On a mild November afternoon in North London, Cray Wanderers took all three points back across the river after sealing a 3-1 victory, albeit playing nearly an hour of this fixture with a man advantage after Alkeo Bani saw red in the first half for the home side.
Wingate dominated the early possession but there were very few chances for either side early on in this tie with both sides cancelling each other out and any attacks fizzling out. Cray Wanderers took the lead after half an hour of play when some good work down the visitors' right flank gave Gary Lockyer the opportunity to meet Ellis Brown's cross to slide home at the near post.
This lead did not last long, however, as the hosts sparked into life and Ruben Carvalho netted an outstanding free kick, not for the first time this season, from 25 yards which left the visiting keeper rooted to the spot.
The match’s defining moment came late in the first half when Wingate & Finchley midfielder Alkeo Bani was shown red during a melee featuring most of the 22 players on the field.
Shortly after the beak Cray re-took the lead through Frankie Raymond. After a well-worked short corner routine, a fierce drive from the edge of the area found the bottom right corner. The Wands did have the ball in the net again shortly afterwards, but the referee's whistle had already been blown for an offside against the visiting forward.
Anthony Cook sealed the win on the hour mark, a direct free kick sneaking through Ben Goode's grasp after it skidded off the wet Maurice Rebak Stadium surface. With the man advantage Cray controlled the remaining period in a low-risk manner and neither goalkeeper was troubled.
And so it ended 3-1 to the visitors, with victory moving the visitors out of the relegation zone. Wingate & Finchley are now in 9th position, 3 points off the play off places. Next up for the Blues is an away trip to The Dripping Pan to face Lewes on Saturday 11th November, 3pm kick-off.
Wingate & Finchley: Goode; Cracknell; Hernandez (Williams 67'); Bani (sent off 40'); Frempah; Achuba (Wilkinson 86’); Garrett-Douglas; Carvalho (Yeboah 79'); Chukwu; Long; Biler
Unused Subs: Frimpong; Newton