Wigan 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1: Grab a Grand

Tulips flower so brightly for all too short a time, while clogs toast so nicely upon the wood burning stove for an even shorter time. Aye, austerity in Wigan is a right pain in the Wildschut, in’t it?

Ahh, the transfer window. You might run for those borders and the safety of Horwich, or you might run for the South Stand touchline. Since each is a different flavour of evil, who’s to say which is right and which is wrong? (Twitter? — Ed)

Now before this post turns into a Talking Heads hit single, I ought to remind you that in the Grab a Grand sport of football, games of football sometimes happen. And very rarely, they might happen inside big grey mechanical boxes with snowy reception and no teletext since the dog crashed into it that time. I probably shouldn’t have fed him those Amsterdam brownies that were a goodbye present from Yanic.

Well, mark your diaries, for this is one such occasion – the transfer window appears to have given way to an impromptu game of Championship football!

Let’s get this chef wedding underway

For all the deadline day dramatics, Latics began the game with… exactly the same XI that started at the ‘Theatre of Broken Dreams’. But is it any coincidence that these individuals helped make the first half a total nonentity? Ehhh… probably not.

Certainly, the visitors only began asserting their top seven authority after 35 minutes, once their travelling army demanded they ‘attack, attack, attack’. Much like your faithful hound Buxton (what, you don’t name your dogs after Wigan Athletic players?), supporters tend to possess a tremendous nose for those perfect scoring moments.

Wednesday’s goal was the culmination of an intense period containing at least a dozen corners (Moyesian estimate). Though each was comfortably fended away, the catapult of impetus and confidence was being carefully constructed.

With half time fast approaching, Vincent Sasso brought the ball down for Ross Wallace, who offered an obligatory poke goalwards. Whether it was destined for Jakob Haugaard’s glove is the subject of some debate, but Jake Buxton (that’s the football player, not my dog) removed all doubt by shinning it into the South Stand goal. Ohhhh, whoops.

Vidal Sassoon

Nooooo, not Vidal Sassoon – Vincent Sasso.

These exciting developments prompted a surprise striptease show in many areas of the North Stand, where men in furry deerstalker hats swung their replica shirts as if responding to a misheard Trevor and Simon instruction. In truth, th’Owls were always a deflection away from ripping off their tops Leon Barnett style.

Good news or bad first?

Good news: Wigan Athletic were much improved from hereon in. Bad news: the offside rule exists… but we’ll get to that soon enough.

Momentarily, a headbanded Sam Morsy was the grateful recipient of a dodgy clearance, and turned to find himself just 10 yards from goal. In the chaos, however, he could only smash into a ball-smothering Keiren Westwood.

Once the Owls keeper had recovered from this battle, Morsy rampaged his way through Wednesday’s defence to tee up Griggsy. But the latter’s touch was heavier than an envelope marked ‘Yanic money’, allowing Westwood to grab that (7,000) grand… d’er, I mean the ball.

Amazingly, makeshift attacker Dan Burn would then receive two opportunities. First, he nodded a golden Max Power high ball into Westwood’s muscly arms. And next, he crashed an attempted volley into the seat where ex-mascots Phoenix and/or Blue would have been before they were handed their P35s.

Pheonix and Blue

I wonder where they are now?

For the record, Your Honour: this is where those newfangled youngster types Omar Bogle and James Weir entered.

And this dub-sub seemed to have at least some effect – shortly, Callum Connolly slotted the most incredible of Max Power cross-field balls comfortably past the goalkeeper. The only flaw in this inspired plan? Well, Our Cal was a foot offside.

It was all building up to a heavily telegraphed and warranted equaliser. Jacobs delivered an even more incredible cross for substitute Weir to… help over the bar like an alarmed British Olympic volleyball player. In that moment, you could just see the five pound notes float away across Robin Park.

Finally, in the dying throes, Jacobs floated a powerful cross-shot towards the back post, but Danny Burn could not stretch his right leg to meet it. And if Dan Burn’s legs can’t reach, nobody’s can.

Sob sob… so that’s it?

Not quite, my dear reader – we’re only now fumbling blindly into the ‘New New Era’, which for the time being can be known as the ‘Yanicless Era’. If the last two months have been King Warren‘s Aethling period, then tonight can be classed as his official televised coronation… let’s just hope there’s a bit more beheading from now on, eh? I hear each is worth three points!

Second opinion

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