Rowland ready for his Wingate & Finchley to upset the applecart after Folkestone success

17:15 15 February 2017

Wingate & Finchley manager Keith Rowland. Picture: MARTIN ADDISON

Wingate & Finchley manager Keith Rowland. Picture: MARTIN ADDISON


Keith Rowland is looking for his Wingate & Finchley team to upset a few in the Ryman League Premier Division – and if that means a place in the play-offs then so be it.

A 3-2 win on Tuesday night at home to Folkestone Invicta ended a run of three successive defeats, the last of which was a 1-0 reverse at Needham Market who lie second.

But the win lifts the Blues up to sixth in the division, just one place below the play-offs and Rowland knows his side can still rock the boat for some of the bigger clubs in the league, staring this Saturday with a home game against league leaders Bognor Regis Town.

The Wingate manager said: “The chairman may not thank me for this but Wingate as a football club is a low budget club. We’re working off a tough budget which realistically would put us down there but we’re doing ok.

“I went to Needham Market not expecting a great deal and as a fact we didn’t get much out of it. But we came away knowing we were the best team on the pitch, put it that way. They were very lucky.

“I wanted to get something [against Folkestone] so on Saturday we can go and have a go at it. Why not? We’re sixth in the league and have a few games in hand.

“All I want them to do from now until the end of the season is scare a few at the top and scare a few the bottom because there are a lot of envious eyes looking at us. There’s a lot of teams at the bottom would swap places with us in a shot.

“We’re up there so why can’t we go into every game and enjoy it but at the same time remember that work ethic we had in January and keep doing it.

“Keep that emphasis on working hard and we can upset a few and also put the sword into some at the bottom.”

Tuesday’s win put the Blues fans on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

After a goalless first-half Wingate took the lead six minutes after the restart when Steve Wales diverted a Rob Laney effort in at the back post.

The game then fluctuated back and forth with both sides having chances and both keepers called into making good saves.

But there was nothing Shane Gore in the Wingate net could do to stop Ian Draycott equalising on 68 minutes or from putting Invicta ahead 11 minutes later.

But just as Wingate were staring a fourth straight defeat in the face, they produced a stunning comeback.

Reece Beckles-Richards equalised with 5 minutes left, hooking the ball over his shoulder from close range, and two minutes later Laney pounced to seal the success.

Rowland said: “I’m just pleased we came back. I really did believe at 2-1 we would have a chance and then after that, you never know.”


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