Wingate are driving away from trouble after Car clash

Wingate manager Gary Meakin (right)

Wingate manager Gary Meakin (right) - Credit: Archant

Ryman Premier Division: Carshalton Athletic 1 Wingate & Finchley 2

Wingate & Finchley earned a vital victory at relegation rivals Carshalton Athletic on Tuesday, taking them six points clear of the drop zone with a game in hand over their victims.

Two goals in six first-half minutes helped the Blues to victory, with Ahmet Rifat deftly diverting the ball into the bottom corner from 12 yards before Andre Scarlett doubled their lead a minute before the break.

Carshalton responded six minutes after the interval, and the hosts then had two goals fortuitously disallowed – but Wingate held on to ease away from relegation trouble.

Blues boss Gary Meakin was a relieved man, saying: “In a word, ‘phew’, we got over the line. It really should not have been that close as we had so many chances to win the match comfortably.

“At the end we may have shown our naivety in trying our best to score with five minutes to go, as well as shooting in the final minute when we should have been heading for safety in the corners.

“However I am delighted that we responded exactly as we should have after Saturday’s performance, showing desire and spirit, and that is all I can ask of the players.”

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Wingate had suffered a 3-1 home defeat against fellow strugglers Bury Town at the weekend – a match that was overshadowed by the sad loss of the club’s bar lady, Kate Firth, who died last week at the tender age of 30.

A minute’s silence was held in her honour before the match against Bury, and club groundsman Stuart Mitchell described her as “a character with character”.

He said: “Kate was a lady of undoubted energy and she poured much of it into her passion for animals, in particular dogs. She always had time for her friends and was never too busy to help.

“Kate was that rarest of things in life; a character with character. Family, friends and canines will miss her deeply and not a day will go by where she doesn’t cross our thoughts.”

Wingate will be holding a five-a-side tournament at their home ground at Summers Lane on Saturday April 13 between 10.30am and 2.30pm, with entrance costing £70 per team. E-mail for further information.