Wingate & Finchley halt five-match losing streak with victory over VCD Athletic
- Credit: Archant
Wingate & Finchley halted a run of five straight defeats as two second-half goals secured a much-needed 2-0 home win over VCD Athletic in the Ryman League Premier Division.
The Blues have endured a tough October, exiting the FA Cup in the third qualifying round and losing their four Ryman League fixtures, tumbling away from the play-off spots.
But captain Marc Weatherstone put the hosts ahead at the start of the second half on Saturday, and substitute Karl Oliyide wrapped up the victory in stoppage time to leave Daniel Nielsen’s side seventh in the table.
Wingate have signed Barnet’s 20-year-old winger Iffy Allen on a three-month loan deal, and he looked a threat on the right-hand side from the start.
However, the home side’s first notable chance came from the left when Ronayne Marsh-Brown’s long ball was flicked on by David Knight to Rob Laney, whose header was pushed away for a corner – and Ahmet Rifat’s 30-yard volley then flew just over the bar.
Ten minutes later, midfield enforcer Ola Sogbanmu ran through the heart of VCD’s team, played in Knight and his cross was met by a looping Laney header – but it was slightly too high.
Wingate’s domination continued with crosses from Marsh-Brown and Mark Goodman causing panic in the VCD box, and at the end of the first half Knight had two shots on goal – the first being blocked and the second giving visiting keeper Nick Blue a routine save.
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VCD were struggling to create any serious chances of their own, and W&F made the perfect start to the second half. Knight whipped in a free-kick which Laney was unable to control, but Weatherstone span and smashed his left-footed shot into the corner.
The pressure continued and Weatherstone headed over from a corner, but Athletic suddenly came close to an equaliser.
A fine passing move between Dean Carpenter, substittue Orlando Smith, Michael Power and Lea Dawson led to the latter crossing perfectly for Karl Dent, but his effort produced an incredible reflex save from Bobby Smith.
The tension rose and a 70th-minute scuffle led to bookings for three players, but Wingate looked to be the more likely scorers as the match reached the closing stages.
Tommy Tejan-Sie’s shot from the edge of the box flew over the bar and, 10 minutes later, his 30-yard half-volley arrowed wide of VCD’s right-hand post.
Rifat then sent a long ball up to Knight, whose flick-on played Laney in on goal but his attempt at rounding the keeper was foiled.
The victory was eventually sealed in injury-time as Laney squared for Knight, who could have finished himself – but he passed the ball across to Oliyide, who finished emphatically.
It was nearly 3-0 at the death as Knight sent around Blue but then blazed over.
Wingate visit Arlesey Town in the first qualifying round of the FA Trophy on Saturday.
Wingate & Finchley: Smith, Goodman, Marsh-Brown, Lake, Weatherstone, Rifat, Knight, Tejan-Sie, Laney, Sogbanmu, Allen (Oliyide 70) . Subs Street Muir Fisher Graham.
VCD Athletic: Blue, McDonagh, Basey (Deen 81mins), Reeves, Tozer, Dawson, Carpenter, Perkins, Power, Bremner (Smith 54mins), Green (Dent 62mins)
Ref: A Parker