There I was, sitting eating chips and mushy peas on a very wet Wigan day in the ‘Station Cafe’ when I looked up and hoped I’d see one of my ‘Saturday Football Friends’ walk past. But I didn’t. GG No Mates carried on on his lonesome eating not bad chips.

SKYBET CHAMPIONSHIP – DW STADIUM – Saturday 9th December 2018

WIGAN ATHLETIC

0-1
DERBY COUNTY
Marriott (21)

I boarded my ferry boat and floated down Wigan high street to the WC. The waves were big and the wind strong. I nearly pitch poled but as there were no Chinese cargo ships around to rescue me, I sat tight.

They are quick at the WC. The queue was longer than that at the turnstiles at DW, but we moved along faster than the expected boarding time for a Ryan air flight. Two halves and we were off for the ‘big game’ against ‘Lampoons ‘big team’.

But first the next aquatic adventure started.. It was 30 minutes to KO and I was pondering on another half but the 3 line whip was cast on that. It was a ‘non-negotiable’.. We had to get a water taxi, but there weren’t any so we swam.

Over Morecambe there was blue sky, which would have been helpful if we had Ben Watson to take the corners; that, I remember is where most of his ended up!

Actually, you know what …. it was quite a good game. We got off to a great start and had 3 early ‘near misses’ via very good crosses from Reece & Byrne.

Cookie was out to confuse us all and had Nathan starting in the No 9 position.

Then Naismith on 15 minutes got a slightly dubious red card for hauling down the last man despite there being 2 others close by and the way through to goal was at a reasonable angle. He’d never have scored if he’d got through.

Cookie did some inspirational substituting and on we plodded. Irish Sea storm force 7; rain and sleet; occasional; visibility poor. Improving.

After that it took a while for the lads to get used to having only 10 men. DCFC sort of tore us apart for a while and a lot of us went into half time relieved it was only 0 – 1. The start of the second half felt as if it was going to be a long humiliating cold and wet afternoon. But … oh NO, not Wigan! Not little bloody Wigan … we’ll fight back. So, for the last 35 minutes we suddenly changed gear and WAFC started putting in a really spirited performance, with some great defending but also some really good waves of attacks. SupermanDan decided that if no one else was going to try for goal then he would. Nathan dropped back from his No9 slot and Dan seemlessly slipped into it. We saw some effective but unused ‘nod-ons’ and some giraffe like Burn-esque (a bit like Messi-esque) runs for goal.

DC, trained by Lampard who is a tory (and we wont hold that against him – it is nothing more than a non judgemental observation) and never either the nicest or cleanest guy on the pitch seems to have trained DC to follow his ethos in life. Lots of hassling the ref. Lots of niggling our players – they were determined to wind Morsey up to a point that he’d react and also get sent off. The odd head butt never goes amiss in a game of football. Derby C 15 fouls; WAFC 8.

We saw some sublime passing, a goal that was apparently offside but actually wasn’t, and a shot on target. The target being Carsons arms. Soddit.

MoM …. Walton made a couple of essential diving saves; remember that penalty v Southampton? Gibson was every where and solid. Reece has had MoM too many times and deserved it again. Sam MoM for the last 25 minutes. Dan Byrne of course. Obviously Macmamamamum if he’d come on.

By the end we were unlucky not to have drawn.

With reference to the slippery penalty box. Burn did a good tackle, No 7 dived and claimed a penalty. A free kick was given. Surely if it wasn’t a penalty but a free kick to us then he should have been yellow carded for ‘simulation’. Lampoon has told them that the only slippery place on the field is the opponents penalty box. That would have been his second yellow; he got nowt – so lampard instantly subbed him. I sat there and completely randomly came this vision of stuffed brown envelopes in peoples shoes. I have no idea where that came from or what the relevance of it was to a game of football. Maybe I just thought on a wet day it’d help dry them out quicker.

If we can play like that again …. we’ll be ok.

Believe it or not I saw the same game as every one else this time!!

Highlight of the day … getting home to see I have 3 points on the ‘guess the gate’. I never like to peak too soon.

Goals Galore

 

Cockney Latic Man of the Match: Evans
Referee: G Ward
Attendance: 10,768
Video Highlights: Click here
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WIGAN ATHLETICDERBY County 
1Walton1Carson
2Byrne4Bryson
5Morsy5Tomori
8Vaughan6Keogh
10Windass7Wilson
12James8Mount
18Roberts10Lawrence
20Naismith14

Marriott

21Kipre37Bogle
33Burn44Huddlestone
36Evans46Malone
SUBS
23Jones21Roos
4Gibson9Waghorn
9Grigg11Jozefzoon
14Bruce16Pearce
15McManaman23Holmes
26Connolly28Nugent
41Garner39MacDonald

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