Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Wigan: Lies, steak pies and astrophysics

Christmas Pie

Wigan’s festive cousin has a new goalkeeping hero. (c)Tony Wheeler

At times of extreme drama I tend to retreat to a self-constructed bubble of peaceful ignorance, JWAW’s very own meditation chamber free of hype, over-excitement and the general madness manufactured by those entrapped by their own monstrous newsprint. Namely the mainstream media, though I get the feeling I didn’t need to tell you that.

Here in my fortress of quiet contemplation, I sat cross-legged with classic season review DVDs for close company. They rest comfortably on my solitary shelf ordered by their effect on stress levels, while the 2013 FA Cup Final edition has taken up permanent residence in my DVD player. They say you shouldn’t keep them there, but I have constructed my *own* design for living – my anti-stress chamber, my rules.

And besides, I only pay attention to those magazines that are unnecessarily laminated, including (and by all means limited to) catalogue store product listings. And, er, matchday programmes, of course. But not the fanzines – they’re always banging on about teletext for some strange reason.

Thus, Ben Watson has not only dominated my every waking hour, but the daydreams that punctuate them too. I was only coaxed out of my near-catatonic state of isolation by the promise of said legendary figure starting his first competitive game since records began (give or take a few months). Oh, to see him perform once more! To rekindle the spark, nay, raging inferno ignited by *that* header.

Seven Seas of Pie

I’ll admit my face spent the opening 10 minutes covered by a permanent cringe in response to an early challenge involving Dr Watson and his magical leg, but it would soon be softened by the soothing sight of a Latics lead. And who else but Krispy C favourite Chris ‘P’ McCann to nod home the McClean corner for a swiftly delivered McGoal of high street fast food restaurant proportions – would you like pies with that?

If you thought that was fast, wait until you hear this: Wednesday’s equaliser came a mere three seconds later. Well, perhaps that was typical JWAW exaggeration, but the travelling bunch o’ piemen barely had time to finish their chorus of ‘how XXXX must you be…’ before Dr Brian May was wrongfooting Scott Carson with a simple sidefoot pass into the opposite corner. Another one bites the… pie crust?

Dr Stevie May and Co

Westwood, May and McGugan puttin’ on a performance. (c)Carl Lender

The game was slowly winding into a ball of iffy defending, and Jeremy Helan may have capitalised if it weren’t for the sticky glove of the Carsemaster. Keep ‘em moist, Scott.

But the visitors recovered to bombard Keiren Westwood’s goalframe with a series of tricky twists and turns. McManaman’s curling shot was initially spilled, but gathered just microseconds before two advancing Ticsmen could restore the away side’s advantage. Even a goal-shy Fortune forced the keeper to shin clear from close range – a sign o’ the changin’ times? Well, maybe not, since the ball did not creep into the net.

Don’t Stop Meat Now

It had, however, been an unusually captivating first half for die-hard and neutral alike. This was tempered by a relatively slow start to the second, during which time it was more exciting to spot how many floodlight bulbs had expired. There again, you don’t get many more stimulating pastimes, except maybe pointing out mistakes on the BBC videprinter.

Astrophysics dog

I have no idea what this means but there is a dog, so it makes me laugh. (c)Oldpantsnewjersey

But Wednesday’s second goal was a question of physics (or should that be astrophysics?) as Dr Brian May returned to will the ball over the line by sheer force of science… perhaps. Nobody but the linesman was quite clear as to whether it had assumed an unusual orbit and swerved sufficiently in its journey between goalpost and goalpost. Or maybe he just liked May’s stylish hairdo? Eh, I’m going to go with that because it sounds better in the absence of conclusive video technology.

In any case, Adam Forshaw ought to have rendered these events academic, but failed to strike the ball cleanly enough to emulate Wednesday’s instantaneous equaliser of the first half. Owing to some indecisive penalty area brainfreezes, these were dangerous times indeed – only a last-ditch Perch tackle kept the spacestormin’ May at bay.

Sheer Tart Attack

The hosts were happy enough with a one-goal lead, especially as Wigan’s fight was fast fading. When Liam Palmer beat Espinoza to the ball to deny a precious half chance, one sensed it was already over – Wednesday’s winless streak, that is. And so it proved, with the home side better equipped to edge out the intensely close Championship battles at this moment in time. In all, another humbling afternoon for the lesser-thumbed album.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I must return to my fortress of blissful ignorance lest the multye-media demons strike me down once more. Ommmmm…

Second opinion

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