Search

True Blue: A Wingate & Finchley fan’s view of the climax to the relegation battle

11:24 22 April 2014

The Ham&High

The Ham&High's Wingate & Finchley blogger Simon Swingler

Archant

Wingate & Finchley blogger Simon Swingler reflects on the Blues’ fortunes over the Easter weekend and looks ahead to a pivotal weekend in the Ryman League Premier Division.

Wingate & Finchley entered the Easter period inside the relegation zone due to an inferior goal difference, and we faced two tough games in three days against local rivals and fellow relegation candidates Enfield Town before an away trip to one of the Ryman League’s more remote outposts at Leiston in Suffolk.

Because our survival is no longer in our hands, conceivably we could have lost both games and remained no worse off than when we started. On the other hand, we could have won both matches and still remained in the relegation zone. All we could do was attempt to gain as many points as possible and pray to the footballing gods that East Thurrock came unstuck.

As the lucky sandwich looked on, making its sixth appearance of the season, the Blue Gods battled to a 1-1 draw at home against Enfield Town on Saturday in a tense yet entertaining derby encounter, while East Thurrock also secured a point to maintain the status quo at the foot of the table.

Just like the previous Saturday, when we succumbed at Bognor Regis Town, this felt like a missed opportunity to register all three points - especially when Enfield Town’s custodian Noel Imber was unfortunately stretchered off with a suspected dislocated shoulder and replaced with an outfield player as the visitors had not named another goalkeeper on the bench.

The Enfield back line protected their new keeper very well and restricted us to a few efforts from range and eventually plundered a goal for themselves.

Wingate hit back almost immediately when the stand-in keeper was finally tested and, fortunately from our perspective, he was found wanting as a Josh Kennet drive whistled past his outstretched hand and into the net.

At this point the Summers Lane faithful were baying for the Blue Gods to press on and secure the three points that could make all the difference come the end of the season.

However, shortly afterwards, captain Marc Weatherstone was sent off for a soft second yellow card and both sides seemed to settle for a point – although Ahmet Rifat had a last-gasp effort that was unfortunately blocked by the face of the brave keeper.

Monday’s trip to Leiston was difficult for many of our regular away followers to reach, due to the sheer distance and other commitments.

I personally could not attend the match, but I have spoken to those who did travel and apparently Wingate put in a decent performance against a lacklustre Leiston side, eventually winning 2-0 with goals from Rifat and Leon Fisher.

Unfortunately East Thurrock made the most of Enfield’s goalkeeping woes and triumphed 5-3.

The mathematics surrounding the final game of the season on Saturday are quite chilling in their simplicity - we need to better East Thurrock’s result to save ourselves from relegation.

We are at home against Billericay, who are a very good team, so gaining a positive result will not be easy.

Meanwhile, East Thurrock face Bognor Regis Town, who will be hopefully going hell for leather as they attempt to secure second spot and the top play-off spot.

I urge anybody who is reading this to please come down to the ground on Saturday and support the boys - they need you more than ever!

Follow me on twitter @jmascis666

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Sport Stories

Michel Vorm

Michel Vorm is hoping to keep his place for the second leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final on Wednesday and make amends for his costly late howler in Saturday’s FA Cup defeat against Leicester.

Saturday, January 24, 2015
Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Mauricio Pochettino defended his rotation policy after Tottenham fell to a 2-1 defeat at home to Leicester City in the FA Cup fourth round.

Federico Fazio leaps above Leicester City's Leonardo Ulloa, who scored against Spurs for the second game in a row

Tottenham were stunned by a late comeback as Premier League basement boys Leicester City struck twice in the final six minutes to knock them out of the FA Cup at White Hart Lane.

Friday, January 23, 2015
Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino has urged his players to focus on Tottenham’s objectives rather than their own futures as the end of the January transfer window approaches.

Most read sport

Press Association figures reveal the extensive use of new domestic violence laws.

It’s easy to lose sight of how beautiful London is when you’re crammed into a commuter train. Let these flying Instagram users take you on a bird’s eye tour of London.

People have pretty good memories when it comes to the outstanding performance of a tub of lard on HIGNFY.

The UN ambassador unveiled IMPACT10X10X10, a new initiative to end gender inequality as part of the HeForShe campaign.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder