Wingate & Finchley welcomed Jimmy Bullard's Leatherhead to a frosty Maurice Rebak Stadium, looking to extend their then, eight game unbeaten run. Reece Beckles-Richards' return from an enforced break saw him nearly back with a goal, but Leatherhead's keeper, Louis Wells, was out quickly to smother at his feet.
Claudiu Vilcu rose highest meeting Steve Wales' free-kick but could only head straight at Wells. D'Sean Theobalds shimmied through the middle but took too long to shoot, as the ball safely trickled into the hands of Shane Gore. The Blues took a deserved, stunning lead after 19 minutes. In a move started by Gore, Rob Laney played Wales down the right whose cross found Beckles-Richards for a superb flick home with a back-heel across Wells.
Laney strided down the inside left only to see his curled attempt pass the left-hand post for an audacious attempt with Wells off his line. Keith Rowland's outfit were forced to play the remaining 55 minutes with 10-men following Jordan Gibbons' sending off for a contentious foul on Theobalds. Gore parried away Tyron Smith's resulting 25-yard dipping free-kick moments before the break.
Following a spell of fruitless pressure from the visitors, Wingate doubled their advantage. Laney controlled Tanasheh Abrahams' throw, played to Spencer McCall who layed off to Ahmet Rifat for a sublime 20-yard piledriver which flew into the upper benjamins. Daniel Carr tapped the ball past Gore from Sean Cronin's vital clearance, but placed wide to the relief of the home faithful.
Bullard's outfit set-up a nervy nine minutes after reducing the deficit. Smith's volley cannoned back off the post into the path of Carr, who pounced to place the ball inside the near-post. In a momentum shifting drive, Abrahams curled a shot just past the post from the edge of the box.
WingateTV: Claudiu Vilcu and Ahmet Rifat post Leatherhead: HERE
Report by Khalid Karimullah
Sent off 36