Wingate & Finchley move into play-off spots after victory over Leiston

Wingate & Finchley moved into the play-off spots as they recovered from Saturday’s defeat at Farnborough with an impressive 1-0 home win against Leiston on Tuesday night.

The only goal of the game came 20 minutes in with Alfie Bartram’s stunning long-range effort, and it took the Blues up to fourth in the table with a game in hand over leaders Dulwich Hamlet, who are only four points ahead of Wingate.

The first clear-cut chance fell to the hosts on 11 minutes, with Karl Oliyide played through on goal by Daniel Brown, but the former could only shoot straight at Ashlee Jones. Bartram then went close just minutes later, before Simon Lane’s side finally broke through.

Tommy Tejan-Sie found Bartram outside the area, with the 25-year-old taking one touch with his right foot before striking a sublime arrowing shot into Jones’ bottom left corner.

Wingate continued to press Leiston and almost doubled their lead when Mark Goodman’s bullish tackle saw him escape with the ball and, after jinking past two defenders, sent a powerful effort just wide of the right post.

On 31 minutes, Wingate were the beneficiaries of a fortunate decision. Brad Hewitt tussled with Joe Francis inside the area and, despite appeals from Leiston players, was adjudged to have won the ball fairly.

Oliyide and Bartram both went close as the hosts searched for a second goal before the break, but Stuart Boardley could only head over from close range.

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The second half saw equally difficult conditions, with the visitors the stronger of the two sides. Leon Ottley-Gooch looked on course to draw Leiston level six minutes after the break, but Goodman’s superb last-ditch tackle thwarted him. Tejan-Sie went close for the hosts as the game neared its end.

Wingate now travel to East Thurrock on Saturday and could go as high as second should results go their way.