Own goal 50
Wingate and Finchley’s first meeting of the week with Tooting & Mitcham United ended with a 1-1 draw on a cold Tuesday night at Summers Lane. The home fixture was originally scheduled to be played in December but a postponement means the sides face each other twice in the league this week, on Tuesday and Saturday.
And it got off to a perfect start for the Blues when Marc Charles-Smith fired them ahead from close range at the end of the first half. But a Nathan Mavila own goal shortly after the restart saw the sides end their first ‘leg’ on equal terms. 16 places separated the sides going in to this fixture but it was a close-fought game from the start.
Charles-Smith poked a low Mavila cross just wide of Matte Pierson’s post 13 minutes in and the goalkeeper was smart to block the striker’s shot a couple of minutes later. At the other end, Wingate goalkeeper Shane Gore was pleased to see Isiah Jones’ 25-yard shot bounce over off the top of the bar. And Gore did well to palm a Tooting free-kick over the bar with half an hour on the clock.
As the half petered out a slick free kick saw Tommy Tejan-Sie fire a low cross into the box for Charles-Smith to drill home on the turn with a minute left. And the lead could have been doubled within seconds of the restart as Mavila cracked a low shot against the foot of Pierson’s post. But a low cross at the other saw the defender inadvertently deflect the ball past Gore to pull Tooting level. The away side put in an impressive shift to deny Wingate any clear-cut chances and on a different night could possibly have snatched a win, but in icy-cold conditions a point seemed a fair result.
Thankfully there’s a chance to settle the scores when the sides meet in South London on Saturday.
Report by Andy Gerlis