Report by Peter Rebak...

This was a quarter final to savour for the Wingate & Finchley faithful, as the team reserved one of the season's best performances for this crucial quarter-final fixture in the prestigious Ryman League Cup.

This is the first time that Wingate & Finchley have appeared in the quarter final in their 16 years in the Ryman League and the game had a rocky start as goalkeeper Gavin King had to pull out after injuring his hand in the warm up and centre half Ahmet Rifat had to revert from centre half to keeper after his heroics in goal against Maldon two weeks earlier.

On a perfect playing surface and with both sides challenging at the top of their respective leagues this was all set to be a cracking game.

The calm night (without the disruptive wind that plagued the game last Saturday) and the excellent playing surface gave the players the opportunity to express themselves and with Wingate & Finchley striving for their second semi final spot they were the first out of the blocks.

In the 10th minute Leon Smith ended his rather barren spell with a cracking 30 yard run which both outpaced and out muscled the visitors' defence and then planted a rasping shot across keeper Maan to give the home team a 1-0 lead.

The Met Police pressed but gave keeper Rifat very little to do and it was no surprise when the excellent Josh Cooper fired home from an acute angle in the 19th minute and this was then followed by the rampaging Gary Burrell who scored the goal of the game as he showed excellent technique to swivel in the box and fire an unstoppable shot across the bemused keeper.

With a 3-0 lead the match looked comfortable but 3 minutes before half time, the Met Police pulled one back through James Field who was left unmarked in the area and gave keeper Rifat no chance.

By all accounts the Met Police changing room was a hot place at half time and it showed in the early minutes of the second half as the Police drove forward and deservedly got their second after 55 minutes when Steve Noakes fired home from close range after a mix up in the home defence.

Was this going to be a great comeback? At 3-2 up it was anyone’s game but the home side then settled themselves and gave the visitors very few chances from this point on.

Leon Smith had good claims for a penalty in the 65th minute but just over 10 minutes later he was pulled down (after an excellent through ball from sub Sam Sloma) by keeper Maan who correctly received a yellow card and Jordan Fowler made no mistake with the resulting penalty. The game was now sealed and in the dying minutes Sam Sloma who made an impressive return from injury as sub drove wide on the left and an excellent low cross found the unmarked Smith who rifled home from 6 yards to cap an excellent evening for Wingate & Finchley.