An Easy Defeat

In the bar before Saturday’s match I felt it necessary to ask just when Ahmet was likely to be released from Pentonville prison – A fitting place of incarceration for an Islington lad.  Of course, Ahmet isn’t actually in prison – that’s just a bit of gallows humour on my part.   But, by all accounts, he has been ‘sent down for a very long stretch’ by the FA and is unlikely to play again until the spring having received a multi-game ban.   Well, at least he can over-indulge in some cold turkey 😉

So The Blues lined up against Cray Wanderers without Ahmet.   One player doesn’t make a team and long may it remain so.   The players who took to the field knew what was required of them or, at least, I hope so!   The early season match at Cray had been a close run affair and ended 3-2 in favour of the home side.   It would be nice to think that Wingate & Finchley could reverse the result on home turf.


Smothered! - Cray's Keeper keeps Leon Under Control

It’s fair to say that this game wasn’t a capitulation – there were some excellent individual efforts by members of the team.  The issue seemed to be one of coordination and involvement by the team as a whole.   Leon ran around up front and threatened from time to time but often appeared to lose interest if the ball wasn’t to his feet.   At least he did get in the box.   I’m not sure where the other forwards were?   The midfield huffed and puffed but were ineffective – I look at the photos and see more defensive players in the penalty area than midfielders!   The entirety of the game for Wingate & Finchley was one of individual performances.   Yes, people put in their effort but it was not a team effort.   It was uncoordinated and disjointed – an awful match to watch.   The Blues did create chances, but never looked like taking them in the face of a solid Cray defence and a keeper who was key to orchestrating his team.   He smothered every attempt on goal and chased his players throughout – for me he was Man of the Match.

The facts of the game are – Cray score on the 21st minute.  We have some good chances but do nothing with them.   Then after the interval, we give away a penalty with the weakest of pushes in the box to lose the game 2-0.

The Slightest of Pushes...

The Slightest of Pushes...

The issues expressed above hold true – there were many moments when I, as a supporter, couldn’t see any sign of teamwork.   Passes went to no-one or the opponents.   No one looked for the passing opportunity when there was a chance to attack.

Very disappointing for the fans – and several left making very pointed comments about commitment and courage.   Unfortunately, as usual, they weren’t there telling the players how it is – they disappeared like the mist when the clouds move on.  It was left to the drunks like me to tell the players who did make it to the bar what we thought.   I have to say I singled out Ola – he had no reason to hang his head – definitely our man of the match!

I then wound up having a lengthy political chat with Ricky – this has nil to do with Wingate & Finchley by the way – about Conservative Policies against what I view as right and fair.   Needless to say, it dragged on for a long time and we agreed to disagree 🙂

So – another loss and a game against Bury town next up at home.   It isn’t very good at the moment!   Let’s hope for a better reaction from the team on Tuesday!

All thoughts expressed are my own and do not represent the views of Wingate & Finchley FC.



  1. Tough times for Wingate & Finchley?
    Can we wrap some team spirit in a box with pretty paper and colorful ribbons as a Christmas gift?

    • Hi Judith, that’s a very kind offer 🙂

      We knew it would be tough up in the Ryman Premier Division. Fortunately, we’re not the only ones finding it tough and our good start means that we are still only just below mid table! Cray Wanderers looked very well organised and I would tip them to be in the play-offs for promotion at the end of the season based on what I saw on Saturday.

      I have a Tuesday night game to report on next… so you’ll get to read some more of the saga soon 🙂

  2. Sometimes when things get shaken up it just takes some time for a re-arranged team to ‘gel’…
    or to get used to each other and put things together. Hopefully, as you’ve said, Martin, things will work out better next time.

    • Thanks Bob – I think we’ll struggle on. There is good depth in the squad so plenty of willing bodies to step in and hopefully grab their chance with both hands 🙂

  3. thirdhandart says:

    I normally don’t pay much attention to sports. But, I’d been hearing complaints from my daughters that the Kansas City football team, the Chiefs, was losing a lot of games.
    A couple of weeks ago, the Chiefs fired their head coach. I’ll be darned if the Chiefs didn’t win last week’s game with an interim head coach! Time will only tell if the team is on a winning streak, or if it was a one-time victory.
    Does Wingate & Finchley have good coaches?
    I’m sorry about the Wingate & Finchley loss Martin, but you took some great photos!

    • Hi Theresa – Our ‘Head Coach’ (In UK soccer we call them Managers and the players usually refer to the manager as ‘The Gaffer’) got us promoted last season and won two cups into the bargain, so he’s pretty good for this level of Soccer. In the Premier League where the big money is his job might be under threat but not at our level – the Chairman recognises the large step up we have taken in moving up to the next division.

      I’m sorry to hear about your Daughter’s angst regarding the Chiefs. I see they’re bottom of AFC West at the present. I’d guess that there will be a new full time Head Coach in time for next season. They may get some good young players through the draft as well. Please forward my best wishes to your Daughters and their families 🙂

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