True Blue: A Wingate & Finchley fan’s view of the victory over AFC Hornchurch
PUBLISHED: 13:59 01 September 2014 | UPDATED: 13:59 01 September 2014
The Ham&High’s Wingate & Finchley blogger Simon Swingler looks back on Saturday’s 1-0 home win over AFC Hornchurch, which left the Blues third in the Ryman League Premier Division.
My pre-match routine usually involves a quick visit to one of the many gambling establishments located on Finchley High Road, usually to concoct a coupon-busting accumulator that is perennially let down by one team failing to win a game that should have been a walk in the park.
Naturally, I always check out the odds for the Ryman Premier League fixtures as allegedly I should have more than a passing familiarity with the teams - and one thing that has struck me over the past couple of weeks is that suddenly Wingate & Finchley are becoming favourites to win games, even away from home. That feels completely alien to me!
However, you can see the reasoning from the bookmakers’ point of view. On Saturday, Wingate were the home side on a great run of form facing a side in Hornchurch outfit who had yet to register a single win in their opening six games thus far this season.
Yet despite these stats, I was my usual pessimistic self heading into the game.
One thing was apparent from the weekend’s game. As I suspected, Hornchurch are quite a lot better than their league position suggests and will undoubtedly start climbing the table very soon.
The visitors probably edged the first half but found themselves a goal down thanks to a fantastic finish from the in-form Karl Oliyidi.
Marc Weatherstone received the ball deep in his own half, he found Tommy Tejan-Sie, who played a wonderful ball into the space behind the Hornchurch’s right-back - and Karl Oliyidi hit the afterburners to reach the ball first and lift it over the onrushing keeper into the net.
Although Hornchurch had over 70 minutes left to get back into the game, their efforts were repelled by our increasingly impressive back four and the ever-reliable Bobby Smith behind them.
The Blue Gods were not without their chances and prolific scorer David Knight was unlucky in the extreme to see his header cannon back of the crossbar with the keeper stranded.
Our fourth consecutive victory sees us hit the heady heights of third place, but the way I look at it, we are 13 points above the relegation zone and about 34 points away from securing enough points to preserve our Ryman Premier League status for another year. Am I a glass half empty sort of a guy? Always!
Our next game is tomorrow night (Tuesday), away at newly-promoted Witham Town, who have only lost one of their opening seven games.
I think if we leave Essex with a single point it would be a more than decent result.
Follow me on Twitter @jmascis666