|Canvey Island 1|
|D. Green (30)|
|Wingate & Finchley 4|
|B. Pattie (22), R. Beckles-Richards (41), R. Beckles-Richards (65), R. Beckles-Richards (76)|
Manager Danny Heale made four changes to the side that were comprehensively beaten by Staines Town a week earlier. Joey May, Elliott Warren and Junior Luke all dropped to the bench while Tambeson Eyong served a one match suspension.
In came Steve Sheehan and Mitchell Gilbey who both returned through injury and Martin Tuohy who partnered George Sykes in attack. New signing Dominic Green was also included on the right wing having signed from Bishop’s Stortford on Friday.
Canvey created an opportunity as early as the second minute when Mitchell Gilbey unleashed a low driven effort from 25 yards which Shane Gore was able to save.
Gilbey had another chance ten minutes later with a free kick in a similar position. The midfielder got the ball over the wall and back down towards the top corner but Gore had plenty of time to see the ball and pluck it out of the air.
Wingate took the lead on 22 minutes when a corner from Steve Wales found captain Ahmed Rifat at the back post. Rifat played the ball infield for striker Ben Pattie who scored with a half volley via the underside of the crossbar from six yards.
Canvey nearly drew level five minutes later when captain Steve Sheehan got his head to a Mitchell Gilbey corner. Sheehan’s effort was heading for the bottom corner but was cleared off of the line by Luke Ifil.
The Gulls did equalise on the half hour mark after George Sykes did brilliantly to drive in field from the left, wing. Sykes got to the byline before cutting back for Dominic Green to thump home from 12 yards on debut.
Wingate got themselves back in front on 41 minutes only second after nearly finding themselves behind when Shane Gore saved a header from Mitchell Gilbey. Wingate broke out of defence and launched a long ball forwards which released Reece Beckles-Richards in behind the Canvey defence, scoring from the edge of the area with a chip over Lewis Moore.
Trailing 2-1 at the break, Canvey came close to grabbing a second equaliser early in the second half when Dominic Green’s corner found Martin Tuohy at the back post. Tuohy got his head to the ball but steered it inches wide from close range.
The visitors extended their advantage further on 65 minutes when Reece Beckles-Richards scored his second of the afternoon. His shot from the left deflected off of Ashley Dumas and sent the ball past Lewis Moore at his near post.
Any hopes of a Canvey comeback were put to bed on 76 minutes when Reece Beckles-Richards completed his hattrick, smashing the ball high into the goal from 20 yards.
The Gulls came close on a couple of occasions to scoring a second, but George Sykes’ shot on 78 minutes was saved by the legs of Shane Gore before Junior Luke’s volley from the edge of the area flew inches over with five minutes remaining.
Photo: Holly Allison