The ProKit UK Stadium set the scene for the start of a new direction for Wingate & Finchley - with Keith Rowland departing - and the long-serving Ahmet Rifat taking on the role of interim manager.
However, it was Bishop's Stortford who won Tuesday night's 3-2 Bostik League 'Battle of The Blues' - despite the away team clawing back into the game to draw level midway through the second-half. Yet, despair was to follow.
Chace O’Neill took early initiative with three minutes played, when he flashed wide after manoeuvring into the box.
The home Blues took the lead with seven on the clock. Jamie Cureton stabbed home the rebound following an initial stop by Shane Gore.
Gore was called into action ten minutes on when he produced an acrobatic save to deny Jack Thomas' curling attempt from afar.
The men from Summers Lane were quickly running out of luck in the 24th minute. Cureton grabbed his brace from the edge of the box following Alfie Mason's splitting pass.
With a minute left prior to the break, the visitors found their breakthrough. Marc Weatherstone connected with Lewis Putman’s ferocious inside right free-kick to head home beyond Calum Kitscha's reach.
Eight minutes into the restart, Cureton was a whisker away from sliding in for his hat-trick, when he stuck out a leg in a desperate attempt to connect with a dangerous cross across the face of goal.
Rifat's men drew level on 65 minutes. Reece Beckles-Richards' skilful back-flick sent Samir Bihmoutine down the left who picked out - former Bishop's Stortford - O’Neill to half-volley inside the near-post.
13 minutes followed when Lewis Dark headed wide at the back post for the hosts, before Scott Shulton responded six minutes on from 30 yards out, but struck inches wide.
Rob Laney’s throw-in was met by Marc Charles-Smith, whose backwards header clipped the top of the bar on 87 minutes.
Despite an impressive comeback, agonising heartbreak followed in the second minute of injury time. A momentary lapse in concentration saw Mason get on the end of a long throw to loop his back-post header over Gore and send the north Londoners away fruitless.
Report by Khalid Karimullah