Wingate and Finchley were unable to complete a hat-trick of successive league victories as they slipped to a 2-1 defeat against Horsham at the Maurice Rebak Stadium on Saturday.
The hosts struggled to find their rhythm from the kick-off, quickly finding themselves pinned back into their own half and limited to half-chances on the counter-attack, as a result of the visitors’ aggressive attacking approach.
However, in the 28th minute, a Horsham headed clearance was pounced upon by Tommy Tejan-Sie, who chested the ball down and rifled a stunning half-volley from 30 yards into the roof of the net, making it 1-0 to the Blues.
The opener certainly stung the Hornets, as, almost immediately, a dangerous low cross from the visitors cannoned of two players and looped high and goalwards, but Myles Roberts heroically clawed the ball away to safety.
Roberts’ reflexes were called on again shortly after, managing to tip a vicious free kick struck from long-range round his left-hand post.
However, from the resulting set-piece, the scores were level, as an in-swinging delivery came through a crowd of bodies and deflected in at the near post.
The scoreline could then have been worse for Wingate, as another free kick, destined for the opposite top corner, was matched brilliantly by Roberts, and the half ended 1-1.
After the break, the Blues were punished for another slow start, when, in the 51st minute, a through-ball led to a defensive mix-up, leaving Rob O’Toole with the simple task of passing the ball into an empty net to give Horsham a 2-1 lead.
Spencer Knight turned to his bench, bringing on new signing Duane Ofori-Acheampong for his first appearance in a Blues shirt, to provide Wingate with some extra attacking impetus.
Wingate almost equalised a few minutes later, as a lofted free kick reached Charlie Edwards at the back post, but he was just unable to make enough contact to direct the ball towards goal.
The hosts continued to search for an equaliser, but their efforts were ultimately frustrated. A week-long break until the next fixture will help the Blues recharge and look to continue their excellent recent form away against Merstham.
Report by Ben Feldman