Search

True Blue: A Wingate & Finchley fan’s view of the club’s heartbreaking relegation

11:48 28 April 2014

The Ham&High

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

Archant

The Ham&High’s Wingate & Finchley blogger Simon Swingler looks back on a devastating day as the Blues beat Billericay Town 5-0 at home but were still relegated from the Ryman League Premier Division.

Despite giving ourselves a wonderful chance of avoiding the drop with two consecutive wins in our last two matches, Wingate & Finchley eventually succumbed to gravity and have been relegated to the eighth tier of English football, ending our three-year stay in the Ryman League Premier Division.

The mathematics going into the game were a little complicated but, basically, there were three ways we could possibly maintain our status.

a) Better the result of East Thurrock, who were at home against second-placed Bognor Regis Town.

b) Win and hope that Enfield lost - they were away at bottom side Cray Wanderers.

c) Because of the weird and wonderful way non-league football can work, we also could have conceivably stayed up if Worksop beat Frickley in the Northern Premier League.

The Blue Gods started the game like a train and in the 14th minute Ahmet Rifat opened the scoring when his shot was deflected by former Wingate man Ryan Scott, leaving the Billericay keeper helpless as the ball nestled in the net. The goal celebrations on and off the pitch were epic.

Three minutes later it was ‘grab a stranger’ time on the terraces again when a half- cleared ball fell to Leon Fisher at the edge of the box, and he duly toe-poked the ball home.

All three other results were going our way and the ground was buzzing with an above- average attendance of 228 people willing Wingate on.

I’ve had some previous experience of dealing with the footballing gods and knew that something wasn’t quite right. Everything was going too well, and so it transpired. Just before half-time, East Thurrock reduced their deficit against Bognor Regis to a single goal and we went in at half-time still sitting pretty but extremely nervous.

Three minutes after the break, Rifat was at it again as he headed past the keeper for our third goal following a Josh Kennet corner.

However, slowly and one by one, all our avenues of escape were closed as East Thurrock plundered another three goals against Bognor, Enfield drew level and then went ahead against Cray, and Frickley went 3-1 up against Worksop.

By the time Scotty Shulton had made it 4-0 in our game, the mood on the terraces was extremely subdued and the goal was barely met with more than a ripple of applause.

The icing on the cake from a wonderful performance saw Rifat complete his hat-trick when he finished well following a deflected shot from Nipper Read that fell into his path.

There was a touching moment at the final whistle when both supporters and players alike, obviously devastated, shared a moment of mutual respect before the players trudged off to the changing rooms and the supporters headed to the bar to drown their sorrows.

Finally, I would like to thank the Ham&High for allowing me to write this blog throughout this season and boost the profile of Wingate & Finchley Football Club in the local community.

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 Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

12:01
Paul Weekes of Hornsey CC

Hornsey batsman Chetan Patel believes the appointment of Paul Weekes as captain is a huge boost to their promotion prospects.

12:00
Tottenham's Erik Lamela (left) and Arsenal's Hector Bellerin battle for the ball during the 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane in March

Tottenham blogger David Lee says it is important for Spurs to finish above north London arch-rivals Arsenal after their title dream was ended by Chelsea.

Brondesbury captain Adam Wilson (left) presents overseas signing Glenn Phillips with his shirt. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Captain Adam Wilson hopes Brondesbury can pick up where they left off last season and win promotion this time, having fallen short last campaign.

10:01
Highgate celebrate after clinching promotion from Middlesex County League Division Three last season. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Highgate are readying themselves for new challenges after going through last season unbeaten as they cruised to the Division Three championship.

09:01
North London CC captain Sam Bardon

North London’s new captain Sam Bardon is hoping his side can pick up where they left off at the end of last season.

South Hampstead's new captain Leroy Shepherd. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Leroy Shepherd has taken over the captaincy at South Hampstead as the Milverton Road side prepare for their curtain-raiser away against MTSSC on Saturday.

07:05
Middlesex batsman Stephen Eskinazi. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Stephen Eskinazi’s route to Lord’s has certainly been a roundabout one – but now the South African-born Australian-raised Englishman is right where he wants to be.

Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris

Captain Hugo Lloris says he has always been confident he would play for Tottenham in the Champions League – and he has credited head coach Mauricio Pochettino for the club’s success this season.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe