Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Wigan Robins v Padiham Storks. It's a birds and booze fest... well we'll be having a couple before the game

Padiham centre - looks a decent gaff

And if it thaws Padiham FC cometh to the Stadio de Robin Park this Saturday. And they come riding high in second place five points and two places above the Robins.

And they haven't lost since 13th September 2008 and have got summat like 41 goals. Paul Fildes has ten of them and won the Vodkat League Division One Player of the Month Award last month. Padiham's boss Graham Haworth lavished praise on prolific striker Paul Fildes – whose November goalscoring exploits - in the Lancashire Telegraph

Fildes hit the scoresheet in seven of Padiham’s last eight games last month, scoring 12 in total, including a superb hat-trick at AFC Liverpool.

“Paul’s made a difference to us,” said Haworth, “He’s a real goal threat and he stretches teams a lot with his pace.

Hmmm the bit about the pace is a bit worrying but... we'll worry about that on the day. And may the best team win - as long as they play in red and white!

If Padiham are on a good run at the moment they've had a good run as a football club. Last month they celebrated their 130th birthday.

Here's the Wiganpedia blurb

When the club was formed in 1878 it was among the first football clubs in Lancashire and was well supported, attracting an attendance of 9000 for a match against neighbours Burnley in 1884.[1] At this time Padiham's ground was on the banks of the River Calder, hence the nickname, The Caldersiders.

Padiham was one of the first clubs to support the legalisation of professional football. However, this backfired as they were unable to compete with clubs in larger towns such as Blackburn, and the club folded in 1916. The club lost their ground during World War I and lay dormant until after the end of the Second World War.

Then in 1949 the club was resurrected with the opening of the Arbories Memorial Sports Ground. A crowd of 1,777 turned up to see their opening fixture of the season in the Lancashire Combination Football League.

They became founder members of the North West Counties Football League in 1982 but left the league in 1990. They returned in 2001 after spending £300,000 on upgrading the Arbories Memorial Sports Ground and finished in the top four of the second division in 2003 and 2005.

So all told a pretty good old club. As for the town well it sits on the River Calder and is three miles from Burnley and sits in the shadows of Pendle Hill.

There will be witches in them there hills

photo nicked from Cheadle Town lads (I'll get you a beer next week....)

Padiham (H) League, th'athletics stadium Sat 3 Jan 2009 3.00pm - £3.50 to geet in.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Wigan down the bads, while Bootle and AFC Liverpool serve up a derby thriller

Hail Ryan Small - Wigan's best midfielder - apart from the fact he wasn't Corcy was but... and two absolutely superb goals that downed a spirited Ashton Town side in the Pie Classico.

Well I'm told they were absolutely superb goals but if you will score them on 45 and 51 minutes and the bar is open do you really expect the Wigan Robin Bastards to see them.

Here's what the offish site says about 'em

39 min - Ryan Small (8/10)
Ryan Small fired home from close range with a superb headed goal, following a cross from Danny Worthington.

47 min - Ryan Small (10/10)
A mind-blowing team goal, finished off by Ryan Small with a left footed conversion from long range, following a Andrew Miller pass

All-in-all it was a tough hard-earned victory. Ashton looked a different side to the one that was gobbled up 6-1 by Hurrricane Maurice down at the Stadio de Robin Park yonks back. That said the Robins looked a little rusty but in the end it was job well done and a special pat on the back for the aforementioned Jon Corcoran who battled through the sand and slope of the Edge Green Street to control the midfield.

Jon Corcoran

Anyroad the beer in the Cross Keys was good, the club's weren't too bad either and the after-match chilli was alright 'n all - so job's a good 'un!

The next day I took in the Bootle v AFC Liverpool game and what a fantastic advert for the NWCL it was. Over 700 watching and a 4-3 win for AFC. Not that it was really deserved but good luck to them as they took their chances whilst Bootle didn't. The game had everything: an own goal, goalkeeping gaffs, a cracker from the half way line and a great finish. Plus as we've lost twice to Bootle we were hoping for an AFC win as we have a chance of clawing three points back off them. That said great hospitality from Bootle, good pies and beer at £2 a pint.

Photo nicked off the AFC Liverpool site

The victory restored AFC's lead at the top of the table that they had lost to Padiham - our opponents this coming Saturday: a game that looks like being a blinder ...

Padiham (H) League, th'athletics stadium Sat 3 Jan 2009 3.00pm - £3.50 to geet in.
Preview later in the week

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Ashes to Ashton: It's the Pie Classico as Town take on Wigan Robins

ASHTON = Really classy women and race courses

Oh and Eddie Arrows, and the the Brian Boru and two pubs called the Cross Keys and the Tom and Jerry and the coal field was once part of St Helens and half the town is part of St Helens and the other half support Liverpool. Well they watch Latics now but they really support Liverpool...

And there are two semi-pro teams. Ashton Athletic and Ashton Town. And Garswood United if you want to support them but for now we are interested in Ashton Town FC.

And they play near the Cross Keys pub - the Cross Keys pub near Stubshaw Cross that is. They play in red and on Boxing Day the Robins make the quick dash from the Bath Springs to Edge Green Road.

Town are struggling at the bottom but as "Adam was a lad" when the Robins last played who knows what will happen. Add in to this the local derby factor, a heavy pitch, probably, too much stuffing, WII injuries, Sound of Music overkill...

Kick -off is 3pm, the pies will be hot, the beer will cure the hangover and well it sure beats dressing up in fancy dress and acting like a mong?

The hand of Eddie Arrows

Thursday, 18 December 2008

I'm dreaming of a Wigan WN5 Christmas

It\'s Christmassssssssssssssssssssssssssss.............sssssssssssssssss

There doesn't appear to be any football so welcome to the festive WN5 district of Wigan and The Mudhutter's Christmas Special.

As well as the tinsel and mistletoe stuff we've a load of the usual - just check the December file for all other articles. We'll alter the order around a bit over the next month or so to keep it fresh but for now Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at Mudhuts Media and Bobbin Along

You can find The Mudhutter @ www.themudhutter.blogspot.com or click image to the right

All contributions welcome (deadline for next issue 27 January 2009) and you can get them through to us at


Meanwhile a thought for Christmas

Oh soulless town, oh dreary place,
bequeathed its charm and sold its face,
a chain-store culture with no grace,
enveloped you at such a pace.

Arcade so new, but not so grand,
you stole my home and raped the land,
snatching childhood from my hand,
replaced by all I cannot stand.

Blue fronts, green fronts, fronts the same,
same old culprits, same old names,
comfort lies to heal the lame,
conform their lives to fit the game.

A sinking place, ’neath waters drown,
a subjugated King, no crown,
it‘s with regret that this old town,
is void of culture, going down.

THIS is Wigan


Thursday, 11 December 2008

Daisy Duke, pubs with facebook and the Wigan Robins Weather Check

Double Daisy Duke

According to the ever so reliable metcheck we are told the forecast for Saturday in BL5 - the home of Daisy Hill - from 15.00hrs to 17.59hrs is:

2 degrees C but feeling -4 degrees C
100% Cloud
3.44mm of Heavy Snow
(and the good news) Winds of just 8mph

So it'll be off then!

But if it's not then let's rejoice in this local derby of the Robins versus The Cutters (or Daisies)

A quaint name for a place adjoined to Cayed City but I digress: So what will we find there?

Well the gruesome Wanderers player Nicky Hunt might be home visiting relatives as I believe he was hatched there. There's also a decent cricket pitch - and home of Daisy Hill CC - near the ground.

Add to that the Daisy Hill Hotel that is also known as the Blue Lion and the place is buzzing. In fact the Daisy Hill Hotel that is also known as the Blue Lion has it's own facebook page. Whatever next a facebook page for the Bath Springs? In fact the Daisy Hill Hotel that is also known as the Blue Lion has a discussion on it's own facebook page about who should be barred from the pub. Now if the Bath Springs had it's own facebook page about who should be barred from the pub dare we even guess who might win that prize?

Probably me and I've only been in three times (and not known where I was the first time)...

And that's about all my research (ten minutes on google) tells me. As for the match who knows: Daisy Hill lie in 15th place with 15 points off 15th games which is pretty consistent in one way or another. In fact they they were our last opponents in the league - as way back on the 1st November a 4-2 victory (nil-nil with 22 minutes to go) to the Robins settled the score that day. And it was probably the worst 4-2 match anywhere this season but at least we saw some football... Last week Daisy Hill were beat 2-0 up at Holker Old Boys so we'll see...

Not the football ground

Did I say: "So it'll be off then"?

Saturday, 6 December 2008

That was the month that was: waterlogged Wigan pitches and snowy Bacup

Photo courtesy www.nwcfl.co.uk

Now I like my football a bit on the rough side. Give me Springfield Park over Whelan Towers any day. White Hart Lane and Goodison Park are proper grounds. Pride Park and The Riverside are not.

I also have no airs or graces about where I have a bevy or a nosebag. Back streets of Islington before the Kings Road any day. I’ve also a lot more in common – and feel more at home – in Warrington than in Windsor and that is why I – and a good few others are hoping for Fleetwood away in the FA Cup and are loving watching the Robins away from home.

I mean what’s not to like about towns such as Bootle and Bacup and Darwen and Rochdale. Proper rough holes with proper football clubs. Proper football clubs with proper pies and home made soup and Bovril. Even if the girl serving you is likely to have six fingers!!

Then there are the country places. Stone and Eccleshall. I mean: “Who’d live in a place like this?”

Great little grounds like Rochdale Town where the club’s supporters and members have put heart and soul into getting a decent little ground together. No identikit stadia here. A stand (or cover) is built when they can afford it. No undersoil heating for these cold months. If it rains heavily it’s off! But there is no point in complaining as it always used to be like that. Walking up Park Road as kids, sliding on the ice and snow to be faced by the returning fans and: “It’s off lads.

“It’s frozzen solid!”

So off for a bit of mischief in Mesnes Park and a snowball fight with whoever’s about.

And there will be some more games off in the NWCFL in the coming weeks but that’s half the fun of it. Watching football at this level isn’t easy. It’s not meant to be easy. You are not watching a “product”. You’re watching a football match including 22honest players, subs, managers, refs, committee men etc. So if you make the journey and it’s off then you have to accept it. It all adds to the attraction of watching the game. There are no PR leaflets dropping through your door about WRPFC. Unless you count posts on toddler.net drumming (sic) up support. No marketing man’s spunkfest with words such as: Honesty
“Honesty Progression Passion Unity”

And the reason why there isn’t, is because it’s a football club. A bloody proper football club and a bloody good one at that. All those words relate to the Robins and hundreds of other non-league clubs but they don’t need to put them on leaflets advertising the latest kit or credit card or summat.

As I write this, the Robins are second in the league. Sure they’ve played more games than some of the other teams but as the old cliché goes (summat like): it’s better off having the points in the onion bag.

There have been some right goal feasts. Ryan Small (Wigan’s best midfielder?) has a ponfull as does the Bear and Danny Worthington! Proper football – proper players. Give it a try you might just love it. The big game is at the Stadio de Robin Park on 6 December against the mini Koppites AFC Liverpool. They’ll bring a good few so a decent atmosphere should be prevail. But there’s also Daisy Hill and Ashton Town and the inform Padiham (where they will undoubtedly have six fingers and their sister will be their…) and somewhere near Port Vale called Norton United

So it’s onward and upward…

SONG: “Robin Park, Robin Park, charging through the Glen”
PLAYER: Danny Worthington
AWAY: Probably Darwen (but it’s before we’ve gone to press) so Rochdale Town
HOPE: Stay undefeated and easily beat the Scousers
LOOKING FORWARD: Ashton Bads at their gaff

“When the red, red, Robins go bob, bob, bobbin along… We’re the bastards, we’re the bastards…”

This monthly column originally appeared in the Mudhutter Football Express

For more details see www.mudhutsmedia.co.uk

Friday, 21 November 2008

Wigan Robins, Ghandi, Blancmange and Darwen

The one on the left is from Darwen. I can't tell if he has six fingers on each hand but you'd guess he has...

The following is a simple cut and paste from the Darwen website. http://www.darwenfc.com/_pages/history.htm

Done simply to show the magnitude of the opponents (and the history therein) that the Robins come up against tomorrow

Founded in 1875, when Association Rules were adopted, Darwen F.C. can trace its history back to 1870 when the rugby code was played at Lynwood. Having set up headquarters at Barley Bank in 1878 Darwen signed Fergus Suter and James Love from Partick Thistle, these two being the first of an influx of Scottish players into English Football and the first “paid professionals” in the game.

During this same year experiments with floodlights were being carried out. Darwen were the first northern club to achieve prominence in the F.A. Cup, reaching the quarter-finals in 1878-79 and the semi-finals in 1880-81. On the way to this semi-final they defeated Romford 15-0 in the Quarter-final. In 1880 they defeated Blackburn Rovers 3-0 to win the Lancashire Cup.

The club competed in the Football Alliance until they were elected to the Football League in 1891. On the 4th March 1892 they entered the History books for suffering the heaviest defeat in the Football League when they lost 12-0 to West Bromwich Albion. This still remains the record defeat for a club in Division 1. Needless to say they finished bottom with just 11 points, and became one of the founder members of the second division. Having finished in third place in the 1892-93 season promotion back to Division 1 came after defeating Notts County 3-2 in a test match. (These test matches were the equivalent of the modern day play-offs).

This promotion lasted only one season and they were relegated back to Division Two. In season 1896/97 they achieved their highest league win, beating Walsall 12-0, and also set a record of going the whole season without registering a single draw. This feat has never been repeated in the history of the Football League.

In the early days, Darwen played in several combinations of black and white stripes or hoops with dark blue or white shirts, but during their first two seasons in the Football League they played in salmon and pink shirts, which gave them their alternate nickname of “The Salmoners”.

Darwen remained in the Second Division until 1899 when they were not re-elected. During this season they again entered the history books - for the most goals scored against during a season (141 goals in 34 games), and losing 18 consecutive league matches.

In the summer of 1899 the club moved to it’s present home at the Anchor Ground. They joined the Lancashire League in 1899, winning the title in 1901/02 after going unbeaten all season; they then switched to the Lancashire Combination.

The early 1930s saw the next “golden age” of Darwen Football Club. Wearing a striking new strip of red and white striped shirts, the club won 5 trophies in the three years from 1930 to 1933, including the Lancashire Combination title twice in a row in 1931 and 1932. In the 1931/32 season FA Cup, they beat Football League side Chester in front of a 10,000 crowd at the Anchor Ground and were rewarded with an away draw at reigning league champions Arsenal in the 3rd round.

Darwen’s part-timers lost the game 11-1 but their share of the gate receipts from a crowd of over 35,000 helped to pay for a new stand behind the Darwen End goal which has only fairly recently been demolished. After this match, Arsenal were so impressed with Lancashire sportsmanship that they presented their visitors with a set of their own red strip, which Darwen have worn more or less ever since.

The golden 1930s team gradually broke up and Darwen FC began to struggle financially. Throughout the 1950s and 60s they battled on in the Combination achieving little success. The committee structure of player selection, allied with the lack of discernable tactics adding to Darwen's usual financial woes.

Then in 1972, the club merged with a Manchester League side called Clarence Athletic. This brought the turnaround of Darwen’s fortunes and they won the Combination title again in 1973 and 1975. This success was followed by an uninspiring period in the higher standing Cheshire County League from 1975-82 before Darwen became one of the founder of the North West Counties League in 1982.

And they've been there ever since and tomorrow WRP travel to the Anchor Ground to take on 11th placed Darwen. Again they look like a team that lets in the odd goal or 36 so it could be a good one.

After a couple of frustrating weeks after the fine 3-3 draw with Bacup the Robins and their fans have been sat on their backsides after that disease of waterlogged pitch caught up with them at home to AFC Blackpool and in the replay at Bacup. Not sure how waterlogged the WRP arena was, mind. It didn't look too bad on Sunday morning when I walked past but that bloody River Duggie don't half get in the way. There didn't seem to be a very Olympian effort (insert winky thing) by the staff down there to get pitch sorted - ask me in the pub...

Anyroad it seems ages since Ryan Small got a hat trick - and after the dross served up on the adjacent JJB earlier he proved without that he was the best midfielder in Wigan that day - so it will be good to get back there.

I've been to Darwen ages back watching Latics and I can't remember a thing about it. One game there saw Tony Mac come back from a ban (for playing Sunday football) and bagged SEVEN goals in an 11-2 win (or summat like that. And if that was the game I was at and I've forgotten that then more beers past my lips since then than I thought had.

And I'm sure there might be a few more beers consumed on Saturday as there appears to be at least 21 pubs less than a mile from the station (inc. seven within 400 yards or so from the station).

We'll never get to the ground! But if we do there appears to be a decent little clubhouse there and according to the good old Non-League Club Directory room for 4,000, 250 seats and cover for 2,000. Other than that I've not a clue but good old google tells me that Gandhi once visited a mill there back in 1931 and the lead singer of 80s band Blancmange, Neil Arthur is from there.

So all together now:

"You keep me running round and round
Well, that's alright with me
Nothing, nothing, nothing's going to step in my way
Living on the ceiling, no more room down there
Things fall into place, you get the joke, fall into place..."

"We're on the march with Neafcy's Army,
We're all going down t'mill.."

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Wigan, Bacup, Stoke and the Britannia Coco-Nut Dancers

One for those that like their football badges all medieval

Two games on Saturday for the Wigan football cognoscenti (no I don't know what that word means either but hey sod it this is not The Sun so lets add a bit of class). Any road I digress and I'm only on the first sentence.

Yeah two games of football all within a hundred yards of each other. Admittedly one will be big boot, long throws and a little above Sunday League standard whilst the other will be Wigan Robin Park FC against Bacup Borough.

But first let's get the Latics v Stoke game out of the way. Bruce has said he wants the Latics players to "be men" which sounds all a bit too homoerotic for me but I sought of get his drift... Then again this is football and as Danny Baker said in his excellent (and without doubt the only phone-in worth listening to) 606 on Tuesday: "As my mate at Millwall says when Millwall players start rolling around, feigning injury, waving imaginary cards - stop whinging and get stuck into them..."

And that is right - it's football not bloody rounders - get stuck in. And lest we forget OUR main attacking tactic this season has been Maynor Figueroa's er... long throw-in. So pot, kettle and all that.

Anyroad it won't be pretty, but what is in that awful league. Steeevvvvvviiiiie Geee diving, Ronaldo crying, Fat Frank kissing his badge, Harry bleeding Rednapp or Rooney trying to decapitate somebody?

So after all that blood, sweat and tears it'll be a change to sit back and watch some goals fly in. Bacup can't stop scoring and letting goals in while at the Robins it's been pretty much the same. What may count in this game is that it is a Vodkat cup tie and Bacup Borough play in the Premier League - one above WRP. It'll be a tough ask and a good way for the Robins to test themselves personally (as players) and as a team against the higher outfit. I also have an inkling that some of th'athletics stadium regulars might be hoping for a replay and a chance to visit the wonderfully-named West View ground that is situated on COWTOOT LANE with views over the Lancashire countryside!!

A club steeped in history (founded in 1875) who count David May (ex Manchester Uniited & Blackburn) and David Felgate (ex everybody including Latics) as ex-players. Their current star is Tommy Turner - who with 15 goals is the Vodkat Premier League's top scorer.

It will undoubtedly be a tough day at the office for our cherry and white-hooped heroes so all support will be needed and even moreso appreciated.

One of the Bacup WAGS (maybe...)

£3(ish) to get in, hot snacks and drinks at Robin's Nest, banter with the Wigan Robin Bastards, a decent pitch, The Bear, the chance that Agyness Deyn might turn up (she's from Rawtenstall next to Bacup), Bacup's Nutters dance troupe - Britannia Coco-Nut Dancers with the 'nuts' being wooden discs, which are worn on the dancers' hands, knees and belts and are struck in time to the music and the chance to continue your football fix, let the traffic disappear, the pubs thin out and hopefully see two home victories in four hours.

And of course it will give everybody a chance to see if Ryan Small really is Wigan's best midfielder...

Better than Palacios?

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Wigan, Aldershot 1982, beards and a tale for Remembrance Day

“Sorry lads, you can’t come in.”

“Er how come?

“It’s eleven, your door's open.”

“No beards.”

“Yer wot.”

“You heard.

“Your mate’s got a beard.

“He can’t come in.”

We look at the Big One and indeed he does have a beard. But we aren’t going in. And we’re laughing and Tone says: “Just run this by me again Mr Landlord.

“You’re not letting us in because our mate has a beard?”

“Yeah sorry lads but I can’t let you.

“It’s an army pub and they’ll know you’re not army as he has a beard.

“End of story.”

And Tone says: “But Robert E Lee had a beard and he was army.”

“Che Guevara,” shouts Guzzling.

“Fidel Castro,” I say.

“Karl Marx”

“David Bellamy”

“Kenny Everett”

Kenny fucking Everett, ha, ha, ha.

“Jim Morrison,” says Az

And we are all laughing at the thought of Jim Morrison being refused entry at a shithole of a pub.

The Big One is doubled up. Dribbling down his beard and Tone shouts again: “Jennifer Miller”

“Jennifer Miller, who the fuck is Jennifer Miller?”

“A bearded lady.”

So Guzzling says: “Would you let Jennifer Miller in?”

“Not if she’s got a beard!”

And it’s getting dafter and dafter and we are laughing and laughing. And it’s the first time I’ve laughed since I heard that Alan had gone down with the Sheffield. Laughing my head off in this army town of Aldershot on a sunny Spring day.

“Rolf Harris”

We all turn around and there are two Wigan kids in their Braemer golf jumpers, jumbo cords and adidas pumps. Right little Ronnie Corbetts. They have seen what’s going on and they’re loving it.

I’m rolling around, the Big One is stroking his beard like a mad fucking professor and Tone is trying his hardest to think of somebody else with a beard and I shout: “Captain Birdseye, he was military.”

Still he stands there and we turn into the bright morning sunshine. And I say to Tone: “How the fuck did you know about Jennifer Miller?”

“God knows…”

We shuffle on by and the brandy in my hipflask sinks into my soul as we turn the corner to see a gang of happy Wigan fans outside a pub.

“Alright lads, do they serve people with beards in here?” says the Big One.

And they look at this daft big cockney with a beard and one of them says: “Yer wot?”

So I reply: “Yer wot, yer wot, yer wot.”

And everybody joins in and they know that I’m Wigan and these cockneys with me today are Wigan and as we go to the bar Guzzling orders five Guinnesses as we hear the cry of “What shall we do with the Argentinians?” from the growing number of Wigan fans outside.

Guzzling’s still laughing when he says: “Rich, I’m going to grow a beard next week.

“Grow it for your Alan…"

This article originally appeared in The Mudhutter November 2008


Friday, 31 October 2008

Wigan, cow heads and Beyonce's beautiful sister

The Keawyeds from Keawyed City are coming. According to Wiganpedia there are two local stories how this name came about. In one it says that in 1815 a celebration was held to mark the end of the Napoleonic Wars an ox's head was roasted, which was mounted on a pole and was fought over by two opposing factions in the town. The victors were dubbed "Keaw-Yeds". The other story tells that a farmer in Westhoughton found his cow had got its head stuck in a five barred gate (or fence), and rather than cut the gate, the farmer cut the cow's head off, since the cow cost less than the gate.

It is quite obvious that the second story is the true one as they are one set of thick buggers over there. It has been said that a Keawyed girl’s one ambition in life is to marry a bloke from Leigh.

Any road their football team Daisy Hill are the Robins opponents on Saturday and hopefully Ben Kay will be parading around the Red Robin with a cow’s yed on a stick after 90 minutes.

Fresh from last week’s easy victory (and cracking day out for the fans) at Cassy Gabs everybody will be looking for more of the same. In a game that could have seen the Robins get six or seven goals they had to settle for just the three with Ryan Small, the excellent Andrew Miller and Danny Worthington hitting the back of the net. As for the day well.. A right proper old school day out it was. Trains that were cancelled at Manchester as the guard was still pissed from the night before (er probably), dark, cold, rain, John Willie Lees beers, a really (really, really) dodgy boozer with the bitterest of bitter blues in there but as welcoming as pubs go. Oh and Solange’s Sandcastle Disco rocking the telly to bits. And then we get the directions and get lost - as did the lads that came by car – and the “five-minute walk” becomes twenty and we have to have another pint and get a taxi!! And the taxi turns up a minute after we order it so we deck a pint in two minutes. Then we go into their magnificent club for Guinness and jackbit. And it looks like St Pats Rugby Club as there are so many meatheads in there.

What a great place and a really good old ground and a grand day out. Needless to say we grab lifts back and end up in the Bath Springs before I’m some how in the back of Daz Mullen’s fancy car. How I got in and out of the back seat I’ve no idea!

The Club Captain's car

Well it was still pissing down as I made my way home – more of the same this week I guess.

The Daisies have 11 points from eight games and have let in 21 goals. With us leaking a similar amount this could be WRP’s first 6-5 victory. Let’s hope it’s more 4-0 but hey we’ll take anything. A pint of beer would be nice but the early week rumours haven’t materialised and it looks like F&B’s will be getting some of our lot’s money while the rest of us will do with a Mars Bar and a cup of coffee. Well if it was good enough for Marianne Faithfull…

Rochdale Town pics courtesy Pilps
Other pics nicked from internet

Friday, 24 October 2008

Wigan Robin Park (P)review - The Le's

Photo courtesy of the Cheadle lads

We're out of the grey and back in the red with apologies for the lack of updates on the blog. Sometimes real life gets in the way. Well real life, book deadlines, Adnams bitter and downright laziness but...

With two of the le's out the way we travel to the third on Saturday. The le's? No not some obscure scouse band but teams ending in le. We had Cheadle a week back, Bootle in midweek and this week we go to Castleton. Er Rochdale. And with a draw and defeat so far surely a win is on the cards this Saturday.

But first:

Cheadle Town... In a game that saw neither team giving much away the nineties minutes ended one a piece. For a totally unbiased report and some excellent photos see this excellent website http://www.cheadletownfc.com/

Basically I'll just concur with that and say it was good to meet up with the Cheadle lads. For a biased report check out the video of the game (when I work out how to put it on here!).

Bootle was cold, dark, rainy and just as midweek football should be. Pity the bar wasn't open but the tea hut was absolutely splendid. Pies, hot dogs, home made soup, decent coffee and all sorts in between...

I'd settled on a tray of chips before the game. I was going for a pint but put my head in a couple of the local bevvy houses and thought better of it. It was very scouse. As was the ground as the tell-tale signs of marijuana smoke wafted across the stands. I'm sure I heard some Pink Floyd being played at some point...

Also good to meet up with some AFC Liverpool fans who were there checking out their rival teams. And if they'd checked out just the first half they would say that Bootle are a fair-decent side. They battered us but thankfully it was only 2-0 at the break - mainly due to some excellent goalkeeping and desperate defending.

The second half saw us get back into the game and a late rally and great effort by Ryan Small almost saw us equalise. As it was we had to settle with just a Ben Kay goal and no points.

It's one of those things and if we take the second half performance into the game at Rochdale we should have too much for the second bottom team.

The Wigan Robin Bastards will be on the march (or more likely the train) and are looking forward to visiting what is one of the oldest and most established clubs in the league - not withstanding the new name. As we land before midday it will be interesting to see how long we last in the ground after being warned about OUR language in th'athletics stadium by some of THEIR fans earlier this season. Should be fun and here are 21 things that could happen

1. It'll be off
But if it's not then

2. The Bear will come on and score
3. The Olde Bastard will get some friendly abuse
4. The Whistle Stop Brekkkie will be the only thing I eat all day
5. So I won't be able to blame no food on being drunk
6. We'll end up spending ages explaining that the Premiership is not all it's set up to be to bemused Rochdale fans
7. Meanwhile the results will go against Latics again
8. Ryan Small will get two goals, kiss the badge and talk endlessly about them to anybody that will listen to him in the Bath Springs - for the next two weeks!
9. Their announcer will make Taffy sound like Richard Burton
10. The lobby gobbler will be linesman again
11. Ben Kay will lose his alice band and spend 20 minutes looking for it in the muddy penalty box
12. Jay Foulds will have two good games on the trot!
13. The Bear will win on the coupon again
14. Castleton will be a decent old place
15. And their clubhouse will lead to everybody saying: "Wish we had a club like this"
16. Bootle will lose this weekend
17. Les Bagg may have a sly ciggie
18. And the odd pint or two
19. Most of our lot will be home and asleep in the chair when the MOTD theme kicks in
20. Or talking nonsense in the John Bull
21. Bring on Daisy Hill!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Wigan Robins welcome the ton-up boys

If it’s Saturday and it’s 3pm then it must time for the Robins. And this Saturday the Norton girl’s in town. Well… if not the Norton girl then at least Norton United.

Based in Smallthorne in Stoke on Trent Norton United were formed in 1989 after a bloke from Norton Cricket Club wanted summat to do in the winter. They were promoted to the NWCL in 2001 they have continued their development and now run sides at Under 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11 and 10’s. On top of this they’ve developed a very tidy ground, what looks like a fine clubhouse and a second pitch for the junior teams. You also have to walk along the side of the cricket pitch to get to the ground so the members of Mudhutters CC might get a bit of practice in (not that we need it) when we go to the return match – in January!

For now however the rev-up boys will be visiting th’athletics track with a record of played six, won three, drawn one and lost two so it should be a close game – especially as they have only conceded eight goals.

Last week their game at Holker was called-off due to a waterlogged pitch and by all accounts weren’t too pleased about it as they only found out when they got there. Personally I’d have just gone the bar and had a Warsteiner (or ten).

They also have a player called Rutter – which is always good for a laugh but those that laugh last and all that ought to be aware that he was the VODKAT LEAGUE First Division player of the month for September scoring in all five games.

The Robins come into the game after the hard-fought game up in the middle of the Irish Sea last week. There is a full report on the official website that details the game and sums it up perfectly.


Suffice to say it was sterling effort from all the players. It was hard enough watching in those conditions never mind playing in it and the clean sheet was well deserved.

It is also worth noting that AFC Blackpool had a great little ground. Cover at both ends, seats down each side, fantastic hot chocolate, decent pies and a fine clubhouse. We got off pretty sharpish after the game just having the one and I’m not sure how long the players stayed as it had all kicked off in the tenth minute of injury time!

And congratulations to John Neafcy who celebrated being a granddad for the second time by effing and blinding at the linesman and referee in his normal way.

Altogether now:

“I've been sitting here all day thinking
Same old dream ten years away thinking
Now my days are gone, memories linger on
Thoughts of when I was boy
Penny farthings on the street riding
Motorcars were funny things, frightening
Bow and hoops and spinning tops
Penny Dreadfuls, lollipops
Comic cuts, all different things

Grandad, grandad you're lovely
That's what we all think of you
Grandad, grandad you're lovely
That's what we all think of you
Grandad grandad

Aeroplanes tied up with string flying
Telephones and talking things sighing
A radio and phonograph, Charlie Chaplin made us laugh
Silently falling about
Familiar things I keep around, near me
Memories of my younger days, clearly
Come into my mind
Everyday I find, thoughts of when I was boy

Grandad, grandad you're lovely
That's what we all think of you
Grandad, grandad you're lovely
That's what we all think of you
Grandad, Grandad…”

Photos of Norton's ground from the excellent website


Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Wigan's Rockin' Robins - Gig at Robin Park this Saturday

Wigan Robin Park FC have organised a gig at Robin Park this Saturday. There are 2 bands and a DJ playing. Doors open at 7.30pm and the gig starts at 8pm.

Headlining are Zoomorphic from Liverpool. Made up of Allan Robb on lead vocals and guitar, Andy Cleary on bass and vocals, and Paul "Cogsy" Coggins on drums, Zoomorphic has made quite a name for themselves over the course of their young three year career in their hometown of Liverpool.

You can hear three great melodic tracks from the band on http://www.kabillion.com/music/artists/zoomorphic

Also on the bill are Face for Radio. Another band that ply their psychedelic brand of rock out of Liverpool.


Making up the bill is rapper Damo da Famo who is promising to bring fifteen dancing girls with him!!

Tickets are a tenner which includes free entry into the raffle with such prizes as a signed Arteta shirt, signed Ronaldo shirt plus signed balls and other stuff.

All proceeds go to the club to help with their plans for more junior teams for next season.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Barrow, Blackpool, Bootle and the Mighty Wigan Robin Park

Watch the Warsteiner!

The Old Boys made it to Holker and Chorley Matt notes:

1. Beer can go an awful long way when opened on a train

a. Bombardier is not pronounced how I thought it was
b. Vaughanie already knew this
c. A woman in Stoke also knew this

3. An inanimate Emlyn Hughes is easy to tackle if you "get yer head on it"

4. I'm shit at darts (unless we're sat down)

5. The Robin Bastards can empty a pub by ordering a taxi

6. The MIGHTY Robin Park travel well

7. You don't have to be a WAG to travel on the team bus

8. Beer gets me drunk

9. More beer gets me more drunk

10. Falling asleep on the bog gets you in trouble with the missus

11. Mrs CM discovered last night that she no longer has a bottle opener but opened a christmas cracker to get another one(!)

Donuts decided that

12. Donuts now has two bottle openers and a bottle of Punk IPA

13. Vaughanie loses all short term memory after a few beers (9 times he asked me where we were)

14. The Bath Springs (Bryn) serves a nice pint
15. The Bath Springs serves a nice basic buffet (hot dogs, cheese and onion butties, pizza)

16. £1.20 for Pie, Peas, Gravy with beetroot and onions is a good reason to spend £20 on a train ticket.

17. Vaughanie is Ryan Small's dad

18. Warsteiner should be served in all clubhouses (sod the plastic thwaites)

19. Vaughanie can't sing

20. Ben Kay is shit at taking penalties

"Come on Ben. Come on. Back of the net. Come on. 2-0"

As for me well: Never ever let me near that Warsteiner again!!!!

Oh we won 6-1 and you can check out all the details including description of all goals including Danny Worthington's hat-trick on the official site. For a fan's eye view collar, Bagg, Pilps or Rob in the pub as they went in the car and can undoubtedly remember more!

This Saturday the Robins make another trip to the edge of the Irish Sea with a rearranged match with AFC (nee Mechanics) Blackpool. Originally a midweek game in November the Saturday fixture comes as a relief but the fact that Latics are at home will be a bummer for those that like to do both.

Anyhow the team will be focused enough and will be looking for a win against the team that went down 6-3 at home to AFC Liverpool last weekend. Their full results - so far - are won one, drawn one and lost four so WRP will be looking for three points before the return game with Bootle next Tuesday.

Full report on both games next week - if I stop off the ale!!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Barrow, Barrow... the Robins are going to Barrow

Forget David Beckham and his preening, poncing shot from his own half against Wimbledon, forget Pele's effort in the 1970 World Cup that just went wide and doff your Tam O'Shanter to Graham Capstick of Holker Old Boys.

Back in April 2007 Capstick headed a goal — from 57 YARDS!!!

A crowd of 37 saw the goal that could be a world record in a 2-2 draw at home to Chadderton. Speaking at the time Capstick said: “I hit it perfectly. It just flew over all the other players and then bounced about 16 yards out from the goal-line as their keeper came out.
"Then it just bounced over his head. I don’t think he could believe it — and neither could anyone else.
“Even I was shocked. I certainly wasn’t aiming for goal — I hadn’t scored all season.”

I'm not even sure if he's scored since. He definitely played last season but information on Holker Old Boys is scant as the world wide web doesn't appear to have got as wide as Barrow yet. Lets hope he's not in their team this weekend else Jay Foulds had better watch it. Sounds a great if freakish goal and you can guess that the wind coming off the Irish Sea had a hand in it.

This weekend the skies are meant to be blue, the ground is at the top of the hill, the clubhouse looks like a clubhouse should look like, there are rolling hills in the background and there is a rumour that the club serves Warsteiner on draft and the Wigan Robin Bastards are on their way - if they can get up the hill!!!

photo taken from the absolutely excellent Cheadle Town website and blog http://www.cheadletownfc.com/

All reports suggest that Holker old Boys are one of the most welcoming football clubs in the non-league world so it all adds up to being a good day out.

As far as Holker's form it's hard to judge as due to a couple of postponements they have only played three games in the league winning two and losing one. This week they crashed out of the FA Vase 5-0 at Colne in a second qualifying round replay but as we have found form and results appear to be all over the place in this division - unless it's the aforementioned Cheadle Town...

The Robins will not only be looking to build on last week's win but also improve their game as last week was a little scrappy. However with the sloping pitch and the fact that Holker OB tend to play fairly directly they may have to battle. Not that playing that way bothers them.

Oh... Daft prediction time 2-0 Robins (The Bear 2 - that's if he's finished feeding the slot machine in Las Vegas or somewhere)

Is that a rugby match being played on Rakesmoor Lane?

Oh no...

Monday, 22 September 2008

Two teams in Wigan, Tottenham Hotspur and Rochdale Town

This weekend I doubled up on the football; watching games at different ends of the football pyramid. One game had everything the modern game should have. Skill, endeavour, quality football, bad refereeing and the other was Wigan Athletic versus Tottenham Hotspur!

In fact despite the scoreline of the Robin Park game it wasn't the best they've played this season. What with Rochdale Town taking the lead with their first and only shot of the game on 24 minutes and then shutting up shop. The Robins huffed and Maurice Lindsayed but seem to be cluttered up front as they got more and more desperate as the game slipped away from them.

The players became frustrated and Mark Evans was sent off. When one of the Robin Bastards shouted "What the fucking hell is that for?" a Rochdale fan shouted: "For saying exactly what you've just said." So fair enough. So it's one nil down, down to ten men and just five minutes to go. No problem and cue Andy "Windy" Miller to get his first goal for the club. It was no more than he deserved as he had already hit the post and had an excellent game. Thinking we've got a deserved draw I muttered to nobody in particular: "Right keep it tight and no daft mistakes" just as the Robins got the ball back from the restart, went charging down the right wing as a perfect cross was met by Ben Kay to make it 2-1. Shows what I know about football.

All that was left was for the "best midfielder in Wigan" Ryan Small... that's "best midfielder in Wigan when Ben Kay is in defence"... to go on a wonderful run and finish superbly to seal the game at 3-1. Typical Ryan Small.

"When he gets the ball he plays football"

Another 3 points that make up for the 3 taken away for the admin blunder but in adversity and all that bollocks. First Euro away next week at Holker Old Boys - should be a good 'un. Oh and there was a great big H on the centre spot as somebody had been landing helicopters on the pitch. Helicopters in Wigan WN5 - whatever next?

While one of the Robin Bastards got out the talc and amphetamines (alright more like cod liver oil tablets) for the soul do at the Casino the rest made their way home as a few were going to Spurs next day. Three of us went via the train, tube and bus via half way around England. And amazingly it all worked out fine. Well apart from a fairly awful match. Nothing happened in the first half bar a Paul Scharner shot while eveybody pottered about the pitch enjoying the sunshine. The second half was slightly better and Spurs had a good ten minutes when John Lennon (or somebody) came on and we could have snatched it with a Kapo header - does Kapo mean head in some language? Cos if it did that would have been a head header or even a Kapo Kapor. Nothing else much happened apart from:

Chatting to the Wigan-based Everton fans on the train to Manchester and watching them run to (just) catch their connection to Hull. Not easy as two of their number were wearing flip-flops!
Chatting to some old soul boys that had been where our own Terry Thomas had been
Chatting to Essex Boy (via Leigh, Bolton, England, Talksport and Lancashire) Ronnie Irani. Top fella - and told us some good tales
Buses replace tubes from Manor House and talking to the poshest black lad ever on the bus. It was like talking to a young Don Warrington. Oh and him and his mate knew more about Latics than we did.
Getting off on the High Road and trying to find a pub that would a) let us in and b) wasn't dodgy. We ended up getting some food instead. Given that the world is your plate down there and we could have cuisine from anywhere in the world we went into Greggs!

Tottenham High Road

Into the ground and into the disabled section! Don't ask but I had to put a limp on and pretend to be Ned Sharples dad! I just about got away with it. One steward even asked if I needed help. The things we'll do for a free ticket...
White Hart Lane is a great ground and really loud. Not sure what the Egyptian lads in our end waving their national flag thought of 30,000 singing "Yid Army" though.
The match was dross as earlier mentioned, we had two keepers on the bench, our wide men were dreadful while the much-maligned Titus was excellent and we got a point. Would have settled for it beforehand but on reflection in sort of felt like two points dropped as Spurs were truly awful.
Back on a bus that went past a load of my old haunts and back to Euston, quick beer in the old Jolly Gardeners where the entertainment was provided by some pitbull/staff type dog shagging a Jack Russell. Fuck knows what those puppies will be like!! A visit to the samosa shop for some jackbit and offy for some beers.
And plonk ourselves down on the train to find the most gorgeous oriental girl in the lowest cut top ever, with the most perfect breasts ever, with her long dark hair nestled on her heaving bosom sat opposite us. Sadly she seemed more interested in her ipod than us drunken oafs talking football and bollocks. Anyroad she brightened our day. Bloody beautiful. Which is more than can be said about the afternoon's match...

Think ten times nicer than this...

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Lisa Stansfield, Brookside kisses and Wigan Robin Park v Rochdale Town

A fine figure of a Rochdale man

Rochdale is famous for loads of things and all of it's good. It's a proper place. It's got a great town hall that was built in the 1870s, they had the fattest MP ever - and he's still outlived most of his contemporaries. He did however live with his mum. A bit like Jimmy Saville... Well maybe not but the town has had its share of scandalous figures. Gracie Fields was rumoured to have been a bit of a go-er in her day while Lisa Stansfield enjoyed the dubious pleasure of Ice Docking (google it!!)

Another Rochdale resident Anna Friel shocked half the nation and turned on the other half by enjoying a lesbian kiss with Nicola Stephenson - who came from just up the road in Oldham. They must put something in the pies around that way as they have both matured into gorgeous women.

Anyhow I digress - Rochdale has also given us Don Estelle, the prostitute Monica Coghlan that was involved in some scandal with Jeffrey Archer, Bill Oddie and Colin "Dr Who" Baker. So I think they've done us on the Sir Ian McKellen stakes!

On the sporting front, though, I think we can say we've done a bit better than Rochdale AFC and Rochdale Hornets - the two clubs that share Spotland. That is not to diss them as they both have long and illustrious histories and both have been in existence for over 100 years.

There is however another two teams that share a ground and one of those teams will be at the Stadio de Robin Park this Saturday. Rochdale Town (nee Castleton Gabriels aka Cassy Gabs) currently share the grandly named Castleton Sports Centre with Rochdale Mayfield ARLFC and they arrive in WN5 next to the bottom of the league with just one draw and four defeats.

They shouldn't be understimated but the Robins will be looking to bounce back after their defeat at Leek CSOB. With
forecast and no Latics fixture it will be an ideal time for any Robin Park virgins to get down to th'athletics stadium. In this time of £160,000 a week wage packets, dodgy foreign owners and players that think they have been "treated as a slave" it is refreshing to note that players are still giving their all just for the pleasure of playing football. Admission is just £3, programmes £1.50 amd you never know Anna Friel might turn up.

"Zigger Zagger Zigger Zagger Robin Park"

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Billionaires, bling and bad times - fear not there's a non-league team that needs your support!

Geordies demonstrating - this time against Jerry Springer the Opera

What a few weeks it has been in the soap opera that is the premiership. We've seen the barcodes having their annual balling their eyes out moment as they realise that King Kev is not the Messiah but more a naughty boy. Whilst in the City of Manchester's council house the "long-suffering City fans" - what as long-suffering as Accrington fans? - are putting tea towels on their heads and genuflecting at the feet of royalty from a regime that doesn't give two hoots about human rights. But hey their previous saviour Frank Sinatra was deemed "good and proper" so who cares.

In fact who does care. It appears that cash counts and today's football fans are only bothered about who's got the biggest wad. Over on Merseyside Liverpool fans under the banner of Spirit of Shankly are marching because their rich owners are not rich enough.

Bill Shankly must be spinning in his grave.

Other Liverpool fans have formed AFC Liverpool

Disgruntled, disenchanted and disfranchised Manchester United fans walked away from their club when the Gimp Brothers Glazer indebted their club to catastrophic amounts. Some walked away from football forever - others formed FC United of Manchester. They are loving it. As are the AFC Liverpool fans. And the AFC Wimbledon fans.

However you don't have to form a football team just to get your kicks on a Saturday afternoon. Check the papers, open your eyes there is already one on your doorstep. Ask yourself why you fell in love with football in the first place. And whatever that reason was you can bet you'll get your fix at your local non-league team. For here are teams that are run on a shoestring that would actually welcome your support rather than treat you like a number/animal. There will be a clubhouse where you can have a beer. A terrace where you can have a fag. No stewards and police to shove you around. You'll speak to the players and you might even get the bus to the game with one of them. You might even work with the players and you'll know that they are not being paid 60k and wondering what bling to buy this week.

The referee will hear your abuse and you can banter with home fans and have a beer with them afterwards. This isn't the world of "Sit down shut up". More "Stand up and shout your head off".

Your £2 for a programme will help the club - as will the couple of quid you pay for your pint. And the quid for your pie will go in the club's coffers rather than the £4.20 that goes to some franchised plastic bollocks you get at premier league grounds. The raffle ticket will help the club buy a new match ball and the only agent hovering about in the background will be a travel agent on his or her day off watching the game.

And out on the pitch you'll see players that stay on their feet, that rip into a tackle and don't complain when they take a slight knock. You will of course see goals and incidents. Bad refereeing and missed chances. Everything you see at the top level. Including great skills. It won't cost £48 - more like £4.80 - to get in and you know that money will be helping to keep the club alive and not lining some rich chairman/agent/director/shareholder/player's pocket.

For as football at the top level descnds into madness the time is absolutely ripe for the normal fans to reclaim the game and what better place to do it than down at your local non-league side.

Friday, 12 September 2008

The Leeky road to the top of the league: Leek CSOB v Wigan Robin Park preview

Right I'll fess up - as Tony Soprano might say to Dr Jennifer Melfi - I know absolutely nothing about Leek CSOB so if in doubt consult good old Wiganpedia

Tony Soprano is Ryan Edwards!!

So here we go

Leek County School Old Boys Football Club (usually shortened to Leek CSOB) is an English football club based in Leek, Staffordshire

The club was formed in 1945 and has been in continuous existence since then. They were Leek Minor League champions and Leek & Moorland League champions in 1962, and also won a number of local cups.

In 1984 CSOB were among the founder members of the Staffordshire Senior League. They won the championship of the league (which by this time had changed its name to the Midland League) in 1996, which gained them promotion to the North West Counties Football League Division Two. Two years later they were promoted to Division One, but lasted only three seasons at this level before being relegated back to Division Two, where they remain to this day (although it is now called Division One).

What I also know is that they play in red and white - so it's Orange & Navy for the Robins, they play at Leek Town's Harrison Park - where I spent a boisterous night watching Wigan Athletic many years PW (Pre-Whelan) and they currently lie ninth in the league with five points from five games. They did however lose just 1-0 away at unbeaten Cheadle Town in the week and by all accounts played well.

Harrison Park

The Robins will look to build on their fine victory at AFC Liverpool and should welcome back Ryan Small - if he hasn't run off with one of his mum's bridesmaids and Adam Whittle and Dean Callaway from injury. Meanwhile Darren Mullen should be well at home in Leek as it is well-known for it's antiques!!

It'll be a quieter away terrace than of late as the Wigan Robin Bastards will mainly be found in the stadium next door to th'athletics stadium watching Latics but rest assured they will be back for the long (and drunken) trip to Holker Old Boys

Oh and can anybody give me a lift as it looks like a 'mare to get to!!

Monday, 8 September 2008

Wigan ensure AFC Liverpool walk alone with no points

It was almost summer, walking through town on Saturday morning. Well it wasn't raining anyhow and a series of checks on the AFC Liverpool website (and numerous text messages) informed us that the game was on. Great stuff. Down to the station and jump on the 12.29 to Prescot.

Now we're from Wigan and are in no position to comment on other towns but the initial thought when alighting at Prescot and seeing the closed-down Doghouse pub was: "Who'd live in a town like this?"

It all looked a bit desolate to tell the truth! But armed with the information that The Fusilier was a good and cheap pub we headed in the only direction possible and wonder upon wonder ended up at the said pub. Well our information was half right - it was cheap. Not that it bothers our lot. Nobody bothered us, racing was on the telly and the beer was drinkable.

With ten to three upon us we left for the ground - and good to see people walking to the place, going in through the turnstiles, buying the programme - incredible value 64 pages for £1.50 - and heading straight to the clubhouse bar for a swifty.

Needless to say it was raining by now and there was only one place to head for and that was the AFC Kop where we quickly made ourselves heard. And good on the scousers as they kept the singing going despite the scoreline remaining at 0-0 by half time.

Spot the ball

They had a good little atmosphere going whilst out on the pitch the two teams looked evenly matched. At this point - knowing we had five players out for various reasons (including our star player being at his mum's wedding!) - I'd feared the worst but the Robins lads battled for everything, kept their shape superbly and will well worth the nil-nil scoreline at the break.

We managed another swifty before having the joy of cahnging ends at half time. Bloody hell, changing ends. It takes me back to Northern Premier days watching Latics.

The game had now opened up a bit and we were beginning to edge on top and it was one of our new players, Andy Greaves, that took on the AFC defence before being brought down for a nailed-on pen; with which Ben Kay sent the keeper the wrong way!

We were still celebrating when a well-worked move resulted in an equaliser for AFC. But fear not these Robins lads are of stern stuff and on 70 minutes more good work from Alan Greaves led to an own goal from six yards out sending the Wigan Robin Bastards into raptures.

After that it was a bit backs-to-the-wall but the defence marshalled superbly by Dougy Pitts held out resulting with all three points going to the Robins.

We naturally went into the bar to celebrate the victory.

A great day out. Good to have some banter with the home fans, visit a good old ground, Prescot Cables were great hosts and the AFC fans were a credit to their new club. However plaudits must go to the players of both teams who put on a good display in difficult conditions. And of course to the WRP players that were magnificent. It's beginning to shape up as a good season and you get the feeling that the Robins and AFC Liverpool will be in with a shout come April.

We grabbed the train back to Wigan in time to ignore the England game on the telly in Berkeley Square and the Pear Tree

Forza Robin Park

The Wigan Robins Bastards are well chuffed with the result

Many thanks to cablestiger for the excellent photos; you can find more at http://s208.photobucket.com/albums/bb153/cablestiger/WIGANRP/

click on images to enlarge

Thursday, 4 September 2008

"Well sometimes I go out, by myself, and I look across the water": Wigan Robin Park v AFC Liverpool

“While for some people, sick and tired of being fleeced ruthlessly by the multinational conglomerates that many 'big' and even medium-sized clubs have become, following AFC will be an alternative to 'big-time' football, there is absolutely no reason why it cannot also be there as a complement for those unable to wean themselves off the grease paint and adrenaline of the all-singing, all-dancing Premier League.

It may well be that this kind of football experience may not be everybody's cup of tea, particularly those who happen to enjoy waving to the camera when it's on them at the match, music being played over the tannoy after goals and shiny stadiums with plastic seats and loads of leg-room.

However if you like having a pint and a delicious 50p hot-dog while you're watching the game along with a laugh and a sing-song while cheering on normal fellas (who aren't enslaved by big, evil clubs who pay them lots of horrible money) who'll be trying to win without trying to cheat or maim each other, then you might just find it's right up your street.”

Dan Kay Liverpool Echo 17 July 2008

Although the writer is talking about AFC Liverpool the above is pretty much spot-on when describing our thoughts about Wigan Robin Park FC. We can echo that word for word and it is pretty much the ethos of the Wigan Robin Bastards.

Amongst our ranks we have always said is both an alternative and a complement. It will therefore almost be as interesting to see in the flesh what is happening at AFC Liverpool, as it will be watching the actual football match.

The lads involved in Wigan Athletic’s fanzine Mudhutter Football Express have – over the years – forged a bond with the lads and lasses over at FC United of Manchester Football Club so it will be interesting to see the differences and similarities from afar and of course from a neutral basis. Whereas FCUM was formed out of a protest movement the formation of AFC Liverpool has the backing of Liverpool FC. As I say it will be interesting and as is the case of the two cities there will inevitably be many differences and – as the residents of both hate to admit – even more similarities.

The magnificent Philharmonic Pub where the idea of AFC Liverpool was first formulated

That however is all for discussion at a later date and the reason we will be at “Oh why don’t you come on over” Valerie Park on Saturday is to watch the Robins attempt to end AFC’s 100% record of played four won four.

Indications are that it should be a decent game with both teams capable of scoring goals. It will be interesting to see how the Robins cope with the notoriously bumpy VP pitch after games on the Stadio de Robin Park’s excellent surface and Stone’s even better one!

However Ryan Edwards will be well up for it - following on from his hat trick on Tuesday along with the fact that he spent his formative years at Liverpool. It will also be a chance for the players to enjoy themselves and show off their talents to a wider audience. With really skilful players like Ben Kay coming to the fore, the organisational skills of Dougy Pitts and the tactical nous of John Neafcy and the backroom staff we should be in with a shout.

As normal it will be a case of may the best team win - as long as it’s us!

Of course we’ll be maintaining our own philosophy of:

"Anyone who knows anything about football knows that football is not about football. Anyone who does not know that knows nothing about football."

So we’ll be having a pint (or six), chatting about the events that have taken place this week in the soap opera that is the Premiership and singing some daft songs. Oh and eating some pies – they better be decent!

AFC Liverpool play their home games at Valerie Park, Eaton Street, Prescot, Merseyside, L34 6ND.

You can get a flavour of the ground by looking at the following excellent blog http://prescotfootball.blogspot.com/ - it’s definitely an old school ground!!

Directions by Car: From North: M6 to Junction 26, onto M58 to Junction 3. Follow A570 to junction with A580 (East Lancs Road). (Approach junction in right hand lane of the two lanes going straight on). Cross A580 and take first road on right (Bleak Hill Road). Follow this road through to Prescot (2 miles). At traffic lights turn right, straight on at large roundabout (do not follow route onto Prescot by-pass) and right at next lights. 100 yards turn right at Hope and Anchor pub into Hope Street. Club will be in sight at bottom of road. From South: M6 to Junction 21a (M62 junction 10). Follow M62 towards Liverpool, to junction 7. Follow A57 to Rainhill and Prescot. Through traffic lights at Fusilier pub, 100 yards turn right at Hope and Anchor pub (as above). From East: Follow M62 as described in "From South" or A580East Lancs Road to Junction with A570 (Rainford by-pass), turn left and take first right. Follow route as "From North".
Directions by Train: Walk up Station Road (turns into Aspinall Street) and when you get to Warrington Road look to your left and you should see the ground – if in doubt just have a pint and ask behind the bar!

Meanwhile you can check out all the news on AFC Liverpool and find their forums @ http://www.afcliverpool.org/