Green Shoots, But Some Growing To Do

A number of other essential activities have been getting in the way of my football – A much needed family holiday and a Cub camp. So I’ve missed a group of games and seen a couple in the middle. Even so, I’ve been able to read the reports on those I’ve missed and correlate what I’ve read – with allowances for the ‘league approved standard’ reporting on the club website – with what I’ve seen and thus you read the title!

The Bank Holiday weekend saw, as usual, day-time games on Saturday and on Monday. The first against Kingstonian was played in rain that varied between persistent and go build an ark sayeth the lord proportions. It also saw Kingstonian demonstrate why many people have them pencilled in as favourites to get the automatic promotion spot at the end of the season – very well organised and very physical. Of course, it didn’t help that many of our players didn’t seem to have switched on that night and at least one – Hector – was forever slipping over! Wrong boot choice? I checked with him a couple of games later and can confirm wrong boots – moulded soles when proper studs would have been better. But choice – Hector didn’t have a choice. He only has the one set of boots 😦 Another example of the gap between higher leagues and the Ryman. Of the game, I can only say that Kingstonian deserved their victory but the referee contributed with a penalty decision that was expletive-deleted wrong. Weathers put in a perfectly good challenge to win the ball from the Kingstonian forward who then fell over his prostrate form. When challenged about the decision the referee said that he’d given the penalty for intent! Wow… wonderful decision… So lets have a penalty everytime a keeper comes out to punch a ball and any players head that happens to get in the way shall we? That’s real intent – absolutely ridiculous excuse for giving a wrong decision resulting in a potentially game changing goal.

Kingstonian defender takes out Ola in the pouring rain.
Kingstonian defender takes out Ola in the pouring rain.
A short while after a Kingstonian defender brought down Ola by the simple expedient of wrapping his legs around Ola’s ankles – yes he did touch the ball but the ‘Intent’ was to prevent the player from getting a cross in. What did the ref do? Expletive-deleted-All and he also allowed Ola to lie on the pitch injured for several minutes – an absolutely disgraceful example of refereeing 😦 Ola was unavailable for the next match due to the injury he received. I would like to think that the report from the assessor will result in this guy getting sent back for retraining but experience with the 5-card merchant from last season suggests that this is the best way to get promoted as a referee! 😦 So, a 4-0 loss on the saturday.

Leon's Nemesis - The young Hendon Keeper comes out to block yet another one-on-one!
Leon’s Nemesis – The young Hendon Keeper comes out to block yet another one-on-one!
The Bank Holiday Monday was away against Hendon – a close rivalry between clubs that generally get on well in a heated sort of way. A dour if end-to-end encounter, it resulted in a draw. Wingate should have won it, had the chances been taken. But the young Hendon keeper handled 3 one-on-ones with Leon very well and was only beaten when a defender tried closing Leon down and was unable to stop a shot which was then out of the keeper’s reach. Hendon equalised in the dying moments by one of those freaks of nature where the ball deceives everyone and creeps into the net from a free kick intended for an attackers head – you get 2 or 3 every season. Should have been a win – Two points dropped 😦

The following Saturday was a home game agains Lowestoft. Played out in glorious sunshine, it was a spectacle that sadly only a few travelling fans witnessed. Usually Lowestoft bring a lot of fans but this time there was just the players coach and a few cars – I guess the economic strictures on the poor imposed by the Etonians in Downing Street is having the desired effect in preventing travel to away games?

The angel of The North? - Hector levitates during his last match for Wingate & Finchley before leaving for Toronto
The angel of The North? – Hector levitates during his last match for Wingate & Finchley before leaving for Toronto
It was a game of even play by both sides with neither looking likely to land the killer punch. It was Hector’s last game for us, at least for the foreseeable future as he moves to Toronto to work on a Masters in Sport Science. I know all the fans and everyone else at the club wishes him every success in that endeavour (whilst gritting our teeth at the loss) – Good Luck Hector – Hope it all goes well for you – you’ll be missed!

The following weekend I was away camping with our Cubs and Scouts and so was unable to attend when the team went to Thamesmead. It proved to be a 2-1 win though I understand from my friend and AFC Wulfrunians supporter Nigel that the first goal was gifted to Leon – he won’t say no to that and it’ll help build confidence. Cub Camp was great, if a little bad for my aged bones. Some mad fool insisted that I take part in the Rope-o-phobia activity which really didn’t do my back any good but I also had a go at the rifle shooting and took top score with 47 out of 50 – though we rightly awarded winner status to Rohan with 42 – a bloody fine score for a Cub and not a particularly large Cub at that!

Alasdair tries his hand at Canoeing for the first time
Alasdair tries his hand at Canoeing for the first time
I put my consistency (all shots within the area of an old 5p piece) down to all that practice with the Camera – referees better look out in case I trade in the Canon for a Dragunov πŸ˜‰ Respect to all our Cubs and Scouts for their efforts in Canoeing, Climbing and Abseilling – many of them trying these activities for the first time – well done all πŸ™‚

Tuesday was an away match at Canvey Island – I would have enjoyed going there as I get on well with some of the fans and especially their webmaster. Sadly, work commitments meant it wasn’t acheivable without some Doctorin’ the Tardis so I awaited the result with a degree of concern – Canvey are another team that many would expect to be in the play-offs at the end of the season. that concern was justified as they ran out 2-0 winners. Danny Niels’ was disappointed with the performance. Like I said – green shoots! But a lot of growing still to do for the team. Next game – tomorrow – is an FA Cup match against Biggleswade Town. I’m looking forward to that one πŸ™‚

ps – Take a look at Hector’s Blog and his latest post on Zero Hours Contracts at

All thoughts expressed are my own and do not represent the views of Wingate & Finchley FC. Please click on the Wingate & Finchley Badge to visit the Official Club Website.


    1. LoL Judith – no need for photos… practice with the real thing every saturday. If hunting foxes, deer and grouse is ok, why not referees? Oh – I forgot, deer and grouse are innocent wild creatures – not sure about foxes and referees though… πŸ˜‰

      Yes, Alasdair enjoyed the canoeing after initially being unsure. He also crossed a personal fear boundary with the Abseilling so that was very good πŸ™‚ me, I absolutely hate ladders but if I have to go up them… 😦 I have done abseilling though, along with flying, so it’s not fear of heights πŸ˜‰

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