Wingate & Finchley’s long run without a victory continued with a 4-2 defeat at home to Thurrock, a side they beat by the same scoreline in the reverse fixture. Goals from Layne Eadie and Reece Beckles-Richards were not enough to overcome a hard-working Thurrock outfit at Summers Lane.
The first chance of the game fell to Tommy Tejan-Sie, whose right-footed effort was palmed away by Ben McNamara. However, the home fans didn’t have to wait much longer for a goal. Having escaped pressure on the right wing, the ball found its way across to left-back Eadie, who found the back of the net via a deflection that saw the ball creep through McNamara’s hands.
Thurrock were quick to test Wingate after going a goal behind with Lewis Spence forcing Shane Gore to palm a low drive around his right hand post. Spence then attempted to convert a cross from the right side but could not find the target with his acrobatic effort.
Wingate were back on the attack and Afolabi Obafemi’s effort was turned around the post for a corner before Spence, again, took aim at Gore’s goal – but saw his curling effort tipped wide again by the Wingate keeper. The Thurrock captain’s solo efforts eventually paid off when he took aim from 25 yards out and found the left-hand corner of Gore’s goal and levelled affairs.
A quiet spell was then broken up by the goal of the game. Reece Beckles-Richards beat two men with a run inside and took aim from 25 yards out, finding the top corner of Thurrock’s net and sent the home fans into half time in a jovial mood.
Five minutes after the restart, Thurrock were level. Jordan Clark was played in on goal with a smart through ball and finished past Gore, who had rushed out to close down the angle. Three minutes later, Thurrock had a penalty after Gore brought Clark down inside the area. The scorer of the equaliser himself stepped up and sent Gore the wrong way, to give Thurrock a 3-2 lead. Clark nearly sealed his hat-trick just after the hour mark but Gore was able to hold his effort from close range.
Thurrock were reduced to 10 men on 68 minutes when James Goode was given his marching orders for a second yellow card, giving Wingate the impetus. From the resulting free-kick, Ahmet Rifat headed wide of the left hand post. However, three minutes later, Wingate were awarded a penalty for a foul on Eadie. Freddy Moncur stepped up but blazed his effort high and wide, with Wingate fans left to rue a huge opportunity to level against 10 men.
Beckles-Richards and substitute, Ben Pattie both came close to levelling but the former’s shot flew over the bar whilst the latter saw his effort from the edge of the box trickle just wide of the right hand post.
And Wingate were made to pay for these missed opportunities when Spence netted his brace on 81 minutes, seeing his shot take a huge deflection of Jake Eales to wrong-foot Gore and put Thurrock 4-2 up. Wingate didn’t give up and Pattie nearly pulled a goal back, but couldn’t only find the post with his right-footed effort from inside the area. In the end, Wingate were punished for being unable to take their chance against 10 man Thurrock.
Report by Nikhil Saglani