Wingate & Finchley 1-1 Whitehawk

Whitehawk missed the chance to move a step closer to safety after conceding a 90th minute equaliser away at fellow strugglers Wingate & Finchley to draw 1-1.

The Hawks nearly made a flying start after just 3 minutes as Sinn’Kaye Christie did brilliantly to win the ball on the edge of our own penalty area. He then played in Connor Tighe who in turn did well to find captain Henry Muggeridge who fired agonisingly wide of the far post. The Hawks dominated the opening stages and were being allowed to attack freely by Wingate with Ky Marsh-Brown, Muggeridge and Tighe all having chances in quick succession to break the deadlock. The hosts offered very little in attack with the Hawks defending the rare home attacks well, the best chance for Wingate coming after 31 minutes with Reece Beckles-Richards shooting well over the bar. With the half coming to a close, Nathaniel Pinney did brilliantly to hold off a defender to play in Tighe on the near side. Bearing down on goal, he shot over the bar after home keeper Shane Gore stormed off his line to put him off. Tighe had another chance just over a minute later, with Marsh-Brown beating 3 Wingate defenders on the far side to put a tantalising ball into the box, but he narrowly missed the ball with it going out of play for a throw-in, leaving the half with the Hawks somehow still level.

Six minutes after the restart, the Hawks finally took the lead that they had deserved right from kick off, with Connor Tighe doing well to win the ball from a Wingate defender and then playing in Ky Marsh-Brown on the near side. The resulting shot could only be pushed away by home keeper Shane Gore into the path of Rhyle Ovenden, who smashed home his first goal for the Hawks. Going a goal down seemed to spur on a Wingate & Finchley side which had barely caused any problems previously, with them starting to attack with more conviction though they still couldn’t get a shot away and beat a stern Hawks defensive effort. The Hawks looked likely to double their lead after 63 minutes with Fintan Walsh brilliantly finding Nathaniel Pinney with a pinpoint pass upfield, who played in Marsh-Brown though his effort was saved by Wingate keeper Gore. Three substitutes in quick succession seemed to turn the game in favour of the hosts with them piling on the pressure and they finally found a way through the Whitehawk defence as 90 minutes came onto the clock with Alieu Nije scoring following a goalmouth scramble.

There could have been even more late drama as deep inside injury time, the Hawks were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the Wingate penalty area, with Rhyle Ovenden hitting it brilliantly to force a good save from Gore who could only push it behind for a corner, which ultimately came to nothing and meant the Hawks could only look back on what is undoubtedly 2 key points dropped.

Blues – Gore, Ifil, Eadie, Nije, Cronin (c), Rifat (Laney 59’), Stewart (Tejan-Sie 59’), Hutchings (Rapai 64’), Cole, Beckles-Richards, Abrahams – Sub Not Used: Ruff

Hawks – Minter, Walsh, Goode, Ovenden, Ambroisine, Christie, Kissock, Tighe (Emberson 77’), Muggeridge (c), Marsh-Brown (Rodrigues 72’), Pinney (Ebuzoeme 79’) – Subs Not Used: Deda, Watson

Goals – Njie 90’ (Wingate); Ovenden 51’ (Whitehawk)

Attendance – 151

Hawks Man of the Match – Fintan Walsh