…Thick and Fast!   After last Wednesday the team turned out again with Brentwood Town as their opponents.   Always a determined team, it was expected to be a stern test.    And, guess what… W&F take on Chelmsford City on Tuesday and Uxbridge (away) on Thursday before hosting Ware next Saturday!   It’s going to be a tiring time for everyone alike.

However, the business of friendlies wasn’t allowed to get in the way of Wingate & Finchley’s disability work with a 5-a-side competition organised on the side pitches.   Well done to Mike Bayly and Eliot Katz for their work on this 🙂   Mike was shattered afterwards and wound up asking about the times of the 382 bus at half time before heading home!

Wingate & Finchley again fielded some youngsters along with regular first teamers.   Some of the selections at present are forced by absenses due to holidays.   Lairdy and Weathers are both absent.   Equally, some players have moved on in the closed season whilst others have returned.   Not sure how Brentwood approached the match with their team selection.

Anderson Rides the Challenge
Anderson Rides the Challenge

The match proved to be a fairly tight affair with both sides seeking to gain relatively small advantages.   Even so Wingate shaded it through the first half  and close to half time someone declared open season on long standing fan Del with two shots at goal that passed the post forcing him and Peter to take avoiding action.   Throughout the first half Anderson Pinto looked to be up for the challenge and had to skip over some challenges too as the Brentwood number 2 had him in his sights.   I wonder how that Mohican will hold up in the depths of winter 😉

The second half was again Wingate & Finchley’s in terms of the better play though there wasn’t much between the teams.   The guys in midfield, Ross and Mark, played a key role ensuring a good base for attacks.   But Brentwood resisted manfully and skillfully.   The deadlock was only going to be broken by something special.   It has long been an issue for the fans that our midfielders always seem to have pretentions of being Arsenal – i.e. looking for the perfect pass rather than perhaps taking a shot from outside the area.   It’s also true to say that, with mild exageration, when a player winds up to take a shot from distance at the Summers Lane end the neighbours hide behind their sofa’s and Transport for London suspend the 382 bus route.    So when Mark Henry running with the ball ran out of people to pass to and wound up for a shot from something like 30yds, everybody was diving for cover!    It was a fantastic strike with the ball curving gracefully to slot into the top right corner of the goal with the keeper relegated to spectator status.

Is it a Bird
Is it a Bird… Manager David Norman finds himself surrounded at a corner

With the clock winding down our Manager decided to come on himself – yes, he can play and put in a couple of good headers and passes.   Brentwood were not dead though and finally found a player on the right side in the last minutes who was able to cross for a colleague to score with a diving header.    Bobby was furious… A win lost in the dying seconds.   I’m not going to repeat what he said but it was about three defenders that failed to intercept the low-level cross and was clearly audible at the other end of the pitch… In fact I believe that Barnet council’s Noise Abatement team have been called 😉
So, a 1-1 draw – Not a bad result but on the balance of play Wingate should have edged it 2-1.   It was an enjoyable match played out on a very pleasant afternoon.   There was one special spectator…

Male Kestrel
Taking a break from hunting, a male Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) watches the match – Probably the best looking fan present 🙂