Wingate and Finchley recorded their fourth victory in a row with a resounding 4-2 win away at lowly strugglers Thurrock. In only the fifth minute the Blues took the lead, as a beautiful lob over Jake Jessup by Marc Charles-Smith from ten yards saw the ball bounce off the bar and creep over the line.
Thurrock's winger Michael Pindy fired low but straight at a well-placed Shane Gore. It did not take long before the lead was doubled at the other end. Ahmet Rifat played Quentin Monville clear down the right wing. As Afolabi Obafemi made a superb run off his marker in the middle, the winger found him with a low cross and he slid the ball into the bottom left corner. However within two minutes Thurrock gave themselves a lifeline. A lightning counter attack ended up with Charlie Stimson through on goal, and he made easy work of rounding Gore and slotting into an empty net.
The Thurrock goalkeeper Jessup, who was lucky to stay on the pitch after kicking out at Obafemi, had another slice of luck when a penalty was not awarded after he bulldozed Charles-Smith in the box. However Wingate's two goal lead was re-established seven minutes from the break. Obafemi beat the shaky offside trap, held the ball up for Laney to arrive and he drilled the ball home from 12 yards.
In the second half Wingate sat back and looked to secure their lead. In a rare effort Joel Brown-Bampoe had a half-chance as Thurrock tried to threaten, but Gore was never troubled, making another comfortable save low to his right. Ten minutes after break came a fourth goal; Laney heading the ball across goal for Obafemi to slot home. The deficit was brought back to two goals when Thurrock scored with a goalmouth scramble after a corner in the 70th minute. However this was as close as they would get, without threatening again.
Isaac Ebelebe came on for the Blues, making his league debut, and he added some defensive legs in the middle of the pitch, ensuring that the three points came back to Finchley. The Blues will host Tooting & Mitcham United on Tuesday, subject to the weather.
WingateTV: Thurrock away with Rob Laney: HERE
Report by Paul Lerman