Wingate & Finchley’s determination that saw an emphatic, late victory at Burgess Hill Town was prevalent again at Victory Road, following a know-how 2-1 win over Leiston. The Blues started the brightest bursting forward in numbers – Ben Pattie had Reece Beckles-Richards making the run on the outside – but he decided to go it alone firing a low curler from 20-yards which Nick Eyre had to get down low to keep out.
At the other end, Shane Gore was tested getting down low to his right to force away Matt Blake’s low drive. Oliver Brown hooked away Spencer McCall’s deep delivery looking for Pattie, the ball fell kindly for Ahmet Rifat to chest and volley, but his effort sailed wide across the face of goal. Blake collected Brown’s cross from 12-yards, forcing Gore to react, though as the ball rebounded out to Joe Francis, he sent his volley wide of the left-hand post.
The second 45 saw a carbon-copy opening. Tommy Tejan-Sie broke to the left finding Pattie, whose initial strike was deflected into the path of Beckles-Richards who was denied by Eyre from two-yards out. McCall dropped a free-kick right inside the six-yard box meeting Rifat’s timely run, who volleyed just wide past a flat-footed Eyre.
Keith Rowland’s outfit took a deserved lead with 20 minutes remaining. Beckles-Richards latched onto Eyre’s loose goalkick prior to crossing towards Pattie, whose touch set the ball before firing into the bottom corner. It was soon 2-0. Walter Figueira, having only been on for four minutes, received Beckles-Richards’ looped pass over the top, before bursting forward playing across to Tejan-Sie, who guided the ball back across goal for a classy finish.
Leiston responded late on, Gareth Heath’s out-swinging corner was headed back towards goal by Patrick Brothers who found Francis for a hooked finish into the top right. That response proved fruitless, as Wingate held on, ending the weekend sitting in a lofty play-off position.
WingateTV: Spencer McCall, Walter Figueira & Tommy Tejan Sie Post Leiston: HERE
Report by Khalid Karimullah