Bostik Premier: Wingate & Finchley look to put FA Trophy exit behind them at Margate

Wingate & Finchley manager Keith Rowland (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Wingate & Finchley manager Keith Rowland (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo). - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Blues make the trip to Kent this weekend to start a business run of games over festive period

Wingate & Finchley return to Bostik Premier action at Margate on Saturday as they begin a hectic fixture list over the festive period in earnest.

After making the trip to Kent this weekend, the Blues are back in action at home to Staines Town on Boxing Day.

Keith Rowland’s men are also at the Maurice Rebak Stadium on December 30 when they entertain Needham Market in their final game of 2017.

The north Londoners then begin 2018 with a short trip to local rivals Hendon on January 1, which brings the busy run to a close.

First up, though, is the trip to Margate on Saturday, where Wingate will look to overcome the disappointment of exiting the FA Trophy last weekend.

The Blues went down 1-0 at Wealdstone of the National League South in a game that was not exactly one for the purists.

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Both teams were largely restricted to efforts from outside the box on a wet afternoon at Grosvenor Vale.

After a goalless first half, the game’s only goal came early in the second half when Wingate defender Sean Cronin turned the ball into is own net against his former club.

Stones attacker Abo Eisa embarked on a mazy run down the left, before cutting into the box and passing the ball across the face of goal.

Cronin was the man unfortunate to get the telling touch which took it beyond keeper Shane Gore and into the net.

To their credit, the Blues did push on in an attempt to get an equaliser, with skipper Ahmet Rifat enjoying a fine battle with home keeper Jonathan North.

However, there proved to be no way back for Rowland’s charges as they lost in the first round of the FA Trophy against Wealdstone for the second season in a row.

The cup exit does mean, though, that Wingate can now focus on the league campaign, with the Blues currently seven points outside of the play-off places.

A win against Margate on Saturday, who are currently three places and six points better off than the Maurice Rebak Stadium side, could see them cut the gap to the top six in the league.