Hadley Wood & Wingate 2 - 1 Buckingham Athletic
By Andy Gerlis
Hadley Wood and Wingate held their nerve to see out a 2-1 win at home to Buckingham Athletic.
Brandon Dujon gave the hosts an early lead with a sublime volley before Ben Aquayo equalised just after half time.
But Alex Hadjithemistou's swerving shot somehow found its way in to seal all three points for the hosts.
The result makes it five wins out of five for an in form Hadley Wood side who host Hatfield Town in the Spartan South Midlands Division One Cup on Tuesday.
Wingate took the lead with the first shot of the game when Dujon controlled a sixth-minute pass on his chest and smashed the ball over Lewis Dench from 20 yards out.
But only Martin Arnauchkou's hand prevented the visitors from equalising ten minutes later when the goalkeeper rushed off his line to slap the ball away from Jamie Sylvester's feet as he raced through on goal.
Muyiwe Osenie and Agyei-Danquah both had half-chances but neither could double the lead and the Blues went into the break 1-0 up.
Vass Mandeville saw his shot on the turn scrape past Dench's post within a minute of the restart, but Wingate have kept just one clean sheet since the start of the season and it seemed inevitable they would find themselves level.
A long ball over the top caught the defence napping and Aquayo slotted the equalising goal into the bottom corner.
Both sides came close with headers - Osenie saw his cannon back off the post while Buckingham's towering forward Glen Hawkins planted his just over the bar.
But, with the game ebbing and flowing, it was always going to need a slice of fortune for either side to nick it and Lady Luck smiled on Wingate.
Hadjithemistou took aim from 20 yards out and dipped a shot that squeezed through Dench's arms and rolled across the line to make it 2-1, despite the keeper's best efforts to push it clear.
And the lucky pants Frankie Webb must have put on that morning seemed to be working as Sylvester's shot rebounded back off Wingate's crossbar with Aranchkou beaten.
Dujon and James Meehan both dragged shots across the six yard box, but the referee eventually called time on a tight game and the Blues held out for a win that sees them go level on points with today's visitors.
Hadley Wood and Wingate:
Arnauchkou (GK), Mandeville, Agyei-Danquah, Hadjithemistou, Marriott, Mafuta (C), Dujon, Casey (Alkiviadou, 59')' Osenie (Meehan, 65'), Webb (Isaiah, 85), Kouroushi