July 16, 2024

Come on, you have to admit it’s hilarious. I’m still laughing four days later, and I’ll probably be chuckling about it in four years. Since it will be immortalised in [Insert ZZZ-list celebrity here]’s Xmas Crackers DVD compilation of crazy ‘cock’ ‘ups’, I can relive that moment in glorious slightly-above-standard-definition for as long as I wish.

I am indeed talking about the borderline comical non-penalty decision offered by Mr Keith ‘I Gots Meself a Wikipedia Entry‘ Stroud of Bournemouth. Instead, Billybob Grigg was penalised for the heinous crime of being fouled in the penalty area. Purely hysterical!

Wait, what did you think I was referring to…? I don’t remember any other humorous moments in the Norwich-Latics game.

Alright, enough about past inglories.

In completely unrelated news (honest), Twitterati darling Adam Bogdan once again beat Jussi in Captain Caldwell’s weekly race to the paper shop, securing a place in the starting XI against Fulham. Allegedly he tripped after failing to notice a large rock in his peripheral vision, but still managed to win by a beard crumb’s length.

Yanic Wildschut also outperformed Reece Burke in the very same test, jinking past three post boxes and a soggy dog log on the way to his bottle of diet lemonade and copy of Ostrich World.

And he continued to defeat tree trunks and sign posts out in the DW’s wide fields of hay fever-inducing artificial sand substitute. Well, I say those fields were ‘wide’, but the East touchline had been moved five feet away from the advertising hoardings – whether that was also the case for the opposite touchline, I cannot confirm at this time.

While the pitch wasn't quite this small, it was certainly smaller than usual.
While the pitch wasn’t quite this small, it was certainly smaller than usual.

Whatever the adjustment, it had no effect on Wildschut’s propensity to breeze past a floundering player or three. The issue was almost always what came next, and over 50% of the time it was a corner kick smacking snugly into David Button’s welcoming mitts.

Hence it was unsurprising that the hosts’ tastiest opportunity came sailing down Yanic’s left channel. ‘Gordon’ Gomez drew a perfect line with the ball through to a rampaging ‘Wilson’ Grigg, who hacked into the side netting. Er… who needs Yanic, I guess?

Gardeners’ World September Special: Faceplant Edition

Fulham’s best chance was slightly more simple, and much funnier. Maybe not as humorous as the ‘incident’ alluded to in the first paragraph, but nonetheless worthy of £150 in crisp new five pound notes from Lisa Riley’s You’ve Been Beadled, or whatever that show is called now.

Catching Latics unawares, Jozabed pinpointed the unguarded Chris Martin with a straightforward layup. But a passing bumblebee caused the ball’s flight path to deviate, and our unfortunate protagonist took a painful bonk on his conk. Any late attempts to blow the ball over Bog Man’s goal line failed miserably, ensuring the game entered half time at a slightly silly nilly-nilly.

New half, old patterns. Borrowed pseudo-shots on goal, blue shirts struggling for penalty box territory. Ingredients for the whirlwind registry office wedding of John B Zilch and Mary Q Diddly-Squat.

"I have no idea how they stretched this match report out to 800 words, Betty..."
“I have no idea how they stretched this match report out to 800 words, Betty…”

Even the dullest of marriages have the odd glimmer of excitement, however. Chris Martin’s mistimed overhead smash evoked memories of Pele and George Best… but only because everyone was either deep in a ’70s daydream or watching Soccerball Legends on their little portable television devices. You know, those things like Game Boys with number buttons.

Hot defensive action! Exclusive!

And as the game entered its 75th minute, Jacobs placed a Wildschut cross one ostrich’s backside wide of Button’s right hand post. Nobody in ES7 stood up, however, as they were sedated by piping hot chemical pop left in the sunshine too long.

In the customary frantic scramble for a late winner, Jake Buxton narrowly prevented a cross from creeping over his otherwise unattended goal line. But even at this crucial juncture, there was nobody within punching distance to ‘pressure’ him into a mistake. Not that we condone violence or anything.

When Nick Powell persuaded Button into a cautionary tip over his own crossbar, there arose tentative hopes of hot goalmouth action! But a blast of the ref’s final whistle extinguished that notion before it was even properly formulated.

Simpsons football
Wigan v Fulham, any given year

Only then did it dawn upon the 10,000 souls present that this fixture was always destined to be another Wigan-Fulham draw. Intricately planned Gomez through balls and tantalising Chris Martin faceplants were simply mild distractions from the inescapable fact that every game between these two sides must be a draw – archaic laws written on rotting parchment expressly forbid anything more.

So there – if you have a problem, take it up with King George Graham I.

Second opinion

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