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Wingate & Finchley overcome Harrow Borough
12:50pm Wednesday 10th October 2012 in Sport
Wingate & Finchley came from a goal down to secure a 2-1 victory over Harrow Borough last night, despite struggling for large periods of the game.
The match itself swung on a 63rd-minute penalty decision which went in favour of the hosts and also resulted in a red card for Harrow in the immediate aftermath, giving their opponents the upper hand in a bad tempered, high-blooded affair.
Harrow came into the game on the back of three straight defeats on the road in the league, but showed no signs of that affecting their confidence as they made the majority of the early running.
An early corner saw Simeon Akinola flick a header wide, before another headed chance was wasted by the visitors, who looked a threat from corners and in particular from their right-sided midfielder, Steve Ferguson, who delivered numerous dangerous crosses.
Wingate, meanwhile, were struggling to get any control of the game in the centre of midfield and their sluggish start was inevitably punished, as Akinola raced on to a flick-on, firing a low strike at goal, which looped off the keeper’s legs and dropped in.
It was just rewards for a fine start and they almost doubled their lead minutes later, but Bobby Smith was able to claw a header from off the line after it had hit the underside of the bar.
The hosts were hanging on a bit now and they had yet another let off soon after as Borough broke quickly from an opposition corner, culminating in a sumptuous Ferguson cross from the right which should have been turned in at the back post, but was ultimately mistimed on the volley.
The home side were suffering now, with the lack of options for defenders on the ball a clear problem as they were often forced to go long, resulting in hopeful attacks and countless concessions of the ball.
Perennial danger man Ferguson looked most likely to punish the home side’s poor play and forced a good save from Smith with a swerving 20-yard effort which the keeper did well to shovel away.
David Norman made a change at half-time, bringing on Jordan Fowler for Sam Berry, and the hosts looked a little sharper after the break.
Murat Karagul’s marauding run ended with dangerous low cross, which was cut out, while the resulting corner saw Marc Weatherstone head wide.
Weatherstone was then booked for a cynical foul in his own half, with the resulting free-kick bent in towards goal, flicked on by Gary Burrell and tantalisingly close to Michael Peacock to tap in at the back post.
It took until the 55th minute for the hosts to finally register a shot on target as Daniel Morris fired a low shot straight at the keeper from a difficult angle.
It was to be Morris who was involved in the match’s pivotal moment ten minutes later, as he found space on the edge of the area, shot powerfully at goal, only for it to be blocked by a defender.
The referee deemed the block to be handball and Wingate had a penalty. Immediately afterwards, the linesman spotted an off-the-ball incident and after much pushing and shoving, Harrow’s James Burgess was given his marching orders.
Fowler stepped up to the roll the penalty home, sending the keeper the wrong way, and suddenly the hosts were in pole position to grab an unlikely three points.
Indeed, barely five minutes later, Wingate had the lead, as Morris collected the ball in the penalty area, beat his man and smashed the ball across goal, leaving Karagul with the simplest of tap-ins at the back post.
The game lost any real fluidity from here on in, as a heated match became altogether bad-tempered, as the visitors failed to put their opponents under any real pressure.
Their best opening came just before the 90 minutes was up, as a long throw caused problems in the home side’s defence, but Akinola couldn’t make clean contact as the loose ball fell his way.
Anderson Pinto then had a chance to wrap it up for the hosts as he raced through one-on-one in the final seconds, only to see his shot saved, but it was all relative in the end as the final whistle blew moments later and Wingate celebrated their win.
Wingate & Finchley: B Smith; Weatherstone, Wright, Berry (Fowler 46, Henry 76)), Shehu, Nielsen, Kyriacou, Milner, Morris (Scott 75), Pinto, Karagul.