Wingate & Finchley got 2013 off to the perfect start as they claimed a 3-2 victory against fierce rivals Wealdstone in the Ryman Premier Division.
On a heavy pitch, it was Wealdstone who started strongly and the hosts had the first chance as an Alex Dyer free-kick was flicked over the crossbar.
Wingate’s recent signing Ronayne Marsh-Brown carved out the Blues first attempt of the contest. He pushed forward down the left and pulled the ball back to the advancing Jack Hutchinson.
His shot took a deflection on its route to goal and the ball was scrambled off the line by a covering defender.
Wingate upped the pace of their passing and increased the pressure on the Wealdstone goal.
On 30 minutes the Blues went ahead as Hutchinson's high shot was parried by goalkeeper Rikki Banks and Daniel Brown followed up slide the rebound home. The visitors continued to push forward and Anthony Thomas fired a powerful shot narrowly wide of the post.
Wealdstone, who sit third in the Premier Division, fashioned two good opportunities to level the contest.
Richard Jolly thought he had equalised with a header only for the offside flag to halt the celebrations before Jack Middleton did well to save a deflected strike from Chris Moore.
Two minutes before the break, Wingate added a second goal.
Marc Weatherstone played a clever pass down the the right flank which Daniel Brown chased down.
He took the pass in his stride and slotted the ball past the onrushing keeper to double his side's lead over their title-hopeful opponents.
Despite their advantage, the Blues continued to attack Wealdstone and created several opportunities to score a third.
A clever pass from Hutchinson freed Wayne O'Sullivan and his cross into the area was met by Brown. However, his header from close range was straight at the goalkeeper.
Soon after, O'Sullivan was again put free down the right wing. He neatly pulled the ball back to Scott Shulton who skipped past a defender before firing over the crossbar.
After a poor start to the second period, Wealdstone began to create opportunities of their own and Jolly forced Middleton into a good low stop.
Wingate then grabbed a third. Hutchinson played in O'Sullivan who had overlapped superbly on the right and he slid the ball home from a tight angle.
Wealdstone threw men forward in the final 20 minutes as they searched for a route back into the match.
Wealdstone midfielder Alex Dyer missed a simple one-on-one as he chipped Middleton but the ball rolled wide.
However, the hosts did pull a goal back as Jolly fired in a well timed volley seven minutes from full time.
Wealdstone then grabbed a second as Nathan Webb’s tame strike evaded a several players and nestled in the net.
Wingate had a chance to seal the win by scoring a fourth in injury time. A counter attack allowed substitute Leon Smith space to shoot but his effort was blocked.
The ball fell to Andrew Mensah but he could only drag his shot wide of the post.
But Wingate managed to see out the match and claim an important three points.