It was a case of showing respect, but only to an extent at the Maurice Rebak Stadium as Wingate & Finchley went at Folkestone Invicta - under the temporary management of Franco Piazza - yet had to settle for a 1-1 draw after the visitors clawed their way back.
Straight out the blocks, Tim Roberts was nearly caught off guard when Ahmet Rifat's cheeky chip had the stopper on the back-foot, but the ball took a bounce over the upright.
On 21 minutes, Alan Fleming hit a curling shot from outside the box which Roberts scrambled across to palm away.
Ten minutes later, Roman Michael-Percil and Tage Kennedy recycled passes, before the latter spun and fired across the face of goal which Fleming was inches from guiding home.
Kieron McCann hit back four minutes on, when he rifled a cross into box which Shane Gore had to be on hand to guide away on the stretch.
A minute before the break, Ira Jackson powered his way into the box from wide right and his flashed cross found Joshua Vincent, but he could only plant over the bar.
Six minutes into the restart, Luke Ifil sent Tommy Tejan-Sie into the box who cut inside past Callum Davies and struck towards the near-post, but Roberts narrowed the angle and sent it over.
Christian Forino-Joseph rose highest at the far post, yet planted his header into the hands of Roberts three minutes on.
Reaching the hour mark, Fleming drove a cross into the box which Roberts could only tip onto Kennedy's shoulder, yet luck ran out when the ball went wayward.
On 62 minutes, the north Londoners found their just deserts. Tejan-Sie's corner was headed down by Rifat before flicking off Olumide Oluwatimilehin and creeping inside the post.
The lead, nevertheless, was snatched away 11 minutes later. Samuel Hasler's free-kick was smashed home at the far post by a surging Vincent.
And with two minutes remaining, Jackson forced Gore into a strong parry down to his left.
A result which left the Blues to rue chances missed against the current league leaders.
Report by Khalid Karimullah