Wingate & Finchley’s visit to the KNK Stadium didn’t go as planned, after coming out on the wrong end of an insufficient 2-0 defeat at the hands of Tooting & Mitcham United. Within four minutes, the first opportunity fell to the hosts’ Chace O’Neill who dragged his shot wide across goal from the inside left. Keir Dickson’s free-kick, deep in the final third, dropped to Sean Cronin at the back-post who headed across goal but couldn’t find the target for the visitors five minutes later.
With neither side finding real momentum, the tables were soon turned in the 20th minute. O’Neill latched onto possession from the inside left and unleashed a 30-yard swerving effort into the top corner, for the opening goal. 14 minutes on and Peter Wedgeworth’s free-kick from the right curled just over the bar. Three minutes before the break, it could have been double-trouble for The Blues. O’Neill let loose a left-footed strike from afar, and it took an inspired clawing stop from Shane Gore to keep the score down.
A minute after the restart, Ola Williams’ cross from the right dropped to Reece Beckles-Richards inside the box, whose clipped attempt was tipped away from the top corner by Matte Pierson. With the clock reaching 55 minutes, Keith Rowland’s side were 2-0 down. The Terrors countered with O’Neill’s shot from the left deflecting past Gore and bobbling over the line.
Pierson dived to his right to keep out Cronin’s effort from outside the box in the 63rd minute. Two minutes on and Marc Charles-Smith saw his shot on the turn stopped. Charles-Smith chested and volleyed goalwards from near the right byline, only for Pierson to deny a route back into the game with 15 minutes to go. Danny Bassett raced through on goal in the 80thminute and looked to place into the bottom corner from the left, but saw Gore make a stop with his feet. Deep in the fourth minute of stoppage-time, Mike Dixon dribbled towards goal before toe-poking wide.
Report by Khalid Karimullah