So apparently, in these football matches you are supposed to make the round white thing go into the big letterbox. On that basis, we might have considered tapping up a selection of Royal Mail’s most proficient pillarbox-stuffers to help prevent that third consecutive scoreless draw which would have forced Latics to automatically concede the frame. Or face the ire of the entire footballing community, same thing.
But the welcome return of Saturday football (uh… what that?) marked the start of a leisurely month – only five games in the next four weeks. In preparation of more free time, I commenced work on that scale model of the Eiffel Tower I have been meaning to start for almost a year now. Note to self: buy more milkshakes from the local fast food restaurant. Second note: increase dentist subscription plan to ‘Sweet Tooth’ package.
Oh right, today’s game! I almost forgot it was a 3pm kickoff, seeing as they’re about as rare as a good JWAW joke since Murdoch-o-Vision launched. Just let me grab a sandwich and I’ll try and remember what I did in between staring at those ultra high-tech digital advertising hoardings. I would like one of them in the front window as part of my annual Christmas light show. It would say: “Look at how much free time I have on my hands! Hi Mum.”
“I can’t remember what a ‘goal’ looks like.”
Perhaps inspired by Asmir Begovic’s 13-second goal for Stoke this afternoon, Latics were quick to make Huddersfield scramble. Fortune was already firing over before I even had chance to wipe excess rainwater from my seat. Which is rather peculiar because I wasn’t at the DW Stadium today. Oh dear, I have been rumbled! Quick, remove that reference to the hoardings…
Wigan’s early enterprise was soon to breed success, leading to… one of those things where… the ball goes past the goalkeeper. You know, a touchdown or something. Returning Knight of the Realm Sir Ben Watson (*choral chimes*) provided the ammunition, Leon Barnett fired the bazooka, fists pierced damp Lancashire air. Somewhere, Graham Lovett was exclaiming, “oooh, we’ve got a goal!”
The Terriers launched an immediate counter, and only Nicholls’ palm clear stopped Peter Clarke equalising quicker than you could count the number of dead pixels on the scoreboard. Which, as it happens, would take you a while – those doing so would just have finished by the time Oliver Norwood’s deflected effort utterly demolished Nicholls’ pristine unbeaten league record. The unlucky few leaving a couple of minutes early to beat the pie queue will later have snapped their spork in disgust, forcing them to scoop out the remaining bits of potato with their fingernails. Not a satisfactory situation.
To the relative safety of the concourse.
The teams canoed their way back from the tunnel to the pond, ushering a few opportunist fishermen from the area before the water polo resumed.
Huddersfield were on level terms for only five minutes of game time. On loan Manchester United starlet and future England international Nick Powell atoned for any previous misdemeanours in just a few seconds as the home side’s goal tally reached an astronomical two – at least, I think so. The rain was making it difficult to see, so it could just as easily have been Jordi Gomez giving Latics the lead once more.
In a flash of lightning, however, Jordi was soon transformed into Marc Albrighton… again. They needed the extra midfield help as the Huddersfield Terriers were living up to their name, scurrying about and being of general nuisance.
But Wigan donned their cricket boxes and readied the kitchen chairs to keep those snapping doggies at bay. This was rapidly becoming one of those crazy Championship encounters with late penalty box action at both ends –deep and shallow– of the DW Stadium. By contrast, that Premier League, or whatever it’s called, is an absolute snoozefest – who wants to see 7-0s and goalkeepers scoring? … Don’t answer that.
Wigan finished the stronger, even through a spirited Huddersfield onslaught. One final free kick was cleared by Emmerson Boyce and the ball evaporated into the early evening air. Tony Harrington reluctantly whistled thrice to mark the start of the 2013 Wigan Swimathon AKA the long trip home. Where I sat warm and dry this afternoon, though I wish I was there. Obviously not right now though, as it would be pretty boring to watch stewards clear cola cans and chase ducks from the field.