True Blue: Why Wingate & Finchley are on the crust of a wave
PUBLISHED: 12:27 17 March 2014 | UPDATED: 19:03 17 March 2014
Wingate & Finchley blogger Simon Swingler explains how a new tradition involving a sandwich has helped the Blues to three successive victories in the Ryman League Premier Division.
Fans of non-league football are a strange bunch. I guess you have to be to enjoy watching football this far below the professional game.
A fine example of this was to be found at half-time in our 3-1 derby victory over Harrow Borough a couple of weeks ago.
Our community manager Mike Bayly had left the sandwich he had purchased from the local cafe in the bag which we use to transport our various flags around.
As a joke, we used some of the string that was also in the bag to hang Mike’s sandwich proudly from the stand behind the goal, along with the flags. The sandwich rotated slowly in the cool spring breeze as the Blue Gods triumphed against the odds, despite only having 10 men.
And so the superstition was born that every Friday lunchtime I now troop religiously to the corner shop near my office to purchase a new sandwich for the coming Saturday - and so far the sandwich has presided over three matches, witnessing three victories!
Two of these wins, away at East Thurrock and at home against Bury Town on Saturday have been remarkably similar.
Both games have been tense affairs as we enter the business end of the season, where getting points on the board are much more important than the actual performances on the pitch.
If you were witnessing either game as a neutral, hoping to see an entertaining spectacle, you would probably have left disappointed.
But as a supporter, official or player of the club we can turn a blind eye to all of this, as long as the result is the right one at the end of the game - and in these two matches, thanks to two winners by Josh Kennett, the results have been magnificent.
The pivotal point of Saturday’s game saw Tommy Tejan-Sie released down the left- hand side by a cheeky backheel from Ahmet Rifat. TJ then rounded his full-back before cutting the ball back to Ola Sogbanmu, whose diving header was only partially repelled by the Bury goalkeeper.
It fell to the feet of Josh Kennett. who took great delight in shooting into the roof of the net to secure his second goal in three games as we took another large stride towards preserving our Ryman Premier League status.
A special mention must go to the three strange groups of fans at the game on Saturday.
Firstly, we have the two die-hards who travel down from Northampton to Finchley for nearly every game.
Apparently, Bury have their very own enthusiast who travels to every Bury game from his base in Welwyn Garden City.
And, finally, there was the group of Brentford fans who took a taxi straight from their game at Leyton Orient up to Summers Lane just to witness Wingate in action! It takes all sorts.
Lastly, a note for your diary: Our home game against Hornchurch on Saturday March 29 as been dedicated the club’s community day, the initiatives of which can be found on the club’s website.
If you can please come down to Summers Lane and see what you think, it would be good to get some more Finchley residents through the door on a regular basis.
Follow me on Twitter @JMascis666