Wingate halted by last-minute equaliser
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Ryman League Division One North:
Wingate & Finchley 1 Ware 1
As two of the league's high flyers met on a cold Saturday, Ware denied Wingate & Finchley a momentous win by equalising deep in stoppage time, having trailed for 81 minutes of the match.
Wingate & Finchley took the lead under identical circumstances to Tuesday's first goal against Sutton Utd. Tim Lees swung in a low corner and the keeper Richard Hayward missed the ball and it trickled in over the goalline after 12 minutes.
At the other end Sam Berry hit a ferocious free kick from the edge of the area but Gavin King stood firm and held the ball well.
King held confidently again minutes later from a driven Kaan Fehmi shot from 25 yard out. However Ware still continued with their period of pressure and King was again called upon to make a full stretch diving save from a Fehmi volley to tip the ball round the post.
Wingate & Finchley were defending well though, and Ware's next chance did not come until the hour mark, when a Fehmi header from distance was easy for King.
Marvin Samuel flashed the ball wide for Wingate, but neither keeper was really tested throughout the whole second half, however Ware's pressure did start to grow. Both teams looked to play passing football but the defending from both teams was extremely well organised.
Two minutes into stoppage time the equaliser came. An extravagant overhead kick was tipped onto the post by King, the ball rolled across goal and the rebound was scrambled in by Xaniel Doku.
Manager Michael Stone said: "Today was a determined performance from the team that saw us add a useful point on the league table. We didn't see quite as much of the ball as we would have liked and felt that we perhaps gave Ware a little too much respect in the first half. The second half was more evenly contested and overall the match was a good advert for this league and level of football as both teams clearly pass the ball and try to play in the correct manner.
"We may feel disappointed not to have clinched the win but we mustn't forget that today Ware came to us on the back of 10 consecutive wins and are top of the league table. They are clearly one of the favorites for promotion and the players have shown this week that they can compete with well established, strong teams and this should give us confidence for the future."
Wingate & Finchley: Gavin King, Marc Weatherstone, Kieran Street, Craig Ellis, Bobby Aisien, Daniel Nielsen, Joe O'Brien, Chris Chase (Dean Wlliams 65), Leon Nelson, Tim Lees (Jake Furman 77). Callum Horton, Anthon