Bostik Premier: Whitehawk 2 Wingate & Finchley 3
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
East Brighton was blessed with a ‘Marc show’ after two converted penalties by Marc Weatherstone and a smart finish from Marc Charles-Smith sealed the first three points of the season for Wingate over Whitehawk at The TerraPura Ground.
Tommy Tejan-Sie played over the top for Lewis Putman to charge through on goal, which forced the hosts’ Melvin Minter to smother on six minutes.
Four minutes on, Scott Shulton – on his debut return to the club – played across to Reece Beckles-Richards, who dragged his strike wide from outside the area. Beckles-Richards, a minute later, played the ball inside to Charles-Smith who recycled possession back to the former to fire over.
The home side attempted to gain momentum through Kwai Marsh-Brown on the inside right, whose dipping volley flew over the bar on 13 minutes.
Shulton hit ferociously towards goal from afar, which Harry Shooman headed away after 22 minutes, and Layne Eadie cut inside off the left and fired over, prior to Charles-Smith placing Putman’s byline cross wide two minutes later.
But the Hawks, against the run of play, took a 28th-minute lead as Jason Williams broke through and manoeuvred past Shane Gore, before placing the ball into an empty net.
It took nine minutes for Keith Rowland’s outfit to draw level as Putman was taken down inside the box for Weatherstone to step up and squeeze the ball past Minter.
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Rob Laney’s cross from the left arrived to Charles-Smith, who couldn’t get his header on target with 43 minutes gone.
In the seventh minute of first-half stoppage time, the north Londoners struck again as Aaron Goode handled inside the area and Weatherstone sent Minter the wrong way from the spot.
Four minutes after the restart, Laney headed inches wide at the back post and Putman cut inside before curling past the same post.
Putman broke through to the inside right and, with Minter cutting the angle short, struck wide across goal just past the hour. Then 12 minutes on, Luke Ifil’s byline cross picked out Laney, who headed wide under pressure.
With seven minutes left, the Finchley men gained a two-goal advantage as Shulton’s free-kick eventually found the head of Putman, then Weatherstone who guided into the path of Charles-Smith to place through Minter’s legs.
However, Whitehawk ensured a nervy ending on 89 minutes as Luke Emberson headed in Henry Muggeridge’s cross at the back post to find the bottom corner of the net, before the Blues held on.
Wingate: Gore, Ifil, Eadie, Weatherstone, Humphrey, Shulton, Putman (Monsheju 86), Laney, Charles-Smith, Beckles-Richards, Tejan-Sie. Unused subs: Williams, Craddock, Ebelebe, Obafemi.