Wingate strike late to see off Harrow Borough

Leon Smith

Leon Smith - Credit: Archant

Ryman League Premier Division: Harrow Borough 0 Wingate & Funchley 2

Ahmet Rifat and Leon Smith struck late on to give Wingate & Finchley a hard-earned victory over Harrow Borough at Earlsmead on Saturday.

Borough struck the frame of the goal in each half, but Wingate held their own throughout and claimed a late win which pushed them up to 18th in the table.

Dave Anderson’s Harrow continue to struggle at home, and have now won just one of their seven league games at Earlsmead this season, while victory lifted Wingate three points above the relegation zone.

Wingate started brightly, throwing a series of crosses into the Harrow area and causing panic in the defence. When Borough did settle, Michael Barima crossed for Simeon Akinola to put a free header wide of Bobby Smith’s goal.

Wingate striker Leon Smith pulled a shot inches wide, before Akinola came within centimetres of the opening goal when he chipped the keeper – only for Farai Hallam, who had raced back towards his own goal – to head the ball over the crossbar.

Harrow edged the rest of the opening half, with Bobby Smith forced into an outstanding save to divert the ball wide for corner which was cleared.

Most Read

They came even closer in the early moments of the second half, Danny Leech seeing his effort rebound off the post and fall for the relieved keeper.

Wingate brought on Ryan Sellers, who looked immediately lively, whipping in a cross which Leon Smith got his head to but could not force a save from the Boro’ keeper.

Chances were few and far between, but with 15 minutes remaining Wingate found the breakthrough. Spencer McCall curled a shot past the keeper but watched the ball rebound back off both posts, but Rifat was alert to roll a shot back into the net.

Dan McGonigle headed wide for the visitors as Harrow began to labour, but the home side were then denied by an extraordinary moment of misfortune.

Gareth Chendlik struck an acrobatic volley which, incredibly, hit both posts in the same fashion as McCall’s for Wingate. Unfortunately for the hosts, there was no-one on hand to put in the rebound, and it proved a decisive moment.

Two minutes from time, Wingate made the game safe. Leon Smith spun his marker, beat another defender and slotted the ball into the net to make it 2-0.