WITHAM TOWN 1 WINGATE AND FINCHLEY 0
Ryman League premier division
Witham Town’s players gave manager Garry Kimble the response he was looking for after the disappointment of their defeat at VCD Athletic with a 1-0 win against Wingate and Finchley.
It was Witham’s second win of the season in the Ryman League premier division and a perfect way to bounce back from their first loss of the campaign.
In the end it was Danny Emmanuel’s goal just after the break that separated the sides, but it could easily have been a more convincing scoreline in their favour.
After a quiet start for both sides, Witham began to pose more of a cohesive threat as the half wore on.
A superb corner by Tom Wraight offered their closest chance on goal who the ball flew across the face of goal and the onrushing Leon Antoine was inches away from making any type of contact that would have made it 1-0.
However, Wingate also began to press more as the minutes ticked down to half-time.
First Karl Oliyide stung Witham keeper Martyn Guest’s hands with a strong shot from the edge of the box and Guest then pulled off a top-class save from James Koloczi after the home defence has been opened up.
It stayed 0-0 at the break though.
Wingate went desperately close to opening the scoring within minutes of the restart but a combination of Guest’s saves and bodies being thrown in front of shots somehow kept it goalless.
It didn’t stay that way for long though.
In the 51st minute, the ball broke to Danny Emmanuel in the Wingate box and he turned and fired low into the net for a 1-0 lead.
The lift that goal gave Witham was clear to see as they picked the tempo up and put the visitors’ defence under real pressure.
A strong run and cross by Shamidi Pedulu was scrambled away from under the Wingate bar and Antoine’s header from the subsequent corner was just wide.
Witham weren’t able to force a second goal and the visitors did start to press more in search of an equaliser as the hosts dropped deeper in defence of their lead.
However, Wingate efforts failed to trouble Guest too much.
The game got more and more stretched as both sides sensed there was another goal in it but there wasn’t and it ended 1-0 to Witham.
Witham: Martyn Guest, Conor Mead, Brad Stopher, Paul King, Ryan Blackman, Danny Emmanuel, Lewis Godbold, Leon Antoine (Kurt Smith 73) , Shamido Pedulu (John Watson 86), Tom Wraight. Subs not used: James Stevens, Josh Mayhew, Lee Townrow.