Bostik Premier: Leiston’s Matt Blake nets late winner to bring Wingate & Finchley’s unbeaten league run to an end

Wingate & Finchley manager Keith Rowland (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Wingate & Finchley manager Keith Rowland (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo). - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Bostik Premier: Wingate & Finchley 0 Leiston 1

Wingate & Finchley suffered their first Bostik Premier defeat since November at home to Leiston last night.

Keith Rowland’s team went into the contest on a seven-match unbeaten run in the division, after seeing Saturday’s game at Dorking Wanderers postponed.

And the battle between the two top-half clubs was settled in the second half when Matt Blake scored with 13 minutes left to hand the visitors all three points.

Leyton Orient loanee Charley Barker had the first chance of the game, but Leiston goalkeeper Marcus Garnham saved well with four minutes played.

The away custodian was called into action again in the 10th minute when he saved a Marc Charles-Smith header well.

Leiston threatened three minutes later when Blake was able to get a shot off inside the six-yard area, but he surprised fired wide when well-placed.

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It had been a frantic start and the pace of the match showed no signs of slowing when Quentin Monville tested Garnham again, but the visiting stopper parried the effort of the Wingate attacker away from goal.

Shane Gore was then called into action in the 19th minute when Byron Lawrence took aim from 25-yards, but the Blues number one saved with ease.

The rest of the first-half played out with little to note as it remained goalless between the two play-off rivals at the Maurice Rebak Stadium.

Leiston should have taken the lead three minutes after the restart though, when Blake was picked out, but he drilled wide.

Wingate made a change with 66 minutes on the clock as Afolabi Ofafemi replaced Monville, but it was the Suffolk club who created the next chance and they took it.

Blake was first to a corner and stabbed home at the near post to put Leiston in front late on in north London.

Youngster Ben Pattie came on for Barker on the stroke of full time, but it failed to result in late drama as Wingate lost their first league match since November 19.

The Blues, who remain ninth in the table, will look to bounce back on Saturday when they host Harlow Town.