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True Blue: A Wingate & Finchley fan’s tribute to David Laird

13:01 10 February 2014

David Laird (in blue) in action against Lowestoft Town in August. Pic: Martin Addison

David Laird (in blue) in action against Lowestoft Town in August. Pic: Martin Addison

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The Ham&High’s Wingate & Finchley blogger Simon Swingler reflects on David Laird’s departure to Harlow Town.

Last season there was a massive outpouring of grief (by our small standards!) at Summers Lane when it was announced that, due to the lack of first-team opportunities, legendary striker David Laird had joined our local rivals Enfield Town.

Following a short spell of limited success at The Queen Elizabeth Stadium, Lairdy returned to the fold, with new manager Danny Nielson wasting no time in signing up his former team-mate for this coming season.

Despite the previously successful front-line partnership of Leon Smith and Laird being reunited once again, Lairdy struggled for game time.

He has only started nine matches, appearing as a substitute on another 14 occasions, while netting only two goals – and he consequently departed Summers Lane again last week.

I only started regularly attending Wingate games at the start of last season so I never really saw Lairdy in his prime but, from the accounts of people I know at the club, Lairdy and Leon were virtually unstoppable.

For the three seasons between 2009 and 2012, the Laird-Smith double act produced an astonishing 129 goals.

Many of Lairdy’s goals were apparently quite spectacular, and I’ve heard the story of his lob to net the winning goal away at Canvey Island a few years ago so many times now that I feel like I was there!

Hopefully Lairdy will be a roaring success at his new club Harlow, who play a division below Wingate & Finchley. In fact I hear that Lairdinho netted on his debut.

Despite the fractured nature of our fixtures due to the current extreme weather, the Blue Gods of Finchley are currently playing quite well.

Three successive wins (two in the league) have seen us rise to 17th in the table and, most importantly, eight points clear of the drop zone.

Although the 4-0 score-line slightly flattered us away at Carshalton Athletic, it was not only a very important result against a rival side who are close to us in the table, but also a very good team performance where everybody played their part.

It was rather reminiscent of our excellent victory away at Enfield Town earlier in the season.

We were rather hoping to try and bring our recent good form into Saturday’s home game against Margate but, needless to say, the weather rendered that game impossible to play. Next up we entertain Canvey Island - weather permitting of course.

On a final note, it is worth mentioning that we have progressed through to the semi-finals of the London Senior Cup and the quarter-finals of the Middlesex Charity Cup.

These are not the most prestigious competitions, I will agree, but it is of course a matter of perspective regarding the club’s size and the success we can realistically hope to achieve.

In my opinion, staying in this division and winning either of those two cups would be a marvellous achievement by Nielsen and the boys.

Follow me on Twitter @jmascis666

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