Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Wingate and Finchley F.C. - Maurice Rebak Stadium

Wingate and Finchley F.C.

Wingate and Finchley F.C.
Maurice Rebak Stadium
Summers Lane
N12 0PD

Ground Number: 70
Date: Tuesday 6th February 2018
Score: Wingate and Finchley F.C. 1-1 Tooting and Mitcham United F.C.
Competition: Bostik League Premier Division
Attendance: 111

After going to Brackley Town F.C. on Saturday, it was time go and visit another new ground and I was really keen to visit a new ground in mid-week before our trip to Dover Athletic on Saturday and there was only one local fixture on Tuesday night and that was Wingate and Finchley vs Tooting and Mitcham United and this game seemed very appealing seeing as I have wanted to go to Wingate and Finchley for the past few seasons but the only downside was they were playing against Tooting and Mitcham.
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I don't really have a hatred towards Tooting and Mitcham seeing as they are my most local club but I have recently seen them play when me and my dad visited Dorking Wanderers on Tuesday night just gone. I didn't really fancy watching Tooting and Mitcham again but they did show a good fight to stay in the league, so with them playing Wingate and Finchley who are 6th in the league, it might be a really good game. There are a few opportunities to tick off Wingate and Finchley this season but seeing as this was the only local game, we decided to just tick it off on the coming Tuesday night.
The week before the game was mainly spent at college like usual and I even managed to visit two new grounds as I visited Dorking Wanderers and you can read about that trip here and I also visited Brackley Town on Saturday and you can read about that trip here. Sunday was a more chilled day for me and my dad as we didn't wake up until 9am, watched some of MOTD and then headed to the pub for a drink, darts and a late lunch and that was about all we did on Sunday.
Monday was spent at home mainly chilling out doing some coursework that we started on Friday and I also did some little bits of pieces around the house and I also managed to buy some songs for my iPhone as I wanted some more songs for my trip to New York seeing as I cant use YouTube or any internet connected music apps on the plane. Tuesday morning arrived and I woke up at 7:30am and then had some breakfast and then did a little bit more coursework and then just before I left for college at 12:10pm, I quickly looked into the history of Wingate and Finchley FC.
Wingate and Finchley F.C. were founded in 1991 via the merger of Wingate FC and Finchley FC. The club currently play in the Bostik League Premier Division (England's 7th Tier) and they currently play their home games at the Maurice Rebak Stadium which has a capacity of 1,500 and there are around 400 seats. The club started out in the South Midlands League and in 1995, they joined the Isthmian League Division Three and the club had a couple of promotions and relegations in the 1990's. In 2004, they joined the Southern League East League and in 2006, they re-joined the Isthmian League Division One North and then in 2011, they were promoted to the Isthmian League Premier (now Bostik League Premier).
College was really chilled out today with us only having two lessons and it only consisted of a small bit of learning and the majority was typing up what we had learned. I finished college at 4:20pm and as I was walking out, my dad and Tony were there to meet me and we then drove up to South Wimbledon and then parked the car and walked up to South Wimbledon Station and by now, I had realised it was quite chilly but we were about to spent an hour on the tube so it didn't really matter that much.
We quickly topped up my Oyster Card with £5 and we then got on the tube and luckily enough, the destination of the tube was Finchley Central and that was exactly where we wanted to go so it seemed like TFL had organised this train especially for us but obviously they didn't! The tube was quite empty when we got on and I was quite bored so I read the Evening Standard which is rare because I rarely read and the only time I do read is at college or when I'm looking at a football programme. The tube started to get busy when we hit London Bridge but it is rush hour so we was expecting it and the tube did empty out as we started to reach the suburbs of North London. We arrived into Finchley Central at 6pm which was exactly an hour after we got on at South Wimbledon.
Once in Finchley High Street, we decided to try and find somewhere to eat seeing as we have over 90 minutes until the game, we found a KFC but they didn't have anywhere to sit down so we walked further up and found a burger/kebab type place and got burger and chips and then after finishing our dinner, we made the 20 minute walk to the Maurice Rebak Stadium and by now, it had gotten much colder. We arrived at the Maurice Rebak Stadium at 6:55pm and then paid to get in and today's admission prices were £12 for my dad and £6 for me and £2 for a programme, so £20 overall which for a Step 7 game is reasonable in my opinion. We then walked round the ground and took some pictures.
The Maurice Rebak Stadium has a capacity of 1,500 and there are around 400 seats. The ground is dominated by the unusual looking main stand which looks different to any other stand that I have seen and has a similar design to the stand at Walton Casuals as the stand is split into two as one side is in the football ground and on the other side is a rugby club and the stand has seats on the rugby club side as well. Opposite the main stand is a covered terrace that is located on the halfway line and is very narrow. Behind one of the goal is a small covered terrace that can hold around 100 people and behind the other goal is just flat standing.
I do like this ground, it does feel quite unique mainly down to the main stand and the ground feels historic even though the covered terrace behind the goal was installed fairly recently. I like the covered terrace opposite the main stand I do also like the covered end behind one of the goals but I feel like a covered terrace could be built where there is nothing behind one of the goals and maybe a terrace similar to the one at Imber Court / Metropolitan Police FC would look quite good at this ground.
After taking some pictures of this unique looking ground, we went in the bar as it was 0 degrees outside and I managed to get chatting to an old fella who told us a little about Wingate and Finchley and asked us where we came from and who we support. I also asked whether there was a club shop located on the premises and they said they didn't have any stock which was annoying as I wanted to get a pin badge but I left them my email so they can contact me. With about 10 minutes left before kick off, we headed back outside and then went and sat in the stand to get some pictures of the teams coming out and then the I got some pictures and then me and Tony went behind the goal that Wingate were kicking towards.
The first 15 minutes of the game was fairly even with no teams creating any chances and it felt like it was going to be one of those nights where you travel all that way to watch a 0-0. Things changed on the 16th minute when the ball was crossed into Tooting's box but the Wingate player could only deflect the ball just wide of the goal. Wingate then had a shot at the keeper on 21 mins and then 2 minutes later, Tooting hit the crossbar and then on 35 mins, Wingate shot at goal but went wide. Then just before half time, Wingate were awarded a free kick and they passed it along the ground and the ball got into the box and went in and it was 1-0 to Wingate and Finchley.
Half time and it was Wingate and Finchley 1-0 Tooting and Mitcham, the game so far hadn't really been anything special and just felt like a typical Tuesday night game. We headed back into the bar and my dad was already in there as he found it really cold, I then went and got my normal order of a cheeseburger and hot chocolate and it cost £5 which is quite reasonable and I was quite disappointed with the burger as I couldn't really taste the meat and the hot chocolate was a good cuop, nice and warm and flavour so not too bad. After finishing my hot chocolate, me and Tony went up to the stand and then the second half started.
The second half started quickly lively with Wingate creating a few chances in the first few minutes but Tooting and Mitcham were back in the game on 49 minutes when one of the Wingate players deflected the ball into his own net and it was 1-1 and the travelling 20 or so Tooting fans went wild. on 55 mins, Wingate had a header over the bar and then there wasn't anyother chances until 77 mins was Tooting had a shot on goal which was saved and then on 84 mins, Tooting headed the ball over the bar and on 89 mins, they had a shot over the bar and in the last minute. Wingate had a shot to win the game but the shot went straight at the keeper and it finished Wingate and Finchley 1-1 Tooting and Mitcham.
We walked out of the Maurice Rebak Stadium mainly feeling cold but feeling quite happy because we saw a good game of football and I managed to visit another new ground, its a ground nearer to my 100 target and it is another ground within the M25 visited, so tonight was a success! We walked back into Finchley itself and then got the 13 bus a few stops back to Finchley Central seeing as it was freezing and mainly because it was due in 1 minute. We managed to get straight on a tube heading to Kennington and I listened to some music to past the time and we then changed at Kennington and got the tube to South Wimbledon, walked back to the car, dropped Tony off and then got back to my dad's house at 11:20pm.
I enjoyed my trip to the Maurice Rebak Stadium, it is a decent ground for the 7th Tier, very friendly but the downside is there isn't any atmosphere except for a couple of kids banging a drum annoyingly and singing and the rest of the fans behind the goal don't even join in but the Tooting fans were decent for the number of fans that did travel. The food isn't the best either but the stadium and friendliness does outweigh the atmosphere and food!

Stadium: 8/10
Bar: 7/10
Food and Drink: 7/10
Atmosphere: 5/10
Friendliness: 9/10
Value For Money: 7/10
Overall Rating: 7.2/10