Phew, third home game in a row. I haven’t even had to change out of my slippers for two weeks – you’d think it was my birthday or something. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention it *was* my birthday recently, so that decidedly weak attempt at ‘humour’ probably won’t make any sense to you whatsoever. Except now it will, but I had to explain the joke so it does not count. Sigh, off to a brilliant start here.
Permission to have a moan today? Not granted? Screw you, it’s about time I embraced the Dark Side! Bear with me one second while I don a Darth Vader mask to compliment my already asthmatic vocalisations punctuated by stress-induced heavy breathing.
I did not enjoy my celebratory cake, for two less-than-inspiring 2-2 home draws is a particularly average return considering Mr Coyle’s ambitions of automatic promotion. Certain worrying themes have been developing, namely moments of defensive madness and an inability to convert chances with any semblance of assured regularity.
Returning to the Light Side and the starship flight path less polluted, I thoroughly enjoyed both contests and hoped to see more of the same free-scoring footy at the DW Stadium this afternoon, a wish that was granted to a certain extent. But was it Latics or Forest enjoying a Championship goalfest? … What, you already know who won because you read it in the title? Hmm, I’ll have to rethink my formula for these posts.
A festival of football
Like a great summer rock anthem, the match commenced in emphatic fashion with a couple of thundering power chords. Andy Reid’s smash hit free kick found a useful ally in Scott Carson’s crossbar to dampen the home side’s early good spirits and thrust the two-time Euro champs centre stage for an impromptu lead guitar solo. In other words, Forest scored. *Ahem*
But there was no time for crowd surfing, as the hosts’ response was swift. Not for the first time in the last month or so, Marc-Antoine Fortune drew a foul inside the opposition 18-yard box and Shaun Maloney duly obliged, maintaining his side’s 100% penalty conversion rate for the season. The momentary loss of rhythm was quickly remedied before the blissed out hordes of Glastonb- er, Wigan, even registered the error.
The home side assumed control almost by default as under-pressure Forest fluffed a few notes. Jordi Gomez would soon take advantage, gleefully slotting home from Fortune’s superbly saved strike on 35 minutes. For a change, a blue shirt (or black boot, whatever) was first to the ball and in an instant the Spaniard justified his starting berth ahead of James McArthur. Half time came with Empty Seats FC top of the charts.
Both competitors continued to tussle, at times literally, and though Forest questioned their authority, Wigan held their own in an extended banjo duel that lasted way past the 75 minute mark. McArthur, McCann and later McClean were introduced to swell the criminally under-represented ranks of the midfield Macs and seek a goal to prevent a universe-record(?) three straight 2-2 home draws.
The Reds stretched to crank the volume up to eleven, but kept missing the dial in the face of Latics’ intimidation. Only an event-free coda stood between the hosts and three points, but nerves began to creep into their defensive play as Forest’s inevitable last-gasp effort continued like a lengthy, over-worked Hammond organ solo.
One final, sustained note from referee Craig Pawson’s whistle signalled a belated end, and thank goodness there was to be no encore – I don’t think I could have stomached falling more points behind in the race for Championship survival.
Insert trollface image here.
Be it through incompetent refereeing, stout home defending or ineffective play in the final third –select your favourite–, Nottingham Forest fell just short of achieving the usual 2-2 result at the DW Stadium. In fact I shall now depart to sift through a (small) pile of match reports to make sure Wigan actually *did* win – after all, I was wrong about there being more than one booking in last week’s game against Middlesbrough.
Nah, I see they’ve updated it now, Barry. 😉