Wingate progress in FA Cup
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Wingate and Finchley have won an FA replay
Maccabiah star Craig Ellis and Jake Furman helped Wingate & Finchley win an enthralling FA Cup replay against local rivals Northwood at Summers Lane.
The victory set up a second qualifying round tie at home to Aylesbury on September 26, where victory would equal the club record run.
It was Northwood who came out of the blocks first, and after early pressure, where they missed three good chances, the Blues finally found their feet and played their way back into the game.
As a sign of things to come, Chris Chase shot from outside the area but he could only hit the side netting from 20 yards.
The torrential rain made it very difficult for the players, and the game was played at high speed with all the intensity of a cup tie, helped on by the vocal support from the stands.
The chances continued to come Wingate’s way; Leon Smith won a header from a Michael Lenahan corner but his effort was too high.
John Christian sent a curling shot on the turn from the edge of the area at the end of a quick Northwood break but King was on hand to parry the ball to safety.
With the wind advantage through the first half, the visitors had more of the possession and a host of half-chances but Gavin King was left largely untested.
Early in the second half Hugo Figueredo flicked on a left-wing cross with a glancing header but he just missed the far post.
Then in the 54th minute Wingate & Finchley broke the deadlock. Fisher played the ball in to Chase who struck a 25 yard curling shot perfectly into the top right corner.
As the pitch became more soaked, the players found it all the harder to complete quick passing moves. This suited the Blues who were sitting on their lead.
Northwood were reduced to 10 men following a red card for Northwood’s Eugene Ofori for a high challenge.
Wingate wrapped up the tie on 79 minutes. A long ball player-manager Dave Norman, who came on for Ellis, was collected by Dave Laird. His first-time flick found Smith who confidently slotted the ball home.
Northwood set up a grandstand finish after pulling one back in the closing stages. Norman lost possession, and the ball was tapped home by John Christian.
With the visitors going for broke in a bid to force extra time, gaps were left at the back. Smith and Laird linked up with the latter firing into the side-netting.
Furman calmed Wingate’s nerves as he played in Smith who rounded the keeper and rolled the ball into the empty net to clinch a 3-1 victory.
Wingate: Gavin King, Marc Weatherstone, Kieran Street (sub: Aynsley McDonald 46), Ahmet Rifat, Daniel Nielsen, Craig Ellis (sub: Dave Norman 77), Michael Lenahan, Jake Furman, Leon Smith, Chris Chase, Leon Fisher
(sub: Dave Laird 68). Subs not used: James Gershfield, Jamie O’Donoghue, Dean Williams, Callum Horton