Reece runs through nine-man Merstham
WINGATE & FINCHLEY 2 MERSTHAM 0
WINGATE & FINCHLEY overcame a Merstham outfit who ended up with nine men after an unseemly 90th-minute goalmouth stramash.
The best early chances fell to the hosts’ luckless Lewis Putman, who headed weakly at goal when twice well-placed in the first six minutes.
The visitors regained their lost early composure only to be rocked back on 44 minutes when Gate went ahead from the penalty spot.
Sean Cronin struck home the 44th-minute spot kick, deftly placing the ball past Moatsiders custodian Chris Haigh’s dive.
In the 58th minute, Merstham threatened an equaliser when Gate keeper Shaun Gore did well to divert Fabio Saraiva’s powerful drive from 20 yards.
But ten minutes later, the hosts doubled their lead when unmarked centre-back Marc Weatherstone powerfully headed home Reece Beckles- Richards’ fantastic freekick delivery.
There were chances at both ends, Haigh denying a clean through Reece Beckles-Richards on 76 minutes and Gore repeating the feat at Calum Davies’ feet 11 minutes later.
But Merstham found themselves two goals and two men down with the game entering stoppage-time, Ollie Cook and Josh Antonio both seeing red.
STAR MAN: Reece Beckles-Richards (Wingate & Finchley) ENTERTAINMENT: ★★★★★