his second of the match as he slotted calmly to the keeper’s left. The result told the story of the match- one that Wingate largely dominated and deserved to win by such a large margin.
The Blues will be hoping to carry some momentum into their FA Cup qualifier away at Hendon, whilst Staines will be looking to move on from this demoralising result away at Met Police on Saturday in the FA Cup.
Report by Jamie Grossman