Wingate & Finchley miss chance to take second spot but win nine-goal cup thriller

Wingate & Finchley missed the chance to go second in the Ryman League Premier Division on Saturday after conceding an 88th-minute equaliser away at East Thurrock.

Karl Oliyide put the Blues ahead in the 34th minute and home goalkeeper Lukas Lidakevicius made a remarkable double save from Alfie Bartram and Lee Barney in the second half.

But Thurrock stayed in the game and Tom Wraight eventually levelled in the final moments with a free header, stopping Simon Lane’s visitors from leaping three places up the table into the top two.

Wingate right-back Mark Goodman said: “It’s very frustrating. We’ve got a goal, and a well-deserved one as well. They were difficult conditions – the pitch was bobbly, it was a little bit windy. But to be 1-0 up and hold that, and then in the 88th minute to concede a goal and draw 1-1, it’s something we’re disappointed with.

“But at a later point it might be something that we look upon as a good point. It’s a tough game. I’ve come to East Thurrock before and it’s a tough ground, a tough place to play and pick up points. They’re normally quite a solid team. Especially towards the latter end of the season we might reflect on this and see it as a good point.”

Wingate went on to beat Grays Athletic 5-4 in the Ryman League Cup on Tuesday night with two goals apiece from Goodman and Billy Healey and one from Lee Barney.

Meanwhile, Hendon suffered a seventh straight defeat in all competitions on Saturday, losing 3-1 away against Tonbridge Angels as they took a step closer to the relegation zone.

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