July 19, 2024
Robin Hood bowless

An ageing Robin Hood's bow had seen better days. (c)Sebastiaan ter Burg

Robin Hood bowless
Sherwood 2045: An ageing Robin Hood’s bow had seen better days, while Friar Tuck regretted marrying a tree trunk. (c)Sebastiaan ter Burg

“And it was onne the thirrtieth of Sepptember that the Wyganne Piemen and Nottyngham Trees dydd battle jn the fields offe the Northwestern Lands; wyth Uncle Joe and whomsoever that did creatte the Vymto tonnic in attendance; kycking leather from vyllagge to vyllagge with great viggour; and internette bloggers wrytyng artijcles of questionable punctuatjon and heavvy stereotypping the evennyng afterre.”

Thus read Jeff Chav-cer’s terrible ghostwritten match report printed via anachronistic self-publishing service MyVanyttyPresse.com. It was found beneath the Marshlands of Newtown in the year 2045 following the Great Zombiepocalypse of Romeran lore – you know, the part of history they removed from the national curriculum in favour of Advanced Scally Studies.

This account is a rough translation of said publication based on the events of the film of the folk story of the radio commentary of the same game. Names and Paypal addresses have been censored to protect the Middle English residents of the not-too-distant future, while certain players’ haircuts have been omitted altogether for fear of frightening the next generation of children back to safer, more genteel sports such as barbarian butchering, stealth lion slaughtering and rugby union.

Only happy when it rains

A certain pre-match gingerness spread among the Robin Park masses as thousands of lip-biting Laticsmen dipped their heads like bad doggies. But the justified trepidation which met a 7.44pm kickoff (bloomin’ rubbish, ref!) was soon to dissipate into the mild evening air when it became clear that Uwe would not stand for another Ipswich. Perhaps more to the point, I very much doubt a certain Mr Whelan would stand for it…

Ironically enough, any dissenters quickly defected to the bright side just as a sprinkle of tinkle crowded the floodlights like smog to make driving a left wing Ford McClean rather tricky indeed. Ball-hungry Latics were enjoying themselves almost as much as the crowd, who cheered with great delight on each of the 32 occasions Karl Darlow numbed his bum following a goal kick slip.

Elks in fog
Actual photo of James McClean running down the right wing circa 8.15pm. (c)Wing-Chi Poon

Emmerson Boyce promptly racked up a veritable collection of penalty area headers, one of which came at the opposition end of the pitch. This served as Wigan’s first attempt of the game, even if his leg spinner hit a crack and sailed through to one of the 1,500 Forest wicket keepers on the bounce. But the Latics captain crashed in a heap on the edge of the six-yard box, and would have to be replaced by Leon Barnett as the second half commenced. It’s times like these that Rosler is pleased to have a whole first XI of defenders, as opposed to midfielders, at his disposal.

A Huws Who of Wigan Athletic

Perhaps most pleasingly, this positivity was largely created without the aid of a semi-struggling Callum McManaman, who was more noted for defensive tackling in his 59 minutes. Of course, the opening fifteen of those were spent on his usual ‘beatthatman’ hobby, but the lack of reliance upon him was an encouraging sign that just maybe, this one-man-horse-town team had some able new recruits led by Corporal Emyr Huws.

One horse town
One horse with the whole town on it. (c)Prabhat Kumar Verma

The visitors’ superquick free kick tactic only served to play into their opponents’ hands as a new wave of frustration led to much arm waving the length and… half-breadth of a visibly perturbed North Stand. Special criticism was reserved for referee Kevin Wright, who, like any good working men’s club comedian, erred on the blue side from 7.44pm. (Forget the fact the scoreboard clock is probably slow, I’m never gonna let that slide… nevah!)

Not that Forest were starved of opportunities, though ‘Thierry’ Henri Lansbury and Michail Antonio ‘Banderas’ (cough) would prefer it if you didn’t ask them about their own respective efforts. And don’t watch the Football League Show, either.

It was becoming contagious. Andrew Taylor and the otherwise impressive James McClean were equally culpable of demolishing a hoarding or two with their respective misdirected cannonballs, much to an indignant engineer’s distaste. Likewise, Andy Delort may regret finding Darlow’s groin when through on goal, but not nearly as much as I regret his choice of Alice band.

Finish the job, James (McClean)

Predictably, excitement reached a raucous crescendo as the final ten minutes signalled an inescapable frantic scramble. But Forest’s third 0-0 in as many games was seemingly just as inevitable as the weekly JWAW pie and biscuit references, especially considering that new ‘do not damage netting’ sign erected just in front of the North and South stands. Well, it’s as good an explanation as any as to where the goals have gone.

Okay, maybe not. But at least Wigan Athletic physically exist once more. To the Wolvesmobile!

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Seccond opinjon, verily

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