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Wingate & Finchley draw 1-1 with Royston Town to set up replay in the FA Cup
9:59am Monday 10th September 2012 in Sport
Royston Town snatched a dramatic equaliser eight minutes from time to force a replay against Wingate & Finchley in the FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round.
On a beautiful sunny day, this was a traditional game of two halves as Wingate dominated the first half, whilst Royston fought back after the break and fully deserved their equalising goal.
Wingate started the strongest, passing the ball well and keeping possession looking to tire out their opponents.
After an early chip from David Laird which was tipped wide, the hosts took the lead in the 18th minute as early pressure paid off.
Laird saw an opportunity to drive into the left side of the area, beating his man on the byeline and scoring low past the keeper from a narrow angle.
Royston came back into the game with increased urgency, and Ryan Ingrey missed a simple tap in at the far post after Tom Malins had raced down the right wing and squared with a low cross.
Soon after, Luke Robins had a difficult free header from a clipped cross but headed over the bar.
Lewis Jones was continually in acres of space for Wingate, and was always an easy outlet for the defence. A cross from him on the left wing found Sam Berry but the midfielder headed over.
Berry went slightly better as he tried with his right foot from distance, as this time his drilled effort hit the target but the keeper read it well to gather the ball.
There was a moment of controversy, as Anderson Pinto seemed to be clattered inside the area by two defenders making rash challenges, however the referee waived away any penalty appeals much to the Blues players’ fury.
In the second half, Royston's Kaan Fehmi received a slide-rule pass to drive him into the area, but he hit the side netting from a slight angle.
At the other, Mark Henry did the same with a rasping shot from 20 yards after Kieron Street had embarked on a surging foray up the pitch with the ball.
The visitors now began to play with more enthusiasm and were quicker than their counterparts who seemed comfortable with the lead.
Wingate & Finchley were rushed in possession and the defence was put under a lot of pressure, though they largely coped very well.
Luke Robins sent a header over the bar, and there were other half-chances although Bobby Smith was never troubled.
That was until the 82nd minute, as only eight minutes from time Robins scored a superb looping volley from the edge of the area to level the scores.
The match became extremely open after the equaliser in the closing stages.
Substitute Murat Karagul rushed his shot under pressure and saw his effort trickle on target.
However the best chance fell to Royston’s Matt Standen whose first-time effort at the end of a low cross flew over with the goal gaping.
The replay will be played on Tuesday night.