Wingate & Finchley: We let our guard down in Enfield defeat

Wingate & Finchley manager Simon Lane felt his players let their guard down as they fell to a 2-0 defeat away against 10-man Enfield Town on Monday night.

The Blues went into the weekend in impressive form, winning eight of their opening 10 games in all competitions. But, after a goalless draw at Leatherhead on Saturday, they were beaten two days later by an Enfield side who were a man down from the half-hour mark onwards.

“It’s very disappointing. I think when they went down to 10 men one or two of our guys thought it’d be easier than it was and of course in football you have to work every bit as hard when they go down to 10, and Enfield certainly worked extremely hard,” admitted Lane.

“We didn’t move the ball quick enough like we normally do. For the second goal we were pushing forward and we were left exposed.

“Our guys are bitterly disappointed, as I am, that we didn’t make a better fist of it on a day when there was so much for us to go after.”

Second-half goals from Claudiu Vilcu and substitute Bobby Devyne were enough to condemn Wingate to a first defeat in four games.

Vilcu capitalised on a lapse in concentration in the Wingate back-line to glance a header home, before top scorer Devyne calmly dinked the ball over Bobby Smith to seal victory for the hosts.

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Despite that, Lane remains proud of his side’s efforts to date this season, which sees them lying sixth in the table – just three points shy of the league leaders Grays Athletic.

He added: “It’s been a great start to the season and for a Wingate & Finchley team to be in a position to go top of the league tonight [Monday] is credit to what we’ve done up until this point.

“It’s equally as disappointing that we didn’t get there but we’ll keep working hard to try to maintain that level and of course the first priority had to be ensuring ourselves of safety.

“Fifty points is the target and once we’ve hit that we’ll see where we can go from there on in.”

Two days earlier Lane’s side drew a blank at Leatherhead, with the visitors disappointed not to come away from the game with maximum points.

The club’s top scorer Billy Healey went close on a few occasions to making a breakthrough, but they were forced to settle for a goalless draw.

Next up the Blues face Concord Rangers on Saturday in an FA Cup second-round qualifier – a game Lane knows will a stern test for his side.

“I feel confident I’ll get a response against Concord,” he said. “It’ll be a tough game, no question. It’s an FA Cup game and it’s all to go after. We’ll give it a good go.”