Wingate & Finchley beaten at Whitehawk

First published in Sport

Wingate & Finchley were beaten 3-1 at Whitehawk, who proved clinical with the few chances they created.

The visitors started brightly, pinning the home side back for the opening 20 minutes. Early shots from distance by Jon Docker, and Anderson Pinto twice, were all easily saved by keeper Winterton.

After consistent pressure, the lead arrived for Wingate in the 14th minute. Daniel Morris, making his first start for the club after a number of substitute appearances, turned in a whipped Jon Kyriacou cross at the near post with a neat flick.

This goal woke up the home side, and ten minutes later the scores were levelled following Whitehawk's first good move of the match. Some intricate one-touch play on the right saw the home side stretch the Wingate defence with quick passes, and a low ball across the box to Gargan allowed him an open goal which he comfortably scored from.

Both teams settled from here and sat deeper, not looking to take too many risks, although Wingate were hampered by an injury to Docker and were forced into a tactical change.

Four minutes before the break, Whitehawk's Wallace was allowed to score a very good individual goal, turning the game on its head. Running off the ball from his own half out to the left he was unmarked, and receiving a simple pass, he broke free into the box, beat his man and slammed the ball past Bobby Smith.

Whitehawk had their tails up at the start of the second half. Keehan attempted an audacious volley from a wide angle and narrowly missed the far post.

The first attack of the half for Wingate fell to Marcus Milner when a loose ball across the box fell to him at the far post. He side-footed his effort on target but again the keeper saved.

Whitehawk, playing downhill on the sloped pitch, went back on the offensive and Gargan had a header from a floated free-kick that was parried wide at the near post by an instinctive dive from Smith.

Wingate piled on significant pressure throughout the second half, bombarding the area with crosses that the home defence dealt with. Centre-back Harrington was fortunate not to see red for a two-footed lunge, and Wingate's penalty shouts were refuted when the referee awarded their opponents a free-kick for a dive.

However on 75 minutes Whitehawk doubled their lead on the counter-attack as McCrae towered high to head home a far post cross, and this goal sealed the win.

Manager David Norman said: "After a very positive start to the game, we were bitterly disappointed not to come away with anything. We felt that Whitehawk didn't have to work hard enough for their goals, and individual errors have cost us dearly.

"Jon Docker's injury did play a significant part in the game, but on a positive note it was good to see the return of Jordan Fowler and also Daniel Morris scoring on his full debut. The players now have to focus and pull together for a very important game on Tuesday."

Wingate & Finchley: B Smith, Weatherstone, Wright, Berry, Nielsen (Fowler 63), Shehu, Kyriacou, Docker (Milner 30), Morris (Lee Scott 68), Karagul, Pinto. Not used: McGonigle and Kalipha.

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