True Blue: A Wingate & Finchley fan’s view of the defeat at Leiston
PUBLISHED: 11:59 24 November 2014
The Ham&High’s Wingate & Finchley blogger Simon Swingler looks back on Saturday’s trip to Suffolk and the 2-0 defeat away against promotion challengers Leiston.
Eager to build on our recent good run which has produced four points from the previous two games, the Blue Gods made the long trek to Leiston in Suffolk, which is one of the Ryman League’s more remote outposts.
On the opening day of the season Leiston left Summers Lane with three points following a scintillating clash that saw Wingate miss out to the odd goal in seven.
Since then, both sides have enjoyed unprecedented good starts to the season, with our hosts on Saturday sitting pretty in the play-off places and ourselves just behind.
Leiston is a notoriously tough place to visit. I don’t know if that is due to the distance teams have to travel to get there, or the fact that when I have visited on previous occasions the pitch is probably more suited to the hosts than the visitors.
Either way, Leiston’s home record is usually pretty decent and the foundation upon which they have built their solid seasons since being promoted to the Ryman Premier League back in 2012.
Unfortunately it was a depleted Blues squad that travelled up to Suffolk, with Kieron Street and Karl Oliyide still missing due to injury and leading scorer David Knight serving a one-match suspension. Other players who were unavailable included striker Nico Muir.
Wingate started the game quite slowly and were instantly on the back foot as the home side dictated the tempo of the game, coming to terms with the less-than-hospitable conditions quicker than us.
We didn’t look entirely convincing defensively in open play but we always seemed to be able to withstand the onslaught, by hook or by crook.
Unfortunately, from the many set pieces caused by this rearguard action, Leiston were able to plunder two goals. Both corners were taken by Conor Hubble, being converted by the Leiston centre-backs Joe Jefford and Adam Tann.
At the other end we were sorely missing the focal point that the suspended Knight provides. His usual strike partner Rob Laney possesses extraordinary work-rate but was missing having Knight alongside him.
With all of our injuries and suspensions, the options available to Danny Nielsen were slightly more limited than normal. And, although he did try to shuffle his pack with the introductions of Harold Joesph and Dan Udoh, their impact was minimal as Leiston coasted to the three points.
Our next game sees us back at The Abrahams Stadium, Summers Lane, Finchley, N12 0PD to face Hampton & Richmond Borough on Saturday.
We beat them 4-1 earlier in the season, but they have since seen an upturn in their fortunes and beat league leaders Margate on Saturday.
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