Derby defeat means it’s been a Blue Christmas for Wingate & Finchley

Wingate & Finchley suffered their second successive home defeat after Enfield Town came from behind and struck a late winner in Tuesday night’s derby clash.

The Blues were only four points off the top in the Ryman League Premier Division as they headed into the Christmas period, only to suffer two losses at the Harry Abrahams Stadium in the space of four days.

Simon Lane’s side went down 3-1 against bottom-half outfit Metropolitan Police on Boxing Day and then suffered a 2-1 reverse against Enfield.

Billy Healey put Wingate ahead in the 37th minute and the hosts led at half-time, but Bobby Devyne levelled shortly before the hour-mark and Claudio Vilcu struck a decisive goal in the 90th minute.

It leaves the Blues in seventh place, seven points off the top and three outside the play-off spots.

Striker Rob Laney said: “Straight from the off you could tell it was a local derby with tackles going in. We got ourselves into some good positions in the first half and did go 1-0 up but they had their chances as well and it was end-to-end stuff.

“We had a great team talk at half-time and were instructed to keep working hard but I think we fell off a bit in the second half. I think they came out and wanted it that little bit more than us and we were sorry to see two goals go in.

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“If you look at the two goals, you can say they were avoidable but it’s not just the back three or four, it’s us as a whole unit. We stopped winning the ball up the pitch and the second balls. We’ve got to be a bit more resilient defensively, as a team, but also more clinical in front of goal when we’re attacking.”

Enfield have now done the double over Wingate, having won the reverse fixture 2-0 in September – but the Blues can gain revenge when the sides meet again in the Ryman League Cup quarter-final on Tuesday.

Before that, Lane’s side have another derby showdown on Saturday as they visit Hendon, who were play-off finalists in May but are struggling this season and find themselves in the bottom six places.