June 18, 2024
Stick of butter

(c)Lionel Allorge

Stick of butter
That’s a narrow margarine for error right there (groan) (c)Lionel Allorge

This just in: the FA is proud to announce a new sponsor for the League Cup from 2014. In a five-year deal with Lurpak, the trophy shall henceforth be known as the Butter Cup. And following lengthy negotiations with the British Farmers’ Board, the runners-up will now receive the prestigious Egg Cup in addition to a lifetime supply of full-fat milk.

I swear I didn’t make that up! Well, maybe you *can* accuse me of failing to take the Neil Warnock League Cup seriously on this occasion, but it softens the blow to expect a glorified exhibition – Grimsby 2004 taught me that. Not that I’m bitter, as my track record will testify. *Coughs*

But the return of the Floodlit Trophy marks the time of year I traditionally write ‘buy radio aerial booster’ on the shopping list. And the following day I decide not to bother as Latics have cleared their Tuesday night schedule for the forseeable future by coming in second in that one match. Besides, the clothes hanger I use to pick up Wigan Athletic away games is at least three whole months from total disintegration, so there’s plenty of life in that yet!

Psycho-musological advantage

To continue the musical theme that closed Saturday’s review, Burton Albion’s choice of entry music for this midsummer draughts showdown was the Rolling Stones’ ‘Start Me Up’. Considering Latics League Cup clashes past, I can think of no better warm-up lyric than ‘don’t make a grown man cry’… well, actually I can, but none are suitable for a PG-13 blog. Which this isn’t, as the UK does not impose such restrictions on written media. At least, not as far as I know.

Jammie Dodger
Surprisingly, Burton’s Biscuits *aren’t* manufactured in Burton. (c)Paul Hurst

1500 seconds – that’s roughly the length of time it took Wigan to crack a shot at Albion keeper Jon McLaughlin. Wait a sec, that name seems familiar – let me just check my self-made database of facts and stats. *Rustles papers in an attempt to look busy*

Ahah, I knew there was a connection! McLaughlin was perched on the DW away bench in the infamous Bradford debacle of 2012. Well alright, I stole that statistic from a certain user-generated encyclopedia but you have to admit it’s a good one straight from the Panini Football League sticker album. Or Wikipedia, whatever.

But the hosts’ 25 minutes of enterprise was mercilessly demolished in the swish of a right heel by the somewhat forgotten Marc-Antoine Fortune. Yep, he’s still here so you can’t allow him a touch of the ball, otherwise: Wigan 1-0 Burton. Such is the cruelty of the Butter Cup, and such was the scoreline.

Ah-but wait, there was still time for the karma spirit level to settle down! And sure enough, equality was deservedly restored by Burton sub Knowles (son of Barry?) to ensure a morally correct 1-1 on the stroke of the Jaffa Cake dunkin’ hour. That’s half time to you and I. A better (butter?) reflection on the half, says this contented custard cream chomper.

Alright, no more biscuit references.

Grant Holtman
Ne’er you fear, for Holtman is here! (c)MShake3

Pah, spoilsport level three headline! Anyway, the game was now following a far too familiar formula, especially as Readi- sorry, Burton soon hit the lead. Ex-Australia international cricketer Stuart Beavon smashed one through the covers, and there was no need for a Hawk-Eye referral on that. Besides, the video umpire was enjoying tea and bisc- oh hoho, nearly got meself there!

With a defensive Burton now ‘doing a Rosler’, the emergency canary-shaped spotlight was hastily readied. It took ten minutes for Demon Goalscorer Holtman to answer the call, but enter the Pirelli Stadium he eventually did, adorned with mask and dubious gadgets dangling just below his waist.

Questionable cup tie football may have arrived some 75 minutes late, but it was making for a riveting finale. Wigan were keen to forget that Coyle nonsense, however, with a surprisingly refreshing ‘drive the bus of the cliff’ mentality. Holt came late on a cross, while Tavernier blazed over, but there was scarcely time for much more.

Well, if there is one consolation to a fashionably early cup exit, then it’s the fact this will replace Grimsby in my brain. Oh, who the heck am I kidding? The fishy stench shall remain until I am in a zombified state complaining to a suitably miserable undertaker about it. Still, it *does* mean I can book some dinner parties on Tuesday evenings, so fancy coming round mine for Earl Grey and biccies?

Second opinion

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