Wingate and Finchley earned their first win in seven attempts on Saturday as they beat Tonbridge Angels 2-1 at the Maurice Rebak Stadium. Wingate saw a goal disallowed after seven minutes with the referee giving offside as Reece Beckles-Richards ghosted in behind and headed past the keeper. However, just 3 minutes later, Beckles-Richards played a one-two with Rob Laney, who was celebrating his 200th appearance for Wingate, before firing a first time shot into the top corner and it wasn’t chalked off this time, giving Wingate the lead.
Tonbridge had two golden opportunities which were only a few minutes apart – first, Tashi-Jay Kwaiye saw his attempt from close range fly over the bar with the goal almost at his mercy after a rebound. Then, Alexander Akrofi found the ball at his feet from a corner and poked an attempt over from close range. Wingate, lucky to still be in the lead, searched for a second goal and nearly got it when Marc Charles-Smith saw his low attempt stopped by Jonathan Henly after a pass from Freddy Moncur. Moncur himself was played in minutes later and opted to shoot rather than pass but saw Henly deny another attempt. However, five minutes before half-time, the elusive second goal came.
Luke Ifil picked up the ball from right back and ran half the length of Tonbridge’s half before setting himself and picking his spot in the bottom corner from the wide right giving Henly no chance this time. Tonbridge should have pulled one back on the stroke of the interval however Callum Adonis-Taylor failed to beat Jake Eales on the line with the defender heroically clearing.
The early minutes of the second period were much less lively than the first, with the first attempt coming on the hour as Laney shot from the edge of the box but the 200 man was unable to get his goal and was eventually subbed off. Minutes later, the half sprung into life as the visitors netted with Sonny Miles tapping into an empty net from a throw in to give Tonbridge a lifeline with half an hour remaining.
Layne Eadie’s speculative effort from 30 yards could have been the icing on the cake for the Blues however the left back was denied by the upright. Tonbridge continued to press until the end but failed to carve out any meaningful opportunities for an equaliser, allowing Wingate to win for the first time since February 3rd, when they were 3-1 victors over Leatherhead.
Report by Jamie Grossman