Writer: Audenshaw Cherry
Date:Saturday January 5 2013
5th January 2013, 3pm
On a clear bright day in Wigan the referee obviously had this game down as a score draw on his coupon and he did his best to ensure he won the pools this week.
Both team made a number of changes to the teams they sent out during the week with the Cherries recalling Jalal in goal and swapping Tubbs and McQuoid for Grabben and Pitman up front. (I'm told Grabben was ill). In addition, Richard Hughes took up his position as the deep midfielder. The team set up in a 4 - 5 -1 formation with Tubbs playing up on his own for much of the time.
There was a magnificent away following, which could not be said for the home rabble, although I suppose they could point to the fact that they were practically playing their reserve team. The red fans were in full voice for much of the time and clearly won the singing match.
But back to the referee who, with two totally baffling decisions, had a decisive effect on the match and the result.
The game started with Wigan enjoying quite a bit of possession. They were effective on the wings, and on the left in particular, as they tried to draw Bournemouth out of defence. On the attacking front the left wing pairing of Daniels and Pugh was also causing trouble for the Wigan defence. The away side however were very profligate and regularly gave the ball away when in attacking positions.
The game sparked in life in the 32 minute when Pugh beat his man on the left and darted into the penalty area only to be floored by two Wigan defenders. Stonewall penalty. No doubt about it. Oh hang on the referee's showboating a bit. He blows his whistle and starts to point......for a free kick to the home side and then he books Pugh for diving. The away fans are apoplectic. It was right in front of us and there was no doubt in anyone`s mind EXCEPT for the referee. Totally bizarre decision.
Bournemouth then had a concerted period of possession and pushed for the opener. A good quick passing period in and around the box created a space for O`KANE on the left edge of the box and he made no mistake with a thumping smack into the top right hand corner of the goal.
The half finished with the large away following in full voice and the reds full value for their lead.
Half time: Wigan 0 AFCB 1
Wigan made a change at half time bringing on their new loan signing, Henriquez, from Manchester United (vomit). However the home team didn`t really up their work rate although they were keeping the ball more and Bournemouth were starting to defend deeper.
When we got the ball it was often a case of Jalal rolling the ball to a defender and then, under pressure, the forwards or midfield players giving the ball away. Pugh, however, was still causing the Wigan problems and he went close on a couple of occasions. Although we were giving the ball away a lot there no real pressure on the defence and they were left to take long range efforts.
Tubbs who had been largely ineffective at holding the ball up was replaced by Fogden. McQuoid went into the middle and Fogden onto the wing.
The referee hadn`t been the centre of attention for a while and he decided to take action. With Wigan pressing for an equaliser he inexplicably gave a penalty to the home side. I know I am biased but I still don`t know why he gave it. On the radio they said it was soft. The BBC website said it was Simon Francis who felled the Wigan player but the referee booked McQuoid. So confusion all round.
Anyway, Gomez stepped and fired to the left of Jalal who got down to block the shot really well but he couldn`t hold it and the penalty taker stroked in the rebound.
The away team then enjoyed a good period of play. McQuoid having moved into the middle pressed hard and constantly put the Wigan defence under pressure. A lob come shot from him bounced onto the Wigan bar with the keeper off his line. Fogden made a couple of great runs and was unlucky not to score.
Nerves then took hold and the Cherries began to defend deeper and deeper and were lucky not to concede. Two long shots, including one from Figueroa, smacked the bar with Jalal well beaten.
In the end a creditable draw for the away side but it could and should have been more. As the away fans sang 'You don`t know what you`re doing.
WE WUZ ROBBED.
Full time: Wigan 1 AFCB 1
Jalal: 6 Shame about the penalty but I have to say his kicking was very poor and at times other distribution was a bit dodgy.
Francis: 7 He was very stretched in the first half but had a good game and linked up well
Elphick: 7 Solid. Good in the air and was rarely troubled by the Wigan attack.
Cook: 7 See Elphick
Daniels: 7 As with the rest of the defence solid at the back but like the rest gave the ball away cheaply. Linked up well with Pugh
McQuoid: 6 Fairly quite as a withdrawn winger but was much more effective when moved up front. Booked for the penalty. Why? I don`t know.
Arter: 8 Buzzed around all the time and sprayed some great passes out to left and right.
O`Kane: 8 Saw him play against Preston at home and was very unimpressed but he was a different player today and what a great goal.
Hughes: 9 Considering he has been out for such a long I thought he was imperious today. Got his foot in when needed and was great in defence. Worryingly, went off late on with a head injury
Pugh: 8 Just great. Caused their defence trouble all day. He earned penalty. Oh wait a minute.....He didn`t. How? I don`t know.
Tubbs: 5 I feel really sorry for him. I`ve seen him play twice this season, once at Bury and today. Both times he has been the 1 (in a 4 - 5 - 1) formation. He is not good enough or big enough to play up front on his own.
Fogden: 8 A real live wire when he came on
Pitman and Partington: Not on long enough to make an impact.
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