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Blues salvage point with last-gasp leveller at Gate

PUBLISHED: 13:00 10 December 2018

New Wingate & Finchley manager Glen Little on the touchline (pic: Martin Addison).

New Wingate & Finchley manager Glen Little on the touchline (pic: Martin Addison).

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Bostik Premier: Margate 2 Wingate & Finchley 2

Wingate & Finchley needed a 90th-minute equaliser from Loic Hernandez at Margate to extend their unbeaten run to five matches in all competitions.

Trailing 2-1 with time running out, the defender was the unlikely hero for the visitors when he managed to find the net in stoppage time to salvage a point.

Ahead of kick-off, the Blues announced record appearance holder Marc Weatherstone had joined Bostik Premier rivals Enfield Town.

The blow failed to affect Glen Little’s side at Hartsdown Park, however, as they took the lead in the eighth minute.

Reece Beckles-Richards whipped a corner in and Rob Laney got up to head home at the near post and make it 1-0.

On 16 minutes, Tom Murphy’s rocket from distance rebounded off the underside of the upright after the faintest of touches from Wingate stopper Gore.

Seven minutes on, Laney slipped Reece Mitchell down the right, whose cross found Lewis Putman, yet Jack Paxman made the block from a yard out.

The Gate levelled terms on 25 minutes, however, when a counter by the hosts from a corner - which Sean Cronin came close to doubling the north Londoners’ lead - saw Paxman break down the right and find Murphy, who slid in at the back-post.

Ten minutes on, Putman fed Beckles-Richards, whose delayed strike for the bottom left was kept out.

In the last meaningful chance of the half, Connor Dymond felt lucky three minutes on, whose menacing strike from afar evaded the upright.

Four minutes into the restart, Mitchell’s cross saw Lee Prescott block Cronin’s volley, then turn away Laney’s close-range strike.

Beckles-Richards recycled to Laney, who gifted Putman an opening to hit wayward six minutes on.

The home side took the lead on 59 minutes. Alex Flisher’s long throw was punched by Gore, yet the cross was returned for Ben Swift to guide in.

Laney came close on 65 minutes, as he curled across from the inside left which evaded the right post.

Two minutes later, Charlie Ruff’s curler beat Louis Wells from the inside left, yet hit the right post.

At the other end, Paxman’s one-two created an opening, only to power over on 82 minutes.

Charlie Cole hustled and picked out Laney - whose header looked destined to go in - until Wells pulled off an astonishing stop two minutes on.

Wingate grabbed an all-important equaliser in the 92nd minute. Debutant Ruff’s trickery and shot for the bottom right was palmed out, Cole floated it back in for Hernandez to rifle past Wells and ensure the Blues took their deserved point.

They are back in action on Tuesday when Harlow Town travel to the Maurice Rebak Stadium with Wingate seeking to move up from 17th position.

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