Three short weeks ago, I was promoting this game as the Owen Coyle Festive Reunion Special, but I didn’t count on Father Davemas’ infamous impatience. I do admit it fills me with great satisfaction to hear Bolton’s chants of ‘we told you he was poop’ (*certain words censored to protect young eyes) as opposed to the usual parentage-related ‘witty’ terrace banter. Oh, it was still there, but I was too busy scarfing my Christmas Tinner to notice.
Incidentally, it is due to said fibre-laced seasonal confection that I am forced to apologise for the lateness of this article. Let me tell you, I didn’t want to be deep cleansing my entire bathroom before Christmas week. I shall delve no further into this hastily-dug ditch in the likely case you are currently enjoying your Sunday dinner.
Yes, enough toilet humour.
But first, a word on ‘that’ chant shamelessly half-inched from Zulte Waregem. Since there are no words to remember, it is a strangely unifying chorus of primal origin that reverberates not only around the DW Stadium but half of Wigan at the same time. It’s gloriously silly and undeniably lucrative, or at least it was this afternoon.
Now, regarding penalties. I would rather not be reminded of JWAW Rowling’s Chris McCann and the Referee of Trigger Happiness, but if it results in a Wigan goal I am quite prepared to relive the unspeakable flashbacks of man flu proportions. Matthew Mills was a tad unfortunate that the linesman spotted him punching pig bladder inside his own area because ordinarily the officials conveniently miss such things – ref Kevin Friend certainly did on this occasion.
After a brief chat with the lino, however, a penalty was awarded and Ben Watson’s 12-yard netbuster put to rest a handful of Slovenian spectres. A quick glance across the East Stand revealed delighted faces re-adding Mr Friend to their Christmas card list with a broad smile. Either that or they were perusing Jordi Gomez’s Twitter.
The Rösler Effect
The Rösler Effect (“for every 50 passes there is certainly a goal” – Illogicopedia) was in full force by the 24th minute, when Nick Powell’s one-in-a-hundred bicycle kick came to rest in the disbelieving Andrew Lonergan’s goal. Latics taking a 2-0 Championship lead? This was unprecedented success for the surprisingly effective Wurzel-inspired ‘ooh-arr’ chant.
The Trotters’ fightback, however, was swift and effectual… well, if you class the start of the second half as swift. Neil Danns provided the complementary header to polish off Moritz’s splendid cross as Bolton’s intimidation finally yielded positive results. Quick, grab the Bovril!
Danns continued his stampede, almost splitting the crossbar clean in half with a 58th-minute finger stinger, and the deficit was soon wiped clean thanks to Moritz’s own spot-kick proficiency. Boyce’s high boot wasn’t quite a hideous flashback but something I’d rather forget nonetheless, a cold reminder of grim reality. It had been raining for some time now, but the East Stand only noticed once the players trotted (hurhur) back from Bolton’s second.
This is no time to go emo, JWAW.
Alright, more references to The Wurzels it is, then! Like a good pint of cider (possibly, I wouldn’t know), yet more ooohs and aaahs refuelled the Latics combine harvester. I’m not comparing Callum McManaman to common farm machinery, but he cultivated a prize crop to regain the lead for his side after only five minutes of parity. Macca’s first of the season was toasted with a glass of freshly squeezed full-fat cow juice. Well, it had to be milk as the bar closed some 25 minutes earlier.
As if to prove it wasn’t just Coyle’s perceived incompetence that artificially manufactured a series of close, exciting contests, the final fifteen minutes were perhaps the most thrilling of the season so far. Scott Carson capped his impressive afternoon with a brace of late saves played out in tense slow motion, a dash of honey to sweeten the grog.
Thankfully, 4:50pm saw a welcome end to the annual run of successive losses. Keep it to yourself, but I think McManaman is on his way back – perhaps that England call-up isn’t such a hare-brained notion as first thought. (*Sniggers.*)
Now if you’ll excuse me, I am late for my court date with a certain high street video game vendor. I’m not talking about the bloke known only as ‘Dave’ who supplies me with Super Nintendo cartridges that only work after you’ve wiped them with your shirt sleeve. I’m talking about those- *gurggle*… oh no, gotta go!