In a concious attempt to engage with the wider community the Ryman League takes part in the Red Nose Day charity celebrations each year, producing special red balls which are used at matches before and after the actual day. This year saw Wingate & Finchley hosting Great Wakering Rovers for the afternoon. It would have been nice to have had a victory to celebrate too but it wasn’t to be.
A game that started with W&F in the ascendancy, which they maintained for significant periods of the match, ended with Great wakering scoring two breakaway goals to grab the three points – the second by a player they had only completed signing that morning!
After the superb performance on Thursday the W&F fans had been expecting great things but almost from the start there were little hints that things might not go our way. A dodgy punch by ‘Wakering’s keeper that fell at Ahmet’s feet in front of goal saw him caught off balance which allowed a defender time to clear the ball. A beautiful cross in from Weathers’ eluded a stretching David Laird by inches – it only needed a touch! We could have been 2 goals up in the first 20 minutes. It seemed as if we were always half a yard off the pace when it really mattered. The one positive, I guess, was a penalty save by Bobby but in the grand scheme of things it mattered not a jot.
We also lost Weathers near the end of the first half when, while stretching to intercept and clear a ball down the wing, he clattered the wall with his leg and head. Talking to him after the match revealed that he’d actually pulled his hamstring which was why he went off. I knew colliding with the wall couldn’t be the reason, smashing walls is all part of the fun to Weathers’ 😉 So he’s going to be out for a little while.
Fans react to defeats in different ways and often their reaction is tempered by the manner of the defeat. Several regulars walked out immediately after the whistle expressing disgust – the half a yard short in the first half had often looked like half a mile in the second. Though we had chances it never looked like we would do anything with them. Leon, with a characteristic forward run knocked the ball past the out-rushing keeper but then couldn’t catch it fast enough to do anything more than strike it into the side netting – on another occasion he’d have buried it!
I wandered into the bar and offered my scarf to Mike who runs the club shop asking if there was any chance of a refund! A joke of course, I would never willingly give up my club scarf – One defeat does not make a season. However, the feeling I have and which I discussed with a couple of fellow fans who had made their way to the sorrows drowning facility was that we probably were going to struggle to stay in the play-off places now. Perhaps it’s time to concentrate on getting a win in one of those cup finals?
All thoughts expressed are my own and do not represent the views of Wingate & Finchley FC.