Barney brace helps Wingate & Finchley to bounce back and overcome Grays Athletic

Lee Barney struck twice, including an 80th-minute winner, as Wingate & Finchley bounced back from an FA Trophy defeat to beat Grays Athletic 3-2 in the Ryman League Premier Division.

The Blues fell at the first hurdle in the Trophy on Saturday with a 2-0 home defeat against Royston Town in the first qualifying round.

That left Simon Lane’s side with just one win from five games in all competitions – but they arrested that run on Tuesday night, leapfrogging Grays and moving up to eighth place in the table.

Athletic’s Bradley Fortnum-Tomlinson saw a shot tipped onto the bar before giving the away team the lead in the 16th minute, but Barney levelled nine minutes later, latching onto Karl Oliyide’s flick and sliding the ball under the keeper.

Wingate went on to take the lead before the break, with Alfie Bartram drawing the defenders with a jinking run and finding Rob Laney, who scored via the post with a fine finish from the edge of the box.

Roman Michael-Percil made it 2-2 just before the hour-mark, but with 10 minutes left Oliyide broke to leave Wingate three on one and Barney applied the finish, while a goal-line clearance from Leon Solomon denied Grays a late leveller.