Records tumble but Wingate & Finchley want more

Wingate & Finchley will finish the season with a record number of points and a highest-ever league f

Wingate & Finchley will finish the season with a record number of points and a highest-ever league finish. - Credit: Archant

Wingate & Finchley will finish this season with their highest points tally and highest ever league placing after a 2-0 win at Merstham – but have set their sights on an even greater prize.

Their three-game losing streak in March looks to be all but forgotten after this second successive win in the Ryman League Premier Division.

Claudiu Vilcu’s first league goal for the club gave Keith Rowland’s men an early lead which Luke Ifil doubled midway through the second half.

And it means they go into the final three games of the season locked in an eight-team royal rumble for the last three playoff spots.

Just five points separate Leiston in third from Billericay Town in 10th.

Merstham’s Yannick Makeise was the busier of both goalkeepers over 90 minutes on Saturday and he did well to parry Reece Beckles-Richards’ stinging shot over the bar after the first eight minutes.

But from the resulting corner, the stooping frame of Vilcu diverted the ball in with his head to give Wingate the lead.

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Makeise produced an even better save shortly after, somehow turning Tommy Tejan-Sie’s close range shot away from goal to keep the game at 1-0 heading into the break.

Strong claims for a second-half penalty were waved away by the referee when Beckles-Richards appeared to be hauled down but with 20 minutes to go, they doubled the lead when Ifil sent a shot flying past Makeise into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Steve Wales might have made it three but, clean through on goal after dispossessing Merstham’s last man, he contrived to put his lob well over the bar.

And with seconds left Ola Williams dragged a shot wide of Makeise’s goal.

Next up for the Blues is another mid-table side in the shape of Worthing who visit the Maurice Rebak Stadium on Saturday.

That is followed by a trip to Staines Town on Easter Monday.