Oh how wrong I was, in fact all in all it was probably the worst trip we have had to the flat pack rugby ground.
The day started as it was to continue, waking up on Sunday morning in an exiled Geordie friend’s house in Manchester, we headed towards Wigan full of hope, or rather full of anticipation that this year we might actually give Wigan a proper game of football, en route we almost died as a Sainsbury’s truck decided to cut across us at the lights, a shocking decision from the driver but almost a precedent for the shocking decisions Mr Halsey and his inept officials were to bestow on Pardew and his players.
We arrived in Wigan….Just!!! A few drinks in a fine local establishment and we began to walk over to the ground, through an industrial estate and over the bridge taking in the sights and discussing our mate’s lasses driving.
On taking our seats at kick off, positivity turned into abject despair as within the space of 25 minutes we lost both our new and talented full backs, Debuchy first to go with what looks like a hamstring strain and then secondly and most galling of all, the horrific tackle on Haidara by McManaman, what he must think of the English league after being on the end of a tackle like that is anyone’s guess, and it was from this moment on the officials began to shape the game towards its inevitable conclusion.
Now the cynics amongst us might say Newcastle fans are bound to say it was a sending off and want action taken but no sooner had the tackle occurred, I received a text message from my Mackem brother in law confirming the severity of the tackle and how it should have been a straight red.
Half time arrived, John Carver started the 2013 Royal Rumble and the ground resonated with the smell of a flare and bad feeling…..but then all of a sudden we started to play a bit. Marveaux looked lively and things were beginning to happen, there’s a goal in this for us said my mate, and bang Davide Santon superbly finished into the bottom corner to spark great scenes and pounding his chest on the club crest. He may have come in for some criticism of late regarding his defensive ability but there’s no doubting this kid cares about our club.
As with any away trip to Wigan of course there was going to be one more twist and that was to come in the 90th minute, a handball missed by the 3 stooges, and that was it.
Another defeat, another walk back over the bridge and another drive home.
Fancy Wigan next year? Aye go on then!!!
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