Wigan 4-1 Southend: Orchestrated Muppetry

Hacker going up

There is no more to be said, so feel free to skip this entire article!

Francis E Dec had it right all along. In this world-wide four billion eyesight camera mass multimedia generation, aren’t we all puppets? I only ask because I just discovered I’ve had a large wooden pole wedged into my backside for the past 30 years.

It just so happens that Wigan Athletic’s most prominent celebrity supporter is a fellow puppet, and he just so happened to be on the DW terraces this afternoon. Exactly which of the barking muppets he might have been is open to much interpretation.

But *this* guy’s name is Hacker T Dog, and he shall serve as this season’s lucky mascot in the continued absence of good old JJ (née Springy). Pheonix and Blue don’t count as they’ve never been lucky! With faces like theirs, I don’t see how they could claim otherwise…

I’m only kidding, kiddies! As a personal friend of the Feenster and Blue Bottom, I’m allowed to make such remarks. I even got the chance to bump fists with them in the executive mascots’ lounge before today’s potentially promotion-clinching fight with the Shrimpers.

And who else should be boozing and schmoozing in said lounge but big time television critics Statler and Waldorf? Talk about starstruck!

It ain’t easy being Sam McQueen

Statler and Waldorf 1

“Wake up, Waldorf! The first half is about to start.”

Beneath S+W’s lofty balcony, the cheap seats were afire with clever ditties dedicated to Willbuckley Grigg and Yanic Wildschut. The latter patrolled his left touchline like an overzealous King Street parking attendant, slapping penalty notices on static Southend defenders and disappearing in a blur down the alleyway towards Library Street.

The ever vigilant Chris McCann was first to prosper, however. Bursting through an ailing backline, he connected with Michael Jacobs’s layoff so sweetly that keeper Ted Smith’s teeth began to ache. It’s pretty difficult to effect a save when you have both hands clasping your jaw, but literally impossible when ball placement is so accurate.

C-Mac’s extravagant celebration was a clear message to Willhurt Grigg: “Better watch out, I’m only twenty away from your total now!”

…And he could have closed it further. Four minutes later, from precisely the same blade of grass, McCann produced exactly the same strike… but this time, a passing ant pushed the ball onto the inside of the post. Checking the formicarium underneath a towel inside his goal, Ted Smith rightfully claimed credit for this ‘fortunate’ happenstance.

Golden Wellington boot

The golden boot so cruelly wrenched from McCann’s grasp.

A new ant-agonist appears

Meanwhile, back on the King Street beat, Wile E. Wildschut was dishing out more parking tickets – and this time, he demanded immediate payment. Skilfully dodging any stray ants, he planted a heart-stopping late curler onto what was becoming Latics’ favourite goalpost.

But since Willshatner Grigg was first to *this* rebound, a stealthily-positioned shin sent the ball spinning goalwards. Chris McCann pretended to celebrate his side’s second, but inwardly cursed the fact his goal had been cancelled out, at least where the goalscoring chart is concerned.

And things were about to get slightly worse. But only for McCann’s golden boot hopes, you understand.

Momentarily, Willshakespeare Grigg slipped in for another. Jacobs replayed his ball through for McCann’s goal, but this time it was the new League One leading goalscorer floating a creamy mocha chocolata ya-ya into a billowing North Stand goal netting.

“Here, Jim, you still got those manky old boots? And that gold Sharpy you use to write on Christmas Cards? Good, then I have a job for you…”

Putting The End in Southend Part II

Statler and Waldorf 2

“Err, Waldorf? I think you’re getting a little *too* into this…”

Michael Jacobs would soon be rewarded for his expert assists with a goal of his own. Intercepting yet another misdirected Shrimpers pass, he played in Wildschut, who waited for his team-mate to assume the position. Once Cracker had arrived, Yanic rolled the ball across for him to sidefoot through the forest of scrambling defenders. That’s 4-0.

Southend lay in tatters. Phil Brown’s pitchside petulance was spreading to the first team, who began squabbling among themselves. The ref was dispatched to cool all parties down… and it kind of worked, almost.

You might ask how the visitors managed to score without notching a single goal on target. It’s the sort of lateral thinking problem you might find in a Mensa IQ test book, but the actual answer really is simple – they recruited a Wigan man to do the dirty work for them.

Well, Craig Morgan’s own goal was understandably a *bit* dirty, though in situations like these, I prefer to applaud the spectacular finish. Spinning bootlacers give the poor goalie no chance!

Hat tricks forbidden

In fact, ever since Willferrell Grigg sliced over the easiest chance of the whole game, Latics hadn’t quite been the same. It was to prove his last touch of the afternoon; subsequent substitutions signalled a switch to security strategies, with the hosts ‘desperately’ hanging on to their slender three goal lead.

Not that it mattered, of course. 5:55PM was fast approaching, and… hey, are you listening to me up there? Oh, I dunno why I even bother…

Statler and Waldorf ZZ

Guys… er, guys? Screw it, you know what happened as Hacker summed it all up in the first sentence! I’m going home.

Acknowledgements

This article written (partially) in the style of I Haven’t A Clue Richard. Said blog is recommended reading material for your Saturday evening in front of the roaring log burner.

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