Winston tastes first defeat
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Ryman League Division One North:
Maldon Town 2 Wingate & Finchley 1
With goals at the start and end of the game, Maldon Town somehow took all three points from this game and dented Wingate & Finchey's playoff hopes.
The home side took the lead in only the second minute through a free kick that was swung in from the left wing for centre-back Nathan Fletcher who jumped in space to head the ball perfectly into the top corner.
In very high winds neither side managed to create much in the first half as the bobbly pitch also hindered passing, although Joel Barnet was denied at the near post by King after a powerful run from the right.
Wingate & Finchley looked rejuvenated after the break and created a host of good scoring chances. Chris Chase flicked the ball through for Leon Nelson but he was charged down superbly by the keeper who blocked the shot behind for a corner. Dean Williams then hit the crossbar from a one-on-one as Wingate began to turn the screw.
The deserved goal came in fortuitous but deserved fashion the 57th minute when a Chris Chase corner went straight in as the keeper flapped at the far post under pressure from a group of players.
Wingate continued to dominate the half. Craig Ellis fired superbly from 18 yards but just missed the crossbar and Chris Chase sent a free kick slightly over also. However the waves of Wingate pressure began to die down and indeed Maldon won the match in injury time when Niki Love finished off a quick breakaway from an acute angle inside the area as Wingate suffered their first defeat under manager Ben Winston.
Wingate & Finchley: Gavin King, Marc Weatherstone, Daniel Nielsen, Craig Ellis, Bobby Aisien, Michael Sacks, Chris Chase, Marvin Samuel, Leon Nelson (Jason Mason 75), Dean Williams, Chris Bangura. Subs: Kieran Street, Jake Furman, Jimmie Berry, Frankie Webb