Bostik Premier: Bognor Regis Town 4 Wingate & Finchley 2

New Wingate & Finchley manager Glen Little on the touchline (pic: Martin Addison).

New Wingate & Finchley manager Glen Little on the touchline (pic: Martin Addison). - Credit: Archant

Wingate & Finchley endured a frustrating afternoon at Nyewood Lane after slipping to defeat to Bognor Regis Town – despite twice taking the lead either side of the break.

The Rocks started on the front foot and within three minutes. Calvin Davies played Dan Smith through, who struck wide with clout.

Four minutes on, the north Londoners made the breakthrough as Loic Hernandez exchanged passes with Charlie Ruff, prior to laying it off to Charlie Cole on the inside left, who fired across from outside the area into the bottom corner to continue his red-hot form.

Shane Gore had to be alert in the 14th minute to keep out Jimmy Muitt’s strike towards the bottom left corner.

But from the resulting set-piece, the hosts equalised as a short taken corner resulted in Bradley Lethbridge whipping a cross to the back post for Smith, who headed across goal into the bottom left.

Lethbridge, from wide on the left, flashed a strike wide on 22 minutes and a quarter of an hour later Muitt broke to the inside right and struck with menace across goal, which Gore superbly palmed away to his right.

Then, in the second minute of stoppage time, Davies’ clipped cross picked out Lethbridge to head over on the back foot.

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Six minutes after the restart, Reece Mitchell – introduced at the break – beat Joe Tomlinson and floated a cross to Rob Laney, who rose to power a header into the back of the net to hand The Blues another early lead.

But four minutes later, it was all square again as Lethbridge’s skimmed flick-on evaded Gore’s grip, with Muitt taking advantage to convert with aplomb.

Mason Walsh took off on a mazy surge and picked out Lethbridge, whose shot deflected wide on 58 minutes.

Gore again acrobatically dived to keep out Muitt’s low drive a minute later and on the hour mark, Tomlinson’s cross was headed over by Lethbridge from close.

Two minutes on at the other end, Cole looked to take advantage of his momentum when he fired a snapshot wide.

In the 67th minute, the visitors fortunes slipped away as Walsh initially forced a defensive mishap, before placing the loose ball inside the near post to give Bognor the lead for the first time.

Nine minutes from the end, Walsh’s corner arrived with Tommy Scutt and, after some ping-pong in the box, he finished low from close range as Glen Little’s side left West Sussex wondering how they had finished empty-handed.

Wingate: Gore, Ifil (Ebelebe 23), Hernandez, Williams, Weatherstone, Tejan-Sie, Beckles-Richards, O’Neill (Mitchell 46), Cole (Monsheju 74), Ruff, Laney. Unused subs: Charles-Smith, Manu.

Attendance: 556.