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Bostik Premier: Ahmet Rifat delighted to see Wingate & Finchley get past Hendon rivals after two tough FA Cup meetings!

PUBLISHED: 17:00 07 September 2017

Wingate & Finchley captain Ahmed Rifat in action against Hendon (pic: DBeechPhotography)

Wingate & Finchley captain Ahmed Rifat in action against Hendon (pic: DBeechPhotography)

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Keith Rowland’s team host Burgess Hill Town this weekend, while the Greens will look to bounce back away to Met Police

Ahmet Rifat admits Wingate & Finchley are relishing the busy schedule now they have found their form from last season.

Keith Rowland’s team started the new campaign with back-to-back defeats, but have responded in fine fashion over the last couple of weeks.

On Tuesday, Wingate edged past Bostik Premier rivals Hendon in an FA Cup first qualifying round replay having been held to a 1-1 draw on Saturday.

After their latest success, the Blues can wait to host Burgess Hill Town in the league this weekend and then Enfield Town next Tuesday (September 12).

“We are looking forward to every game and the quicker they come the better it is for us at the minute,” Rifat told Wingate TV.

“Last Saturday we deserved to win, but we let one in at the end and then played on Tuesday and showed good character.

“It is good for us to keep the games coming because it means we can keep this run going.”

Wingate looked set to earn a 1-0 win away to Hendon on Saturday when Spencer McCall found the net after 47 minutes.

That was until Rian Bray popped up with a late equaliser for the Greens to force a replay at the Maurice Rebak Stadium.

Like in the first meeting, the Blues took the lead through McCall and after Rob Laney’s goal, they were 2-0 up.

Hendon again came back though, with Niko Muir scoring twice – the equaliser occuring in the 87th minute.

It forced extra time and home captain Rifat stepped up to put his side in front again before McCall added another to cap a fine 4-2 victory and book Wingate’s spot in the next round.

“At 2-2 when they were on top we did kind of need to reach 90 minutes, so we could recover and regroup,” said the Blues skipper.

“But I feel with any team we play we will always have chances and we were wasteful with some of our opportunities and the positions we got into, so we could have made it easier for ourselves.

“To hang on and then notch two in extra time where everyone dug in, we are happy as a team.”

Wingate now travel to National League South side Hemel Hempstead Town in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup on September 16.

Hendon will aim to get back on track away to Met Police this weekend before visiting Dulwich Hamlet on Tuesday. Two tough games for Gary McCann’s team.

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