The new football season is finally underway for Wingate & Finchley and Manager, Steve Clarke. The last few weeks have seen upheaval with a number of new players joining the squad. Many of them are young, although one older head has been brought in. We have retained several of the longer serving members of the team such as Ahmet and Tee-Jay but sadly we have said goodbye to Rob Laney, and Ola. I will miss them both very much although we’ll be keeping in touch via twitter. In Ola’s case we’ll also meet up in the league as he has found a spot with Cheshunt FC 🙂 Also departing after the first match of the season was Charlie Cole – Sad to see him go too.
Our first match was away to Bowers & Pitsea who are newly promoted to the division. The wind contrived to make it a dour match that was brightened by a beautiful 25yd strike from new player Olu – scoring a goal on his debut and one of that quality saw a deserved celebration……Meanwhile Ahmet was able to renew aquaintance with ex-Wingate players Quentin Monville and (looking on) David Knight……David was to score an equaliser for Bowers in the second half and the overall consensus was that 1-1 was a fair result for both sides.
On Tuesday evening we were at home to Kingstonian. On the 3rd minute it was Tee-Jay’s turn to strike a screamer to give us the lead – something that I was not in a position to get anything of although I did get a photo of Ahmet and Olu running to congratulate him!..…and that was almost Ahmet’s last action in the game – he was sent off for a second bookable offence after three rash challenges. That left the ten men with 70 minutes of defending to do. One of the strikers had to be sacrificed to shore up the midfield, so Tony Mendy was withdrawn and Tanasheh came on. Early in the second half Sean Cronin contrived to mis-direct a header back to Shane Gore in goal – putting it just inside the top corner out of the keepers reach – at which point Kingstonian were level. But despite their best efforts they were unable to force a winner with great defensive work by W&F – here’s Luke dealing with one of their attempts with Shane and Sean watching on……Then, in the 5th minute of Injury time (Don’t know where the Ref got that amount from!), Kingstonian had a great chance to win the game with this shot……Only for Gorey to get down and make a very smart save……And that was that – another 1-1 draw. If I were Kingstonian I’d be concerned that we had to score an own goal to get them back to level terms! And I really must remind Sean to hoof the ball over the Lido in future 😉
After last season and all the changes, two draws is not a bad start especially as Kingstonian have been widely predicted to be in the playoff’s. As for Bowers & Pitsea – they looked well organised and are not going to be easy pickings for anyone. Our season continues with a home game against Bognor Regis on Saturday – another difficult game. Lets hope we can get something out of that one too!