True Blue: A Wingate & Finchley fan’s view of the draw with Daventry Town
The Ham&High’s Wingate & Finchley blogger Simon Swingler gives his verdict on Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home against Daventry Town in the second qualifying round of the FA Trophy.
Our reward for our superb performance in the previous round of the FA Trophy, where we disposed of much-fancied Hitchin Town via a replay, was a home tie against Daventry Town in the second qualifying round on Saturday.
Daventry currently ply their trade in the Midland Division, equivalent of the league below our own. However, they can be found happily riding high at the top of their division, having only lost a single game all season.
In addition, the calibre of the players named within their squad left us under no illusions as to just how hard the weekend’s game was going to be.
Our visitors have also managed to battle their way through to the first round proper of the FA Cup, where they will travel to Chesterfield next Saturday - a fact that we hoped would distract them sufficiently to allow us to take full advantage.
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The game in was fairly even in its initial stages, with the Daventry No5 standing out as a player of some composure and distinction.
The best chance of the opening quarter fell to Spencer McCall, who curled a delightful free-kick over the wall and seemingly into the back of the net.
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The Town keeper made an acrobatic save, although there was more than a hint of suspicion that the ball was already behind the line - but from my personal vantage point it was impossible to tell.
Wingate began to take at least partial control of the match and were regularly enjoying forays into the opposition’s final third.
One such attack saw David Laird loop a lovely header over the stranded goalkeeper, only to see his effort cleared off the line by a covering defender.
The home side eventually made the breakthrough when towering central defender Jasper Owen opened his account for the club, toe-poking home following a massive goalmouth scramble after an inswinging corner.
The Blue Gods appeared to be coasting to another well-deserved victory, with Daventry offering very little as an attacking force - until deep into injury-time when visiting striker Scott Cross bundled home at the far post to force a replay.
There were some grumblings from the fans that the amount of injury-time played – seven minutes - was not in proportion to the amount of stoppages during the second half.
Our custodian Bobby Smith was certainly upset, and he received a red card for his protests after the final whistle had sounded.
At the end of the day, though, we failed to kill the game off and to quote an old football adage – “A one-goal lead is no lead at all.”
Having triumphed away at Hitchin in a replay in the last round, hopefully we can repeat those heroics when we travel to Daventry tomorrow night (Tuesday).
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