Friday, 23 July 2010

I’m sorry to say, that I shall no longer be updating this blog in the future.

The reason for the lack of content in the past few months, is due to myself creating a new website for the club. It’s taken a while, but it’s been worth it !

There may be a section, containing reports and articles from supporters (of any club) in the future.


The new official Wingate & Finchley website can be found here;



Wednesday, 28 April 2010

First of all, I know I haven’t kept up with this blog for a while, but I only intended to write a few reports for this season, with a view to making it regular next season.

I’ve been working on another project, which will be revealed in the near future, so time has also been a factor.

I’m writing this the day after our play off semi defeat, at home to Enfield Town, and still feel terrible, which is nothing to how the players must be feeling.

The team itself can be proud of it’s achievements. Each and every one of those players got us into the clubs best ever position, and can hold their heads high. It may be of little comfort now, but I feel that we can mount a serious challenge for the title next season, and not have to worry about the play offs at all.

On a personal level, I have thoroughly enjoyed the games I’ve been to, meeting new friends, and visiting new grounds. I’ve also enjoyed chatting to opposition supporters, especially those from Harlow and Lowestoft.

After all the hard work, over the course of the season, it’s a shame that the last emotion felt is a negative one. East Thurrock supporters too will be experiencing this, after their play off defeat at Concord Rangers, with the winning goal coming in the last minute.

The play offs have always been a hot topic for discussion, and have their good and bad points.

Personally, I’m not a fan. I think the top 2 teams should be automatically promoted, as promotion should be based on a 42 game performance, not a 2 game one.

On the other hand, they do provide revenue for the clubs which, at this level, is needed.

So, it’s either Concord or Enfield that will win promotion to the Ryman Premier on Saturday.

Good luck to both teams, and to whoever wins, we’ll be joining you soon !

Thursday, 25 March 2010
Wednesday 24th March 2010
Ryman League Div 1 North
Waltham Forest 3 Wingate & Finchley 4
HT 1-2

Smith 13, 29, 90+3, 90+5

They say 'It ain't over 'till the fat lady sings', and tonight, the 5 minutes she waited proved to be the difference.
It was back to Cricklefield, and it's dire two-bob pitch, for the second time in a week for a match that I was expecting us to win and, after 30 minutes, that prediction was looking good.
The first goal came via a peach of a through ball from Mitch Hahn, which Leon Smith latched onto and buried in the bottom corner. Smiths second was similar, running onto a Chris Chase flick on, before calmly placing the ball in the opposite corner.
Forest had sacked their manager at the weekend, and looked toothless. Wingate looked as comfortable as I'd seen them, and Smith nearly had a first half hat trick but his shot hit the crossbar.
The problem with many teams in Wingates position, is that there's always the danger of complacency creeping in and, in the latter stages of the first half, Forest pulled a goal back when Luka Frankis, recently signed from Billericay Town, hit a decent left footer over the keeper, after the defence failed to clear.
So, at half time it was 2-1 to us, and we knew that Forest would come out in the second half all guns blazing.
As predicted, the Forest team started the second half like a pack of raging bullocks, completely transformed from their uninspiring first half performance.
It was now Wingate on the back foot, and we were given a scare when Frankis sent a free header wide.
10 minutes into the second half, Forest got their equaliser with a low, long range shot into the bottom corner. Now there looked to be only one winner, and what should have been a formality, was now turning into something that wasn't (note to self .. buy a dictionary!)
Straight from the restart, we could have restored the lead after Chris Chase hit the post from short range, from a superb Smith cross. By now, both teams were pushing forward looking for the winner, and it was Forest who took the lead, after some slack defending gave Gabriel the chance to shoot past Gavin King.
It was then, that we started to pile the pressure on, and with time ticking away it was looking like the first defeat of the year was coming.
Forest, understandably, began time wasting, which would end up biting them on the rear end.
With 93 minutes on the clock, Chase lobbed a cross into the area, and Smith completed his hat trick with a powerful header. It was a 'get out of jail' moment, which got sweeter 2 minutes later.
In the 95th minute, and with the ref ready to call time, Leon Smith received the ball in the area and, after what seemed like an hour getting it under control, put it in the net for his, and Wingate’s fourth.
It was an unbelievable end to a fantastic game, and one I personally won't forget in a hurry.

The Ground
£7.50 for me, little ‘un not present
Programme – There wasn’t one

I didn’t bother bringing a camera, as the photos would have more or less been that same as the Ilford ones, considering they play at the same ground and all that …
Monday, 22 March 2010

Saturday 20th March 2010
Ryman League Div 1 North
Brentwood 1 Wingate & Finchley 2
HT 0-2

Laird 21
Edgerley 36 

We came away from Brentwood whistling the theme from 'The Great Escape', because, quite frankly, that is exactly what this match can be considered as.
Getting to the ground early enabled us to sit in the club house, which was one of the nicer ones, and situated behind the main stand.
As it was absolutely piddling down, we stood in the covered stand behind the goal, anticipating a real test, and it was to prove so.
Brentwood came flying out of the traps, and could easily have been 2 up within the first 5 minutes, first being denied by the keeper, and then by the post. They seemed to be finding tons of space down the flanks, and we were under the cosh.
Then in the 21st minute, and totally against the run of play, we went ahead through David Laird, who simply tapped the ball in from a low Edgerly cross. He could have doubled the lead straight after, but his shot was well saved by the keeper.
In the 36th minute we went 2 up. Mitch Hahn, who had signed from Bishops Stortford the day before, went on a mazy run down the right, and hit a good shot which was parried into the path of Edgerley, who had the simple task of knocking it in.
Just before the break, Brentwood had a goal disallowed for offside, and we got the feeling that lady luck was on our side.
The second half started quite slowly, with Brentwood pressing, and us sitting back a little.
The rain had stopped, so we moved behind the other goal. I should imagine the Brentwood keeper was glad of the company, as he had next to nothing to do in the second half.
It was one way traffic, and we knew it was only a matter of time before a goal was pulled back. It took until the 70th minute, but it came. As they'd done all game, the ball was played down the wing and the resulting cross was bundled in, for what looked like an own goal.
The remaining 20 minutes seemed to take forever, as Brentwood came piling forward for the equaliser.
They hit the crossbar, the post, and just about every one of our players on the line. Gavin King was immense in goal, and was working non stop, whereas the Brentwood keeper could have pulled up a chair.
In the dying seconds Brentwood scored again, from what looked like a good header, only to have it ruled out for a push. We were lucky once again, and it was a couple of minutes before any of us supporters, or players, knew it had been disallowed.
So, at the final whistle it was a 2-1 win, which could so easily have gone the other way. Brentwood were an excellent side, and it was easy to see how they'd racked up some impressive results recently.
It was also easy to see how we've maintained such a good run of form. The teamwork, and defending today was superb, and any lesser side would have been walloped.

The Ground
£8.50 for me, £1 for the little 'un.
Programme was included in the admission cost, and is fantastic. Glossy, full coloured and with few adverts. They should all be like this.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Wednesday 17th March 2010
Ryman League Div 1 North
Ilford 1 Wingate & Finchley 1
HT 1-0

Chase 55

To say Ilford were lucky to come away with a point last night, would be an understatement.
Again, this was a terrible pitch, which could only be suited to the sort of football played in the flight path of a Boeing.
Coming into the game, Ilford had won 1 in their last 15 games, and were languising in the lower depths of the division. Wingate, on the other hand, were looking to continue their great run of form, which has seen them unbeaten in 13. This, however, is a ground that Wingate had never won on in previous years.
It was a cautious start by both teams, with Wingate trying to adapt to the playing surface, while Ilford's game plan consisted of simply launching the ball into orbit.
Wingate's 4-3-3 formation saw Smith, and Chase, scare seven bells out of the full backs, every time they had the ball to feet.
The Ilford goal came when Sawyer hit a speculative shot from distance, that would have been picked up 99 times out of 100. Unfortunately, this time, it hit a bump and bounced over Gavin King, leaving us wondering if we should have a whip round for a roller.
Wingate had several chances, with Laird, and Smith, having shots well saved or cleared off the line.
So, we were 1-0 down at the break, and it looked like it was going to be 'one of those nights'

In the second half, there was only one team in it.
Ilford continued to punt every ball skywards, and got progressively worse as the game went on.
Wingate continued to improve, and totally dominated the half from start to finish, getting a well deserved equaliser in the 55th minute.
Laird played a through ball to the feet of Chris Chase who, as he'd done most of the night, outpaced his marker before smashing a shot into the top corner. There must have been 4 or 5 similar occasions where Laird and Smith had one on ones, but were foiled by the excellent Ilford keeper, who was my man of the match.
In the last 5 minutes came what can only be described as a legalised mugging. As a Wingate corner was delivered into the box, the keeper, trying to claim it, ran into the back of his own defender and hit the deck. The ball fell to Laird, who had the simple job of putting it in the back of the net.
The referee, deciding that the official rules weren't to his liking, disallowed the goal, obviously not being able to tell the difference between the two sets of players.
Even the Ilford supporter standing behind us couldn't understand why it wasn't given.

So it finished 1-1, but could have been 6-1.
Ilford were one of the poorest teams I've seen in a long time, but they had a decent club house, and the burger was nice.
Apologies for the lack of photos. My camera obviously isn't suited to night games, but then again maybe trying the 'night' setting may have helped.

The Ground
£8 to get in, which is probably how much the pitch cost. Young 'un didn't go.
£1 for a programme, which was the one made for the original, called off, fixture. Quite a bit of info, and not many ads. Worth the money.

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