Wingate & Finchley’s Bobby Smith earns Ryman League’s goalkeeper of the month award

Wingate & Finchley goalkeeper Bobby Smith. Pic: Martin Addison

Wingate & Finchley goalkeeper Bobby Smith. Pic: Martin Addison - Credit: Archant

It is award season at Wingate & Finchley and, following Daniel Nielsen’s manager of the month prize, Bobby Smith has won the Ryman Premier League goalkeeper of the month gong.

Smith kept three clean sheets in four games during January and, as as part of his prize, the Blues’ No1 will receive a free pair of goalkeeping gloves from league sponsor ProKit UK.

Unfortunately, after a perfect January which featured four wins out of four, W&F have lost two of their three league games in February – including Saturday’s late 3-2 defeat away against Kingstonian.

The opening goal came in the seventh minute after Malachi Hudson cut inside from the left channel and hit a powerful shot past Smith into the far corner. However, Wingate equalised six minutes later in similar circumstances as Ola Sogbanmu found the bottom corner from 25 yards – and they went on to take the lead in an end-to-end contest after 39 minutes as David Knight’s free kick was spilled by home keeper Rob Tolfrey and Ahmet Rifat smashed the ball into the net.

Kingstonian always looked dangerous though and, after a call for a penalty was waived away, they levelled. Smith rushed out of his goal and made a low save from Charlie Penny but the ball came back to the striker, who finished at the second attempt.

Both sides went close to scoring, with Rob Laney, Karl Oliyide, Sogbanmu and Oliyide again having good chances for Wingate – but it was Penny who hit the decisive goal in the dying moments.

There was still time for Laney to get a shot at an equaliser, but he fired over the bar, leaving Wingate eighth in the table.

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