July 16, 2024
Never hit him, ref!

Today’s post is rated 15 by the LBBC (Latics Board of Blog Classification) due to violent situations. And before we proceed, JWAW would like to point out that it doesn’t condone lashing out, at least not when the ref’s looking your way.

Still here? Really? You gotta be crazy…

Never hit him, ref!

Many more one-liners like that and Calds will soon overtake Ian Holloway as the man most quoted by Sky Sports Snooze (not to be confused with That Teletext Channel). Anyhow, neither Captain Kop Conqueror nor I would suggest that Wigan-Millwall matches are ‘feisty’ or anything, but the sides’ last meeting featured three red cards, twice as many yellows and over four hundred battered fish at the burger van.

…Sorry, I still have Cod Army puns on the brain. Anyway, I shouldn’t make light of violence or you might think this is a Rugby World Cup blog. But while we’re on the subject, congratulations to the Cherry and Whites!

Disappointingly good-natured

In actuality, this wasn’t a bad-natured affair, even if Donervon Daniels and Leon Barnett were caught dining on semi-artificial turf on at least six (six? Six? Six!) separate occasions… that I could count, anyway. It could easily have been more as I nipped (skipped?) to the loo for three minutes in the second half.

Go on there, Barnett, lad! Oh wait, what sport is this again?! (c)APTOPIX
Go on, Barnett, lad! Oh wait, what sport is this again?! (c)APTOPIX

Well, I guess you *could* say that Latics were angling for a fight with individual members of the crowd by picking them out with their massively overpowered and misguided shots and crosses. And Daniels did take the time to knock the very bogeys from an unfortunate Millwall attacker’s nose with a wayward cross… but it wasn’t exactly red card worthy conduct.

Aside from such incidents, the opening 20 were characterised by Wigan Athletic corner training. But the visitors eventually grew tired of this, and resolved to deliver a swift taser to Latics’ lazy backside. Lee Gregory spent the next five minutes cursing the grain of the DW carpet as his tantalising attempt arched just past the post and into the ball boy’s welcoming arms. At least, I assume he was a Latics supporter, though he *did* become reluctant to fetch the ball once Millwall were leading.

But I’m getting ahead of myself again.

At the break, a lone voice rang loud on the concourse: “hey, get Holt on and we’ll be alreet here”. Even the most ardent of Holt’s critics would have found it difficult to disagree – heck, just someone to guide the ball on target would probably have been enough to give the hosts a half time lead.

New batteries, please

Inserting batteries into a remote
Captain Caldwell removed Latics’ batteries and gave them a rub before putting them back in again. (c)EPSOM

Latecomers might have missed Francisco Junior’s introduction for the start of the second half, but it wouldn’t have taken them long to notice him. Pilfering possession in the centre circle, he fed through Michael Jacobs, who *did* account for the DW carpet grain when rolling the ball just inside the South Stand goal post. Ah, so *that’s* what they must mean by ‘home advantage’ – knowing the humps in your own shag pile, that is!

However, the Lions’ nagging and persistence was soon to bring great reward. With Richard O’Donnell momentarily flat on his posterior, Fred Onyedinma needed only to strike the ball cleanly to collect his winnings… eight quid jackpot. He wasn’t lucky, he just knew the machine was about to pay out. Man, I envy guys like him.

And the visitors would hit the lead in suspiciously similar circumstances. We are still talking about Geoff Hurst’s 1966 World Cup Final goal to this day – was it over the line? Well, I don’t think they’ll be debating Beevers’ goal in 40 years, no matter how much the denizens of ES2 protest… for one, I doubt many of them will be lucid in the year 2055.

Over the line Carroll
See, definitely over the line! (Also, happy birthday Roy Carroll.)

Career-threatening injuries

Well, well! Something new at the DeeDub in 2015/16, namely Latics chasing the game. And they didn’t appear to be doing a very good job of it, because emergency subs Grigg and Odelusi were mostly left waiting for a non-existent train. The latter did, however, conjure an 87th minute header… into Jordan Archer’s finely chiselled stomach. It tickled.

By this stage, Millwall’s exploits were beginning to take a massive toll on the body. Players were developing ‘career-threatening injuries’ at such an alarming rate that ref Geoff Eltringham *must* have considered abandoning the game… but as it happens, he added six (six? Six? Six!) minutes of Fergie Time for Grigg to stab home the equaliser.

…And, erm, that’s exactly what Will Grigg did. But nobody seemed to have any energy, or indeed the inclination, to launch a bid for victory, even if Jacobs fashioned one last hurrah a minute later. Jordan ‘The Stomach’ Archer saved again, and 2-2 was deemed sufficient by all concerned. Well, the guys on the pitch, anyway.

Match highlights courtesy @Laticsofficial

Second opinion

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