True Blue: A Wingate & Finchley fan’s view on the club’s recent form
- Credit: Archant
The Ham&High’s Wingate & Finchley blogger Simon Swingler feels a lack of confidence has been behind the Blues’ recent struggles, before Saturday’s welcome 2-0 home win over Canvey Island.
After our express train start to the season we always knew we would eventually encounter a rocky spell at some point where the wins and/or goals would suddenly and inexplicably dry up.
Up until Saturday we were enduring a definite downturn in form, with one win in the eight league games.
It is hard to put one’s finger on exactly what has caused this sudden swing in results for the Blue Gods. In fact, during this seemingly torrid run, there have been a good deal of decent performances, including very creditable draws against high-flying Margate and Dulwich Hamlet.
The only real change in personnel on the pitch has been caused by the reoccurring niggling injury that appears to be plaguing Karl Oliyide and, although our fleet-footed winger is a loss, I don’t think his absence can be blamed for our run.
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In my view our change in fortunes can be attributed to a non-tangible thing which nonetheless plays a massive part in the outcome of sporting contests the world over - confidence.
I believe our 3-2 defeat away at Bognor Regis Town last Saturday was a textbook case of a lack of confidence. Twice in the first half Wingate took the lead, only to be pegged back very soon afterwards both times from the penalty spot.
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We took the lead as early as the eighth minute when leading scorer David Knight displayed his poaching instincts in all their glory, capitalising on a mix-up between defender and goalkeeper to steal in between the two and roll the ball into the empty net.
Our lead lasted exactly 15 minutes before a Bognor winger escaped the attentions of Mark Goodman, whose cross was blocked by Marc Weatherstone, apparently with use of his hand.
The penalty looked dubious from our vantage point at the other end of the pitch but, after conferring with Weathers after the game, he believed the referee had made the correct decision.
We retook the lead eight minutes before half-time when Tommy Tejan-Sie rifled home an effort from just outside the box, but this time we only had to wait a mere five minutes before the referee was once again pointing to the spot to hand Bognor a gilt- edged chance to restore parity.
On this occasion it appeared that full-back Mark Goodman had fouled the Bognor Regis forward outside the box. However, the referee disagreed and once again Ben Johnson netted from the spot to send the teams in level at half-time.
For reasons unknown, Wingate - who had been such a goal threat in the first half - failed to show up for the second half and it was mainly one-way traffic heading towards Bobby Smith’s goal.
As Bognor spurned a couple of more than presentable half chances I was hoping against hope that we could hang on to secure a decent away point. But, just like the previous week’s FA Trophy defeat, we conceded a late goal to consign us to another defeat.
On Tuesday we once again managed to concede a late goal which turned a 1-0 victory over Peacehaven & Telescombe into a singular point.
Then, on Saturday, we entertained Canvey Island, who we had failed to gain a single point from in our four previous encounters.
Striker Rob Laney, who had been suffering a slight goal drought of late, put us a goal to the good when he nodded home a David Knight free kick, and we all stood around and waited for the obligatory penalty and/or red card to throw a spanner in the works.
However, the Blue Gods on the pitch had other ideas and defended resolutely until half-time.
Although our visitors could have claimed to have been the better side in the second half without much of an argument, Wingate doubled their lead when returning defender/midfielder James Kaloczi netted.
Kaloczi is a player of some talent who had started the season with us while on loan from St Albans City, and we were very happy to welcome him back for his second loan spell at the club.
Despite the onslaught from Canvey Island, no further goals were scored and our first league victory since Ocotber 25 lifts us up to sixth place and, more importantly, 15 points above the relegation zone.
Follow me on Twitter @jmascis666