Bostik Premier: Wingate & Finchley 2 Enfield Town 1
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Wingate and Finchley edged out Enfield Town in a hard fought encounter at the Harry Abrahams Stadium to extend their unbeaten run to eight matches on Tuesday night.
The visitors enjoyed plenty of possession but it was Wingate who wore more clinical and looked solid throughout.
The first effort came from Enfield’s Jack Higgs, but his free-kick sailed over the crossbar, then Rob Laney was played through on goal for Wingate but volleyed wide from inside the area.
It was a wet evening, with players from both sides slipping early on, but Reece Beckles-Richards for Wingate broke clear only to see his shot blocked.
There was a chance for Enfield shortly after with Sam Youngs volleying wide from a deflected cross.
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And Beckles-Richards then broke clear down the right after a through pass was not cut out and drilled a low effort past the keeper to put Wingate ahead on 18 minutes.
Enfield’s Ryan Blake had a dangerous cross-shot parried wide after breaking clear down the right but Taylor M’Kenzie had to be replaced by Darren Purse after going down injured.
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Wingate’s Spencer McCall then cynically fouled Higgs who was breaking away and was booked, while Youngs was flagged offside for the visitors as he looked to be played in on the left.
There was some early pressure in the second half from Enfield as they searched for an equaliser.
The visitors enjoyed plenty of the ball, but were then were caught on the break as Wingate countered through Laney who was brought down in the box for a penalty, which was calmly dispatched by Sean Cronin for a 2-0 lead.
Despite Enfield’s possession Wingate looked comfortable and now had a two-goal lead to hold on to, although Beckles-Richards was booked for a deliberate handball.
Wingate continued to look comfortable as Enfield were mainly looking to go long to Blake, who seized on a lose ball that deflected into the box but saw his shot deflected wide.
Afolabi Obafemi then came on for Ben Pattie for Wingate and George Beattie came on for Ryan Blackman for Enfield, but the pattern was still remaining the same for the last 20 minutes with Wingate not looking to get forward much.
Enfield won a free-kick and the ball found its way to Higgs on the bounce, after a good delivery was not cleared, and he volleyed brilliantly into the top corner from 20 yards to set up a tense final 15 minutes.
The visitors were winning a lot of free-kicks in Wingate’s half and the delivery of Youngs was starting to cause problems for the hosts, as seen with the goal.
There was more urgency for Wingate to get foward now and they began to push down the left, with Beckles-Richards going clear before overhitting a pass.
Enfield broke to win another free kick, but the effort was well over the crossbar, and Youngs curled another attempt just wide as Wingate held on in the final minutes for the points ahead of their FA Cup second qualifying round tie at Hemel Hempstead Town on Saturday.
Wingate: Gore, Williams, Mavila, Kizzi, Cronin, Rifat, Pattie (Obafemi), McCall, Charles-Smith (Sharpe), Beckles-Richards, Laney. Unused subs: Lucan, Vanderhyde, Akinola.