Season’s End

The last two weeks have been busy especially from a perspective of my role as Wingate & Finchley’s photographer. Last week saw a final push by the league to drive through all the lost fixtures from the bad weather in March. It saw many teams including us with a 4 games in 7 days scenario – imagine the wailing and screaming on national TV if the premier league clubs were asked to do that. Ironically, for a club with such a small squad of first team players, it opened the opportunities for the youth players to step up and gain experience / show what they can do. They didn’t disappoint!

Your cameraman isn’t as young as he would like to be. I waived the opportunity of attending the first game which was away to Billericay Town on the Saturday. The team secured a very creditable draw against a side that has several ex-premier league players and runs on a huge wage bill. Why didn’t I go? It was my Son’s last weekend of freedom before knuckling down to his GCSE exams and I felt he deserved my time. We went to a computer gaming show – EGX Rezzed. Here he is contemplating what to look at next……and crashing a game on the Nintendo Switch!…

The other reason to give the Saturday a miss was the midweek games. On Tuesday the first team were away at Lowestoft Town which I attended and enjoyed photographing us getting a 1-1 draw – the first time we’ve ever had any sort of result there (but then circumstances have seen them cut their budget!). It was a very late night for us – kick-off was delayed because we were held up by an accident on the M25 and despite Coach Driver Tina’s best efforts we didn’t get back to the club until 01:30 in the morning. I actually think Lowestoft’s floodlights are worse than ours but I did get a few reasonable shots – Rob Laney not quite getting to the ball in this one…

On Wednesday it was the turn of the Under 23’s team – a couple of whom had filled in the previous night to help out with the first team. This was a cup game against local friends Haringey Borough and was hard fought. Boro’ had a great chance in the first half that drew a fantastic save from Reuben……definitely a keeper for the future though he’s off to study in the US this summer!

Haringey took the lead in the second half before, with 10 mins to go Ben Pattie stole an equaliser. Into injury time and that man Pattie got across the defender with his left foot…..putting it past the Boro keeper and making the kids behind jump for joy……Tragedy for Haringey and a fantastic win for us 🙂 I’m sure Haringey’s manager, Tucker, will be plotting revenge next season 😉

On to Thursday and we’re off to Dorking Wanderers. Their ground at Westhumble sits below Box Hill which gives it a special ambience on a spring evening which is enhanced by the railway line passing a few yards to the west. This was a classic game of two halves where the home side took the lead early on and then scored a second to seemingly make the points safe. Come the second half and it was the turn of the visitors to show their steel. Mid-season signing Layne Eadie scored the first – that was a direct result of me invoking the ‘curse of the cameraman’ – going to the burger bar because I knew we needed a goal and goals happen when the cameraman isn’t there to photograph them 🙂 Then Luke Ifil did a classic wing-back run to send in a beautiful cross for another of our ‘kids’ filling in for the first team to score his first goal at senior level. It wasn’t quite the elegant ‘Rose like a Salmon’…..but it was down into the ground and defeated the keeper……Resulting in a justified celebration……Well taken Ned Clarke 🙂 Final result a 2-2 draw.

Saturday saw Dorking paying a return visit to us. It finished 2-0 to us but it could have been so different. 1-0 up and early in the second half Dorking have a great strike on goal. In a season where he’s been a crucial part of our team yet again, earning perhaps the most coveted award of the lot – players player of the season, Shane Gore got a glove to the shot and parried it onto the crossbar to effect a brilliant save……Another Goal Keeping Legend at Wingate & Finchley 🙂

As you can appreciate – processing the photos from all these matches takes time. They’ve played their part in me not blogging this past week and a half. Every game needs 2 to 3 hours of post match selection and processing of the images that are captured. Then I want to drive my trucks and try other computer games too! Tends to get in the way of blogging 😦

My last job for Wingate & Finchley this week was the awards night photos last Saturday. It’s the bane of my life – lots of repetition and awkward lighting. This year’s awards had a sting in the tail for me though. I was awarded ‘Club Person of the Year’! Shocked and embarrassed 🙂 Kindly presented by David and photographed (with my camera) by one of our players – Rob Laney……I’m not too comfortable on that side of the camera 😉


  1. I think that’s a great photo of you, Martin, and it’s fun to see you being honored. You really do, in your photography, represent the excitement of the game. That’s quite a schedule you keep! And the action in the photos consistently impresses me!

    1. Thanks very much Debra 🙂 Sadly some of the night shots are very grainy but we have to work with the available light. Since Rob took that awards night photo I’ve been thinking he should stop pretending to be a footballer and take up photography! 😉

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