Keith Rowland's comeback-kids once again left it late to turn a loss into a win with a 3-2 fight back at Burgess Hill. 2-0 down to Burgess within 20 seconds of the start of the second half, a late surge saw goals from Ahmet Rifat, Walter Figueira and Sean Cronin flip the score on its head and hand the Blues all three points.
It was a week to the day that Wingate and Finchley came back from 2-1 down to win 3-2 against Folkestone Invicta. And Figueira's equaliser came on his debut for the club, having signed from Chessington and Hook United this week. It was the home side that left its mark on the first half.
Fingertip saves at both ends from Shane Gore and Burgess' Josh James kept the sides level until Pat Harding opened the scoring from close range after 36 minutes. Fans were still taking their seats for the second half when Jack Brivio doubled the hosts' lead - just twenty seconds separated the referee's kickoff whistle and Brivio's powerful goal from Harding's knock-down.
It could have been more were it not for Gore's hands thwarting any shot that came near him, but the momentum soon swung in Wingate's favour. Spencer McCall's free-kick dropped perfectly in the six-yard box for Rifat to toe-poke home after 69 minutes, setting the wheels in motion for a sensational comeback. Claudiu Vilcu pinged a shot off the post from the edge of the box as a Blue storm rained down on Burgess' box.
Debutant Figueira - on as a substitute - brought down Gore's long upfield punt and fired Wingate level at James' near post with just three minutes left. The fans burst into celebrations but, as they have shown on multiple occasions this season, the players were far from finished.
A 93rd minute McCall corner was met by Cronin at the near post and the centre back planted his fourth goal of the season past a helpless James, creating scenes of biblical proportions in the away end. Blues fans will hope that they can watch their team take triple points without needing a triple bypass when they travel to Leiston on Saturday.
WingateTV: Sean Cronin and Ahmet Rifat Post Burgess Hill Town: HERE
Report by Andy Gerlis