W&F 2-1 Haringey Borough
Ben Pattie’s last-gasp brace saw Wingate and Finchley through to the Bostik Development League Cup semi-finals with a 2-1 win over Haringey Borough.
Any win would have seen the Blues qualify, but they made hard work of it as they went behind to Ross Dedman’s flick after a goalless first half.
But two moments of brilliance from Pattie in the 84th and 94th minute saw the Blues qualify for the semis on the night, at the expense of their opponents and third group member Greenwich Borough.
Wingate must wait to discover their opponents, with multiple teams still yet to qualify.
It was the goalkeepers making the headlines in the early stages. Oscar Pulpito contrived to give away an indirect free-kick in his own box which saw Pattie’s shot blocked by a wall of players.
Pulpito then punched a cross straight at Ricardo Price’s feet but was fortunate to see the striker’s snapshot fly wide of the post. At the other end, a far more composed Reuben Rabstein pulled off a David-De-Gea-esque tip over the bar from Quba Gordon’s point-blank header.
And Rabstein, who leads Wingate U23s in appearances this season, was again perfectly placed to palm Djovan Carvalho’s angled shot over the bar and keep the game goalless at half-time.
The closest Wingate came to opening the scoring came when Pattie’s delightful 25-yard free-kick clattered back off the crossbar eight minutes after the restart. But Haringey took the lead from a quick free-kick, driven in low and flicked in at the near post by captain Ross Dedman with 67 minutes on the clock.
The Blues pushed for an equaliser and were almost caught out on the break, but Rabstein used his feet to block Carvalho’s shot.
And the goalkeeper’s excellent performance was to pay dividends when his long free-kick was flicked on to Pattie, who was able to poke the ball past Pulpito to pull Wingate level with five minutes left.
The momentum swung back and forth between the sides as they both pushed for a winner but, in the dying seconds, Pattie collected a pass inside the box, cut onto his magical left foot and curled the winner into the top corner.
In truth, the game could have gone either way. As it is, the end result was a positive one for both sides and they may yet meet again in the competition.
Wingate and Finchley: Rabstein (GK), Conteh (Reynolds, 76), Saviano, Ebelebe, Mandeville, Clarke, Akinjogbin, Alfano, Melford-Rowe, Pattie (C), Price (Baker, 67)
Unused Subs: Boateng (GK), Armstrong, Ferguson