The Non-League Football Paper - - RYMAN PREMIER - By Matt Bad­cock

THAT’S the thing about host­ing New Year’s Eve par­ties – there’s al­ways some­one who gate­crashes it and drinks your par­ents’ best bot­tle.

Win­gate & Finch­ley were that guy as they pooped the big cel­e­bra­tion of yet an­other bumper crowd at Dul­wich Ham­let.

Al­most 2,000 turned up ex­pect­ing to see the Pink and Blue fin­ish 2016 with a bang by post­ing a third suc­ces­sive win to aide their pro­mo­tion quest.

But Shane Gore’s sec­ond-half penalty save from sub­sti­tute Danny Carr and res­o­lute de­fend­ing meant it was a point shared.

“Ev­ery club we seem to play gets dis­ap­pointed when we take points off them,” said Win­gate & Finch­ley boss Keith Row­land, whose side are in the bot­tom half.

“Staines were ex­actly the same on Box­ing Day – an­other good club who have come down from a good league. Dul­wich are try­ing to get up to a good league. For me, to take a point against Staines and then a point here, that’s okay for us.

“We’ve got a lot of games in hand through our cup run. But in a one-off game here to­day, I’ll take the point.”

Row­land’s side got off to a great start when Reece Beck­lesRichards turned in a cor­ner from close range with three min­utes on the clock.

Charl­ton loa­nee Chris Millar was de­nied by the legs of Gore as the hosts looked for a swift re­ply, which duly came on 21 min­utes.

Nathan Green swung in a cross and Dumebi Du­maka rose high to power in the equaliser with his head.

Tommy Te­jan-Sie al­most re­stored Win­gate’s lead with a curl­ing free-kick, while at the other end de­fender Matt Drage saw his flick headed off the line by Tanasheh Abra­hams five min­utes be­fore the break.

But the ex­cite­ment wasn’t over and on 45 min­utes Win­gate had a penalty. Drage was ad­judged to have barged Rob Laney over as they chased a ball. For­mer England C stop­per Pre­ston Ed­wards, how­ever, was equal to cap­tain Steve Wales’ low spot-kick.

Not to be out­done in the goalie stakes, Gore im­me­di­ately pro­duced a fin­ger­tip save to deny Drage at the end of a fran­tic open­ing pe­riod. Then he kept out the im­por­tant one from 12 yards on 58 min­utes.

Carr raced into the area, chopped back but was taken down by Ryan Sell­ers’ slid­ing chal­lenge. Carr grabbed the ball but, like Wales, his low ef­fort from the spot was saved.

Luke Ifill was a re­lieved man when his sliced clear­ance went be­hind for a cor­ner. But de­spite en­joy­ing the Dul­wich pres­sure, Win­gate held on.

STAR MAN: Claudiu Vilcu (Win­gate & Finch­ley) EN­TER­TAIN­MENT: ★★★★★

PIC: Michael Hulf

FIRM: Dumebi Du­maka ham­mers home the equaliser be­fore, in­set, cel­e­brat­ing

RICH PICK­INGS: Reece Beck­les-Richards is all smiles af­ter his goal

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