Football Management & Technology

Wingate & Finchley v Horsham: MATCH PREVIEW


Dom Di Paola will be looking for an improvement following the 2-0 reverse at Haringey Borough on Saturday as his side makes a swift return to the capital tonight, taking on Wingate & Finchley at the quirky Maurice Rebak stadium.

Like nearby Enfield Town’s Queen Elizabeth II Stadium, Wingate’s home has a Grade II listed main stand and is set way back from the pitch, making it one of the more unusual venues in the league.

The history of the club itself is also anything but typical. Finchley FC was formed in 1874, making it one of the oldest clubs in the country, while Wingate FC was formed in 1946 as a Jewish football club with the express purpose of battling anti-Semitism in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War.

The two clubs merged in 1991 and won several promotions over the course of the next two decades, reaching the Isthmian Premier Division in 2011-12, where they have remained ever since.

The history of fixtures with the Hornets is therefore something of a mixed bag. We were something of a bogey team for Wingate FC, winning all but one of the eight encounters between the two sides and bagging 26 goals in the process.

We fared rather less well in the two seasons in the early 80s when Wingate merged with Leyton FC under the name Leyton-Wingate. Not only were we doubled in both seasons, shipping 18 goals in the process, but we were also dumped out of the FA Vase by the unflattering score of 8-0. Thank goodness the merger didn’t last!

Honours are much more even in the current incarnation as Wingate & Finchley, with the Hornets leading by five wins to three, in addition to two draws.

In recent times, the Hornets have had the upper hand, winning the only match in each of the Covid-curtailed seasons, as well as running out comfortable 2-0 winners at the Camping World Community Stadium last year.

However, the return fixture at the Maurice Rebak Stadium resulted in a 3-0 home win, with the Hornets’ display being so poor that Dom felt obliged to make a personal apology to the travelling fans.

With recent visits to Haringey and Enfield having also ended in defeat, the boss will be keen for a more positive outcome from this visit to North London.

Although Wingate currently occupy one of the relegation spots, their lowly position does not reflect the fact that all their matches this season have been close affairs. Four have ended all-square, with the other two being single-goal defeats to league leaders Aveley and perennial high-flyers Folkestone.

Despite recent history in this neck of the woods being against them, the Hornets have plenty of reason to travel with optimism, as they still sit in second place in the league and boast both the highest goals tally in the division (16) and the equal-highest individual goalscorer, Jack Mazzone (6).

For supporters wishing to see the Hornets get back on the winning trail, or even those just interested in visiting listed football grounds, there is still space on the players’ coach at the usual price of £15, leaving Hop Oast Park & Ride at 3.45pm sharp.


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