Blues secure more success following second-half Beckles-Richards strike

Reece Beccles-Richards of Wingate & Finchley (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Reece Beccles-Richards of Wingate & Finchley (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo). - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Bostik Premier: Burgess Hill Town 0 Wingate & Finchley 1

Wingate & Finchley’s new era under Nicky Shorey continued in fine style with a 1-0 win away in the Bostik Premier away to bottom of the table Burgess Hill Town.

The visitors were on top for much of the first half, but had to dig deep after going ahead early in the second period thanks to Reece Beckles-Richards’ smart 50th-minute finish which ultimately proved the difference between the sides in West Sussex.

The hosts should have taken the lead after four minutes, but David Castanho couldn’t place his effort either side of Shane Gore after being left unmarked on the edge of the six-yard area.

Gore was needed again six minutes later, saving well low down from Gary Charman and the visitors’ first chance came courtesy of Rob Laney, who arrived at the back post to meet a David Manu cross, but headed just wide.

Another great cross from Manu, 10 minutes later, was met by Tim Monsheju, who headed over. Manu had an effort himself on 20 minutes, after a smart through ball from Scott Shulton, but his powerful shot was well saved by Josh James.

The closest either side came in the first half was when Beckles-Richards struck the post with an effort from the edge of the box and Laney could only fire the ball straight at James on the rebound.

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The second period saw an injured Manu replaced by Saturday’s hero Marc Charles-Smith and the substitute made an instant impact.

He chased down James’ kick, diverting the ball towards Beckles-Richards, who steered home an effort first time from the edge of the box - notching his first league goal of the campaign.

Charles-Smith almost had his second goal in as many games minutes later, but saw his glancing header ruled out for offside, in what seemed a tight call.

A flowing Blues move nearly saw Shulton break his duck for the season, but his effort was blocked after a smart Charles-Smith flick found the midfielder’s darting run.

Tom Cadman put two free kicks into the stands for the hosts before they threw the kitchen sink at Gore’s goal, but it was to no avail as Shorey’s side kept the door closed.

Two wins, two goals, two clean sheets and six points this week under the new manager leave the Blues just four points off a play-off spot.