Bostik Premier: Wingate & Finchley’s Marc Charles-Smith happy to end long goal drought and will now try and sink the Fleet!
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
The Blues are full of confidence heading into Saturday’s encounter at Thurrock before entertaining Tooting & Mitcham United on Tuesday
A good team performance saw Wingate & Finchley beat in-form Folkestone Invicta in the Bostik Premier last weekend with Marc Charles-Smith scoring what would turn out to be the winner.
Before the two clubs did battle at the Maurice Rebak Stadium, the away side had won their previous eight matches in the division while Keith Rowland’s Blues were still looking to hit top gear after a stuttering start to the campaign.
The form guide was turned on its head, however, with Wingate claiming a 2-1 home victory over their top-five opponents.
Afolabi Obafemi opened the scoring after four minutes before Charles-Smith netted in the 53rd minute – his first goal for the club since August 15.
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Claudiu Vilcu did put past his own goalkeeper Shane Gore eight minutes from time, but the Blues held on to claim a deserved win and move into the top-10.
Charles-Smith spoke to Wingate TV after the match, he said: “It was a good team performance. We knew it would be hard because of where they were in the league.
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“You could see how they played, they’re a very attacking team, so it was pleasing we all stuck at it and got the three points.”
The former Harrow Borough forward was also pleased to end his long drought without a goal.
Obafemi put Wingate one up when he converted Rob Laney’s cross, but the Blues had to be content with a 1-0 advantage at half time.
But it didn’t take them long to go further ahead after the restart with Charles-Smith firing home after his initial effort had been blocked by an Invicta defender.
He added: “I took a shot and after the deflection it sat up nicely for me and I was able to slot it in.
“It has been a very long time since I scored, so it was nice to score again.”
Wingate welcomed Hanwell Town, of the Evo-Stik League South East, to the Maurice Rebak Stadium on Wednesday night for a Middlesex Senior Charity Cup first round tie and ran out 3-0 winners.
Goals from Ned Clark, Ben Pattie and Antoine Akinola saw Rowland’s men make it through comfortably.
The immediate target for the Blues now is to try and move closer to the play-off positions and they’ll have two opportunities to do that over the next week.
On Saturday, Wingate make the trip to Ship Lane to take on lowly Thurrock, who came up from the Bostik North last season.
After that fixture, the Blues will entertain 23rd-placed Tooting & Mitcham United next Tuesday (December 12).
Meanwhile, in October Wingate were approached by the Bostik League on behalf of the Royal Air Force’s Kit Donation appeal, and they were happy to donate a number of kits from recent seasons to their cause.
The first of their kits is now being utilised by a team in Jamaica from a place called Hand to Mouth for underprivileged youngsters. It was delivered by the RAF Shawbury photographer, Ian Forshaw.