Wingate bow out of FA Trophy
FA Trophy Round One:
Farnborough Town 3 Wingate & Finchley 1
Wingate & Finchley's Wembley dream ended for this season as they were beaten by Southern Premier table-toppers Farnborough.
The home side took the lead with their very first attack of the game in only the second minute. An outswinging cross was beautifully delivered from the left wing, and it found the head of the unmarked Michael Charles who headed neatly into the bottom left corner from 10 yards.
The Blues were not fazed by this and the game continued fairly evenly.
Marc Weatherstone sent a volley wide of the right post from outside the area for the Blues.
For the home side Darren Wheeler had a great chance but his shot was partially blocked by Craig Ellis and the ball looped kindly into the arms of Gavin King.
At the other end Ahmet Rifat won a headed battle in the area and the ball fell towards Wayne Grant. He tried a spectacular overhead attempt from eight yards out but was denied by the superb reflexes of keeper Lyall Beazley.
The Blues brought themelves level again in the 35th minute. Bobby Aisien went on a surging run over the halfway line and played Wayne Grant through. The keeper came out wide on the byeline to close him down, but Grant turned and shot from the most acute of angles to curl the ball into the unguarded net.
Farnborough looked to hit straight back and the dangerman Charles hit a ferocious drive that King parried away well.
Just like at the start of the first half, the home side scored immediately after the half time interval. After Craig Ellis committed a foul in the area, Wheeler stepped up and confidenty planted the penalty into the bottom right corner sending King diving the wrong way.
Bobby Aisien sent a low thundering drive as he received a loose ball 35 yards from goal, but he narrowly missed the left post. However this was as good as it got in the second half for the visitors as they became unable to penetrate Farnborough's organised defence.
Marcus Richardson settled the tie with five minutes remaining as he headed home a deflected cross from close range to give his side a two goal lead, and secure their passage to the next round and a visit of Stevenage Borough.
Manager Michale Stone said: "We are all obviously very disappointed that the Trophy run has come to an end especially as we feel that we were not firing on all cylinders tonight and helped Farnborough FC by conceding so early in each half. In general play, I don't think there was a large gap between the two sides but we were chasing the game for long periods and against higher league opposition that can be a big challenge. We will look back with pride at this seven match cup run and take the positives experiences that we have all gained especially at having knocked out two sides from superior leagues but the squad know that the league is our priority and we have to pick up some precious points over the Christmas and New Year period to make sure that we stay within touching distance of the play-offs."
Wingate & Finchley: Gavin King, Marc Weatherstone (sub: Kieran Street 69), Daniel Nielsen, Craig Ellis (sub: Tim Lees 86), Bobby Aisien, Ahmet Rifat, Chris Chase, Marvin Samuel, Leon Nelson (sub: Dean Williams 69), Wayne Grant, Leon Fisher. Subs: Callum Horton, Joe O'Brien, Anthony Limbrick