Grier's Guide to Wingate and Finchley
The game: Wingate and Finchley v Kingstonian, Isthmian League. Tuesday 14 September, 19:45.
The club: Formed in 1991 by a merger of Wingate FC, a Jewish club established in 1946 with the aim of tackling anti-Semitism, and Finchley FC, who traced their roots all the way back to 1874. Margaret Thatcher, then the MP for Finchley, was the club's first patron having been involved in the merger. They've been an Isthmian Premier mainstay since 2011, having secured promotion in the same season as winning a League Cup-London Senior Cup double.
The town: Finchley (Wingate is not a place at all but instead is the name of a British Army officer after whom Wingate FC was named) is a North London suburb where Charles Dickens wrote Martin Chuzzlewit.
The ground: The Maurice Rebak Stadium, Summers Lane, Finchley, N12 0PD. The art deco main stand offers a good view despite being set some distance back from the pitch, while one of the goals has a compact, covered terrace behind it.
Directions: It's a mile's walk from West Finchley (Northern Line, just over half an hour from Waterloo) down quiet residential streets, or you can get a bus from either Finchley Central (382) or Highgate (263). For those braving the rush hour traffic to drive it's just off the North Circular on the other side of London. The small car park is only for players and officials but there's street parking on the roads around the ground.
Tickets: £12 adults / £6 concessions (OAP, student, unemployed) / £3 U16 / U12s free. They can be bought online at https://www.wingatefinchley.com/events/1st-team-v-kingstonian-h
Our record there: A drew 1-1 last time we visited, in the abandoned 2019-20 season. Our record is generally decent, with the highlight being a Ryan Moss hat-trick in a 4-0 win in 2013.
Players to watch: The veterans Marc Weatherstone and ex-K Ahmet Rifat have finally hung up their boots but remain at the club as, respectively, manager and director of football. Their summer signings included Daniel Pappoe, who played a starring role in our run to the playoffs in 2013-14, although he hasn't yet made an appearance for them.
Recent form: They've taken four points from their opening four games, winning 2-1 at Leatherhead and coming from two nil to draw with Corinthian-Casuals.
Crowd: It's always a friendly place to go, although their 150 average crowd placed them bottom of the Isthmian Premier attendance table in the last fully-completed season.
Drinking: The Elephant Inn, a Fuller's Pub that also does Thai food, is worth a short detour if coming from West Finchley. If coming via Finchley Central there are a few options on the high street near the tube station.
Food: The Great North Leisure Park multiplex has a few fast food options round the corner from the ground.