September 23 2014 Latest news:
By Simon Swingler
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
The Ham&High’s Wingate & Finchley blogger Simon Swingler looks back on yesterday’s 3-2 win at north London rivals Enfield Town, which left the Blues fourth in the Ryman League table.
In north London we have the big derby between Arsenal and Tottenham, an occasion I have attended many times at Highbury, The Emirates Stadium and White Hart Lane.
And, although obviously a game between Enfield Town and Wingate & Finchley isn’t quite as intense, there is still a lot riding on these games and the victorious fans still go back into work with an extra spring in their step.
I don’t personally work with any Enfield Town fans but the lads around the office - many of whom have never attended a non-league match - all congratulated me this morning after yesterday’s 3-2 away win.
The game kicked off in torrential rain which probably hampered the attendance of many people. As a result, the crowd was officially announced at 305. I imagine if it had been a nice sunny day then another 100 to 150 people may have been added to that figure.
Our opening goal came when Karl Oliyidi hurdled what seemed liked endless challenges, staying on his feet despite being impeded at least twice and exchanged a one-two with Rob Laney before slotting home to send fans slipping and sliding everywhere in celebration.
The Blue Gods doubled their lead when the ever-impressive Royanne Marsh-Brown centered for James Kolaczi, who netted with a smart finish.
Unfortunately Marsh-Brown was injured in the build-up to the second goal and was replaced by Paul Wright – but we were handed a ‘bonus’ goal right at the end of the first half.
David Knight bore down on goal at an acute angle and his attempt was palmed across the six-yard box by the goalkeeper, ricocheting off a covering Enfield defender into the path of the lurking Laney, who gleefully smacked the ball home to put us 3-0 up at the interval.
As the second half started, the general consensus among the fans was that it was imperative we didn’t concede early in the second half.
However, the period was still in its infancy when Wrighty scythed down the Enfield winger in a dangerous position – and, from the resulting set piece, Cousins was able to pull a goal back for hosts.
For whatever reason, The Blue Gods couldn’t string two passes together and it was one-way traffic as Enfield dominated the game.
However, by hook or by crook, we thwarted their attempts to regain a foothold in the game until the 77th minute when, once again, Cousins netted following a rebound off the woodwork.
As the game neared its death throes, I literally had to go behind the structure at the end of the goal we were attacking as I just couldn’t watch.
I caught fellow fan Will doing exactly the same thing. We both stood there staring at the corrugated iron wall listening to the crowd noise for clues as to the events that were occurring only a few meters in front of us.
I only dared to venture from my hiding place on two occasions. Once was to see Kieron Street steam into a tackle which was construed to have been a two-footed lunge, subsequently getting a red card.
On the second occasion I heard the Wingate fans get a little more excited than normal and peered around the corner to see Scott Shulton steaming towards goal. He checked back and passed the ball to Ahmet Rifat, who somehow contrived to miss an open goal.
A fantastic save from Bobby Smith at the death saw off the final effort from Enfield and, for the second consecutive year, we left Donkey Lane with all three points.
Having been relegated and then given a reprieve last season, an astonishing start to this campaign means we are now sitting pretty in fourth place.
But, if you were wondering whether the fans are getting carried away, you only needed to talk to us after Monday’s win. “Thirty-seven points from safety” was the quote that summed up our collective feeling most succinctly.
Follow me on Twitter @jmascis666