Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Nearly a new year and what's been happening at Robins' Towers?


Well not that much really - what with the weather and all that - but we can report that we have:

PUT SEVEN DAYS IN ON LUCA MODRIC
RESCUED 27 BALLS FROM THE FROZEN RIVER DOUGIE
HAD A BEER OR THREE
REALISED THAT RAY DAVIES IS STILL THE GREATEST MUSICIAN EVER
NOT HAD A PIE! WELL NOT A MEAT PIE ANYWAY. THERE HAS BEEN THE ODD MINCE PIE ALONG THE WAY
SEARCHED THE INTERNET TO TRY AND FIND A GAME TO WATCH...
AND THOUGHT: THOSE NEW 4G PITCHJES MIGHT JUST BE OKAY
GIVEN UP WATCHING TELLY - WHAT A LOAD OF BOLLOCKS THERE HAS BEEN ON THERE!
THOUGHT: "YOU KNOW WHAT THAT HARRY REDKNAPP MIGHT JUST MAKE A DECENT ENGLISH MANAGER AFTER ALL." JUST LEAVE THAT DICKHEAD SON AND HIS WAG OUT OF IT.
MARIO BALOTELLI'S HAT. DON'T KNOW WHETHER TO LAUGH OR CRY

Right I've stopped shouting now so roll on Monday 3 January 2011 and (hopefully) a game of football...

Preview coming up later in the week.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Once in a blue moon...


Well what a fine game that was!
Seven goals, the woodwork rattled three times (twice by them) and an Andy Neafcy goal!
We checked for blue moons and all that but no - it was as normal. Not a bad goal in that he curled it in from the edge of the box. The only problem now is that it'll be years before you see another one from him. And you know what when all those commentators were saying: "We'll never see a World Cup in this country in our lifetime."
The same goes for this as there are probably some of us who will never see another Andy Neafcy goal in our lifetime.
At least we can say: "We were there."
Needless to say Ryan Small had the last word and had to score one from the halfway line.
"Football, bloody hell," as Fergie said,
In between these two goals, Ste Eddy got a couple and could have had half a dozen. Macca was man-of-the-match (in our eyes from the stands) and put the penalty away neatly while the Robin Park Arena celebrated all those council cuts by putting a new wooden floor in the bar!
I assume it's in preperation for the salsa dancing or summat but it certainly gave the place a bit of an odd feel. But then again it was an odd sort of day as the model train exhibition was on across the road and was absolutely rammed.
Wish we had their gate. Then again Latics probably wish they had their gate! The car parks were chocka, there were a lot of normal-looking people going there and the pies and beer was flowing when I walked past. I even heard 250 sat down for a meal - I assume trains whizzed across their table when they were eating. A weird pastime if you ask me but the punters weren't half as scary looking as the darters when they turn up and as for those at the cat exhibitiions!!!!!
Anyhow I'm sure they didn't witness as much entertainment as we did.

So in a nutshell...
Boiling hot in the Arena - was "down to mi boxers" at one stage!
Six great goals
One great argument in the seats - no names mentioned but one of the accents was decidedly scouse!
Pies on good form
Pitch looked in great nick
Ste Eddy and Macca arguing over who was to take the penalty :-)
Radcliffe and Runcorn (weather permitting as it's predicted to be monkey's at the weekend) next up.

Bring it on!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Too Darn Soulful


John Barrett has been documenting the UK soul scene through a range of stunning black & white and colour photography for the past five years.
There are no glamourised images here. Just gritty images that capture the real heart and soul of the artistes, dancers, fashion of the Northern, scooterist and mod scenes.

You can find more about the man and his camera over and purchase the photos at http://www.soulphotos.com/index.htm

Meanwhile if you are over in East Yorkshire an exhibition of John's photos - entitled Keeping the Faith - runs from 10 December at 18:30 until 23rd December at The Museum of Club Culture, 10, Humber Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU1 1TG

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Ice Station DW Stadium


WIGAN ATHLETIC 3 STOKE CITY 0
Girvan 6
Astles 51
Watson 86

One hundred or so hardy souls braved a chilly, nay a very chilly, DW Stadium to see Latics’ youth team progress to the Fourth Round of the FA Youth Cup after a 3-0 win against the Sjokers from Staffordshire.
I missed the first goal as the turnstile operator was a) trying to work out my change and b) trying to find me a team sheet but good old Kev Powell – who was on his way to reception to get a said team sheet informed me their keeper: “Cocked it up.”
When Kev and the team sheets returned to our little mob then it was confirmed that captain Michael Girvan was the ald that bundled the ball home.
Stoke 'keeper David Parton fumbled the initial cross which landed to Girvan six-yards out to prod home and make it 1-0. From then on it was all Latics and although it wasn't until after the break that they stretched their lead their dominance ensured it was coming.
The remainder of the half - in fact the whole of the game – belonged to Latics as they tore apart a Sjoke side that looked lost without their long throw-ins, fouling, feigning injury and ranting raving baseball-hatted loon on the sidelines.
The only surprise in the whole game was that the fluid Latics youngsters didn’t get more goals and the fact it took them until five minutes in the second half for them to double their lead.
A dangerous cross was put in from the left, the visitors’ defence failed to deal with it and the big lad Astles bundled it home. I’m told this kid’s only sixteen but he ain’t half a big ‘un!
With City throwing everything forward Latics caught them on the counter attack when the left winger, Boothman piling forward before releasing the excellent Watson to put the game out of site of the potty Potters and put themselves into the hat for the next round.

Bits and bobs
Bovril @ £1.50 and it was crap. Can they ever get anything right at the DW catering.
Wannabe WAGS – glorious looking but… but… as your fella will probably be signing-on in a year or so best make the most of it, eh.
Scouse voices everywhere. Take it most of the lads are from that area,
The small kid coming on at the end (Phillips?). The same lad I wouldn’t let into the Arena for the Robins v Latics friendly at the beginning of the season as I didn’t believe he was old enough to play for Latics and thought he was just trying to jib in!
Did I mention the cold?

Latics team: Nicholls; Lewis, Willis, Girvan, Astles, Chow, Myler (Lynch, 89), Morris, Bingham (Sheego, 83), Watson (Phillips, 90), Boothmann
Subs: Williams, Waters

Stoke team: Parton, Roberts-Nurse, Hall, Clarkson (Dawson, 62), Hedley, Wint, Mitchell, Koroma (Alabi, 61), Agbaje, Richardson (Bossman, 87), Musungu
Subs: Harrison, Galloway
Additional information (ie who scored and all that) taken from http://www.wiganlatics.co.uk/page/Youth/0,,10429~2239064,00.html

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

OFF OFF OFF



image: J Simons - welcome back to the most important clothes shop ever!

Meanwhile as the Radcliffe Borough game is again off due to the adverse weather conditions.

So here are some reasons to be cheerful (or maybe not) parts one, two, three...

Those stupid fucking snoods - how utterly, utterly pathetic are they and how far will this once great game fall before it eats itself completely.

That scouse girl on X-Factor. At last somebody that can actually sing, look good and have a sense of normality about her. Not that I've seen a minute of it...

Ray Davies and "his friends" - patchy in parts but some of the tracks work

While all of the tracks work on Bruce Springsteen's The Promise - a wonderful feelgood album for Christmas

Mikkel Rude shirts - strictly 1969 stylee

Meanwhile it's "Sheepy weather" all round for the Robins Bootboys

1-0 up with three to go Down Under

The new John Simons shop - rejoice

FC United's success in the FA Cup - best of luck on Wednesday

Mince pies

Kate Rusby and her "Make the Light" album

Those Wigan Christmas lights. They are so bad that it's funny. And to think they had the Wigan Hoi Polloi switching 'em on.

Charity Shop finds...

A decent pint of real ale

Fish, chips and mushy peas

Later - the DW Stadium tonight for the WAFC Yoof v SjCFC Yoof

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Ingrid Pitt RIP



A proper vampire - none of that Twilight bollocks...

Unit Four Cinema, Pemberton, the Queen of Hammer Horror, growing up and all that.

Thanks for the memories

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

A classic double-header




Nice little double-header yesterday...

First up was an entertaining ninety minutes of Latics reserves beating a very poor Bolton Wanderers side. Then again when is a Bolton side anything other than poor?

Latics strolled it really as an excellent first half goal from Callum McManaman and a second half strike by Joe Holt and header from Adam Buxton made it 3-0 to the home side.

Holt impressed - as ever - while Roman Golobart was a rock at the back but all-in-all it was an exceleent team performance. There was a kid called Aivan Sunday upfront who was busy and bright whilst Bolton-fan Mike Pollitt had just the one save to make.

Wanderers were that bad that they got there first corner in - something like - the 85th minute. As for the lump upfront - Tom Eaves - well all I can say is Oldham saw you coming...

As the temperature dropped a pie would have been nice but there was no hot food or drinks available. There was the usual smattering of scouts in attendance, some very uninterested young players doing the ballboying duties, the normal oddball Wanderers folk whilst Tony Kelly wandered around in his Bolton kit!

All-in-all a reasonable afternoon's attendance before the second installment and a first trip of the season to "Edgy" Green Street and a view of St Helens v Stone Doninoes in Saints temporary home. And in truth it was all a bit grim. A crowd of 63 was declared - erm not sure about that but... it all felt very quiet. Feel a bit sorry for Saints playing there but needs must, I suppose - just a shame that the biggest contingent there was the Robins lads.

On the pitch Stone Doms put in an excellent away performance, Defending solidly, breaking with pace and - most importantly - taking their chances.

The game finished 0-2, it was effing freezing, the pie was "very average", the coffee nowt special but the Bovril was spot-on.

In fact the Bovril was the highlight of the day.

Oh and no programmes - as the lad that does them had been rushed into hospital. Pity as the Saints' programme is quite simply one of the best around the whole of the football world. We wish the fella well...

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

A book for Christmas: The Ivy Look by Graham Marsh & JP Gaul




Meet at TopShop



Meet at Topshop, Oxford Circus. All the young lovers meet there. Boys and girls and boys and boys and girls and girls in this mixed-up muddled-up shook-up world.

I meet Janet there and she is late as normal. And I’m as mad as normal and she flashes me that big beautiful smile. And she takes my arm and I forgive her. Cos I always forgive her and we walk through the backs to Efes for kebabs and steaks. And beautiful dips and pittas for a beautiful girl.

We share our joy and pain. Sunshine and rain. We eat and I drink. Jan has a Baileys that she sips. And she keeps smiling and we talk about our friends. Mutual and otherwise. I tell her I love her and she tells me the same. But this love will not be consummated. This is platonic love and we both know that. We hold each other close in our hearts. We are mates and that will do me fine. Beautiful as she is – I don’t break up relationships. My morals are low but something deep, very deep keeps me from her. But no messing I love this beautiful girl from Streatham.

And this beautiful girl from Streatham loves Tom Waits and to a backdrop of the chitter and chatter of twenty-nine accountants and one secretary I slowly and quietly start singing:

“And you can ask any sailor and the keys from the jailor
And the old men in wheelchairs know
That Matilda's the defendant, she killed about a hundred
And she follows wherever you may go
Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
You'll go a waltzing Matilda with me

And it's a battered old suitcase to a hotel someplace
And a wound that will never heal
No prima donna, the perfume is on
An old shirt that is stained with blood and whiskey
And goodnight to the street sweepers
The night watchman flame keepers and goodnight to Matilda too”


Through welled-up eyes and a lump or six in my throat. And she flashes me that big beautiful fucking smile. The suits are bewildered – twenty nine of the fuckers trying to chat up the secretary from Southgate who will lead them on and half-listen to their tales of accountancy and flow charts. Budgets and provisions, sports cars and salaries. When all you need to fall in love is Tom Waits and gorgeous Turkish food.

We talk about growing up and Jan tells me Tom Waits’ Kentucky Avenue is the greatest song about childhood. I tell her Springsteen’s Growing Up is the greatest song about… er growing up but she flashes me that me that big beautiful fucking smile and I know she is right.

Waits once said when introducing the song: “I grew up at a street called Kentucky Avenue. Well, I was born at a very young age, and eh when I was about 5 years old I used to... I used to walk down Kentucky Avenue collecting cigarette buts. And I finally got me a paper route. I used to get up at 1 o' clock in the morning so I could deliver my papers and still have time to break the law..."

But the song is more about his best friend. This friend had polio and he used to be in a wheelchair and they’d race to the end of the road. And Jan tells me this and she sings in her sweet South London voice:

“I'll take the spokes from your wheelchair and a magpie's wings
And I'll tie 'em to your shoulders and your feet
I'll steal a hacksaw from my dad and cut the braces off your legs
And we'll bury them tonight out in the cornfield
Just put a church key in your pocket, we'll hop that freight train in the hall
We'll slide all the way down the drain to New Orleans in the fall”


The suits don’t understand poetry. They don’t understand love. Don’t understand platonic love and the way that Janet’s big beautiful smile means more to me than anything in the world and they don’t know who Tom Waits is and it pleases me no end and it would please Tom Waits as well…

The Good, the bad and the ugly


photo courtesy Paul Cullen
ROBINS 0 ABBEY HEY 3
Well let's get the good out the way first.

Er...
Well the pie and home made Leek & Potato soup was excellent and after that it went pretty much downhill straight away.
Respect to Abbey Hey - who were definitely good and everything else about the day was bad and at times downright ugly!
No point dwelling on it and this blog has never been one for slagging players off but I must say it was a pitiful performance. Personally I'd exempt Jay Foulds - that didn't have a chance with the goals - Ste Eddy - who didn't get a pass all game and Scott McNair - who looked bright when he came on - from the general malaise that surrounded the rest of the team/squad.
We never put two passses together, had a shot on goal or remotely looked like doing either of those things fundamental to winning a game of football.
As for the ugly bit - well they tell me Wiggles' tackle was a shocker. I'm playing the Arsene Wenger on this as I simply couldn't tell from where I was. To me it looked no worse than the one on Dean Midge that (that) bald-headed plonker of a referee deemed not to be worthy of a red but hey there you go...
Right it's over and let's hope it's a blip rather than the beginning of a bad run and let's face it we've only lost one game in something like eleven games. So onward and upwards as we look forward to Chaddy at home on Saturday and Raddy away the following Tuesday.

"Bring on the Robins"

Saturday, 20 November 2010

"Bombs away over Abbey Hey"


A (sort of) poem composed in 30 seconds by Joe Hawkins: Poet in Residence at WRPFC

On a Clear Day...
A lush green pitch and a still, still day,
A perfect chance to watch the Robins play.
Clear blue skies and supporters' cries,
Top of the league and other highs.
Red and white stripes, tall and proud.
Booming voices from the crowd
Flowing football to entice the masses,
Ryan Small's runs and Neafcy's passes
A pint of beer, a pie and a toffee
A warming hip flask and a boiling hot coffee.
Three points we hope - and an enjoyable game
ROBINS is our fucking name.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Things we like Part 1009: The Rig Out Issue 3



If you like your clobber then you'll know all about the Oi Polloi shop in Manchester. What you might not know is that they have their own house magazine The Rig Out. Costing three English pounds Issue #3 documents the Norwegian wilderness, with record-breaking cyclist, James Bowthorpe strutting (or should we say cycling) his stuff in some of the smartest garments money can buy.

Elsewhere in the issue there's a heavy Italian influence, with the the Paninari' of Milano '84 setting the precedent style-wise.

Oh, and there's also a boss article by yours truly in there!

So buy it...

From the shop or online @
http://www.oipolloi.com/Store/OiPolloi-DisplayBrands-247-.html

Gabba Gabba Abbey Hey



photo courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/manc72/

This Saturday the boys from the Gorton 'hood visit the Stadio. The day at their place was only ruined by the ninety minutes football so hopefully we'll put the record straight, get the three points and keep top spot.

A massive game (as is every game) as we hope to keep the pressure on the others below us.

As ever come and join the WRBs at the top of the stand for what should be a decent game

"Bring on the Robins (and the pies)"

Birth of the cool...


Our good friends at the WCC (Wigan Cool Collective)- over at FC United - have invited any likeminded spirits from the WRPCC (yeah, you get the idea) to join them.

Now obviously I'm bang in there* but I'm not sure who else is cool enough to join them. After having a look around at the match (and in the pub) the other week I'm not sure.

Young Bongo's a bit of a dresser. Graham Ibbo's been there or thereabouts for years, Conway's pretty smart and Robbie's not too bad for an old boy from the Crofter's Arms but some of the others especially the players are letting the side down.

Admittedly - after their golf day - Corcy had a nice jumper and polo shirt on and Jay's RL polo was okay but the rest of them!!! Looked like Milk Tray Man gone bad. Then you've the gaffer in his "I'm a Wolverhampton Wanderer or summat" tee shirt and Bazzer in his shorts with a broken zip stylee and it really isn't good enough. Add in the the ridiculous woolly hats and horrible pumps they all wear and I despair.

Then of course there's the scouse contingent! Now these scousers are always telling me how well dressed they are but blimey. These lot seem to have left their cool at Glenburn School

They simply have to up the ante a bit to be considered.

* For guidance I am currently wearing:
Donkey Jacket
Bar Scarf
Pendleton work shirt
Flat Cap
Black jeans 1/2 inch turn-ups to reveal
Black Doc Marten boots

And if you are thinking why is he wearing such stylish gear when sat tapping away at a keyboard then the fact is: I'm simply too cool to turn the heating on

Yours etc

Joe Hawkins
The WRPCC

Please note membership will be strictly monitored. Either that or buy me a beer and you're in!

Meanwhile here are ten cool Wigan things...

Mesnes Park in winter - when the goths, scrotes and the unwashed students have fucked off
The novel house bookshop
WN5
The butcher/ess in Roy England's
Orrell RT CC
The Anvil
Orrell RUFC
Muffin man steak pies
The Wigan Robin Bastards
The WCC ???

When the blue, blue robin goes bob, bob, bobbin' along



If you are not aware you can follow the Robins fortunes on twitter.

I'll endeavour to update during the games but sometimes the bar gets in the way. However for all the other news/gossip/information you can follow us on

http://twitter.com/wiganrobinpark

Since the last time...


Here are just a few of the things that have happened since I last put pen to paper (or rather fingers to keyboard)...

Andy Neafcy still hasn't scored
We are top of the league and still in three cups
While the ressies are joint third with a cup competition to come + the Wigan Cup quarters later in the season.
If we had barn doors in Wigan WN5 then Ste Eddy wouldn't be able to hit one in recent weeks.
Paul Vermiglio is: "Eating for two" - sorry that's his missus. Wiggles is obviously still eating for six!
Radcliffe Borough in the Lancs Trophy quarters is coming up soon.
Home-made pies and hot pot at the Stadio's kitchen
But still no telly
100% in yellow and green
The Gaffer's eventually got his computer working!
But still no Manager of the Month award
There's a definite scouse twang about the place. Albeit a plastic scouse twang...
Wigan Robin Bastards still "bossing the joint"
Looking forward to away trips to Runcorn Town, AFC Blackpool, Colls and AFC Liverpool
In fact it's all getting a bit giddy. Think I'll need a drink or two to calm down.

The blog really is back


After a bit of a break - what with being seconded on official duty - the blog is most definitely back!

I'll be taking an irreverant and unofficial look at the goings-on at the Stadio de Robin Park along with the other important things in life like pies, beer, music, clobber, girls and (er) more pies.

It'll be mainly tongue-in-cheek/satirical shit with the occasional observations on modern football and modern life.

Feel free to comment.

Cheers Vaughanie

Friday, 30 July 2010

Well Red

Show your colours for Season 2010/11



Madison



Connoisseur



Gucci selvedge




Fracap

Thursday, 29 July 2010

FC United bits and bobs




http://www.flickr.com/photos/51544962@N04/sets/72157624480064907/



Cheers to Neilboo and Punk Football

2009/10 UPS AND DOWNS FROM THE BANKS OF THE DUGGIE PART TWO


2009/10 UPS AND DOWNS FROM THE BANKS OF THE DUGGIE PART TWO

THE BOBBIN' ALONG ROBINS


The reserves' end of season form. Well done to Dave Knowles, John Conway and all the lads
Curtis Huynh - Typical scouser/southporter never shuts up - but would sooner have that than some of young lads that you can't get a word out of. Good lad
John Neafcy's absolute love of the football club and his commitment when things aren't going great. And excellent work from Bazza as his number two
Dave Baker's chocolate eclairs and Jimmy Callaway's spearmint chews
Taffy Roberts' absolute love of the football club and his commitment (and all the lifts he gives to everybody)
Daisy Hill away - came back from behind and took the points
Runcorn Linnets. Great game, great atmosphere, good arguments/banter in the seats
Macca's goals and his celebrations of the goals
Chaddy away for the wide-range of catering
Stone Dominoes' pitch
Andy Neafcy's early and late season form
Loads of praise and positive comments from many, many visitors to the Arena
Excellent local press from Paul Kendrick and Phil Wilkinson at the local papers
The Vodkat League website - congratulations to those involved for a very good service
Salsa and Burlesque dancing at the Arena. A welcome diversion whilst losing to Ashton Town
The excellent Robin Park floodlights
Telling people we had "a season of consolidation"
Holker Old Boys' great clubhouse. Warm and welcoming on a freezing cold night
Barnoldswick Town's neat set-up
Jay Foulds: player of the season
Not missing a match
Looking forward to 2010/11

THE SIMPLY BOBBINS ROBINS
Not getting the results that the performances merited. That's ressie football, I suppose, but got a feeling they'll do well this term
Curtis Huynh - Typical scouser/southporter never shuts up why can't he be like the other young lads that you can't get a word out of
Having absolutely no luck all season. I know everybody says that but we really had very little last time out
Vaughanie still not bringing any toffees to the match despite saying he will each week
We need more like him (another advert/plea for committee members hidden in a throwaway article)
Daisy Hill home - they came back from behind and took the points
Doesn't happen enough. Adds to atmosphere and makes the Arena feel more like a football ground
The number of bookings he got for said celebrations
Never winning there. In fact never doing ourselves justice there
Prescot Cables' pitch
The bit in the middle
Trying to get Wiganers down to watch good honest football
The national non-league media's reluctance to cover football below Step 4
Teams that don't update their websites. Especially with regards to matches when the weather is bad
Bloody darters… File with wrestling, polo and showjumping as a sport for wrong-'uns
When they are all working that is…
But really we cocked up as we know we are much better than that
Holker Old Boys on a Tuesday night!
Barnoldswick going up and therefore not giving us the chance to visit next season. Then again the ressies will be there
Too many others not doing what we know they can
Wishing you missed some of the matches
Putting 2009/10 to bed

The New Firm Battle Wigan Robin Park v Wigan Athletic XI


Celtic v Rangers
City v United
Everton v Liverpool
AC v Inter

Nah, they ain't seen anything like this because this Saturday 31 July Wigan Athletic make the journey to the Robin Park Arena for a 3PM kick off. Coaches will be leaving the front of the DW Stadium every ten minutes for the long trawl (copywrite Peter Aspinall WEP - whatever happened to him?) to the Stadio de Robin Park.

It will be red and white stripes versus blue and white stripes. Young guns from the side of the Duggie doing battle for the right to be crowned Wigan's Top Dog(ger)!

Families will be split. WN5 will come to a halt, the bingo halls will empty as The Robins and Latics do battle over 90+ minutes.

After a testing game against Evo-Stik Premier Division side FC United of Manchester on Tuesday this will be another tough game for the Robins. With Latics' stars of the future featuring it should be a cracking game on the excellent Arena surface.

Admission is £4 (£2 concessions), extra pies have been ordered and a souvenir programme is available for £2.

The bar will be open prior to kick off and at half time while hot and cold refreshments will be available from Robin's Nest throughout.

PLEASE NOTE KICK OFF IS 3PM and not 2PM as previously advertised

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

2009/10 UPS AND DOWNS FROM THE BANKS OF THE DUGGIE PART ONE


2009/10 UPS AND DOWNS FROM THE BANKS OF THE DUGGIE PART ONE

THE BOBBIN' ALONG ROBINS
Jay Foulds, Daz Mullen and Corcy - the owd 'uns staying fit
Division One Fair Play Award
Stone Doms away in the cup
The Robins bar opening
Two good cup runs
Dean Midgeley - quality young player
Ryan Small - just about hanging on to title of Wigan's best midfielder
Swifty junior - top lad on and off the pitch
Swifty senior - top lad in the bar
Wigan Robin Bastards home and away support. Well done to the loyal lads and lasses for some great support
The programme: 42nd in the National Programme Awards - only New Mills from the Vodkat above us
AFC Liverpool & St Helens programmes. Absolutely superb efforts. Didn't see Bootle's but to beat them it must have been very, very good. Congratulations to all
Good craic with the St Helens Town lads - who'd have thought it; Wigan & Saints getting on
Always good to meet the AFC Liverpool lads - guaranteed good bevy
Sparring with "The Secretary" on the nonleaguezone forum
Ashton Town away
The new red and white stripes
Dave Baker's Postman Pat ballboying gear
New teams in for 2010/11 - welcome one and all
Barnoldswick away - a great away trip. Good people, good bar, good food, weather etc - just a pity about the result
Ramsbottom away in the FA Vase. Great game, great performance
Hot pot in The Oddies
Chipper Martin when he's not had a beer

THE SIMPLY BOBBINS ROBINS
Injuries, injuries, injuries
The linesman at home against Stone - no need for names I think we can all guess
Stone Doms at home in the league
The price of a can of Guinness
And two very poor quarterfinal performances. We let ourselves down
Dean Midgeley's car - not a quality used-car
Ryan Small - just about hanging on to his job which meant he missed matches galore due to Saturday shifts
Swifty - a Man United fan
Swifty senior - a Man United fan
Blackpool away on Boxing Day being off because of the snow
Not doing it in the Vodkat programme awards. We'll give it a good go this season.
Those that don't issue. We know it's a ballache and we appreciate circumstances sometimes mean it's impossible to issue but for the lads that collect always a disappointment
Not getting to play at Knowsley Road. Thanks to their rugby men
The drop in their crowds. Still best in our league. Good thing going there so let's hope they get back to what they had
Not meeting him for a bevy. We'll see him this year when we stuff the Ashton Bads again
Ashton Town home
The old red and white hoops
Vinnie Neafcy's jacket. Still lost/left in the pub at the last notice
Chester fans - the response from a number of them when they thought they were going in the "tinpot" Vodkat League was appalling
Atherton Colls - sort those dressing rooms out!
Injury-time equaliser by Rammy before their premier quality did us in extra time
No crisps in the Bath Springs
Chipper Martin when he's had a beer

Friday, 16 July 2010

Ashton Athletic - the luckiest team in football?


Sad, sad news as Nelson FC have resigned from the Vodkat League.
The club has struggled to continue, particularly financially over the last few seasons and they have decided to withdraw the team from the league.
The Vodkat League’s Emergency Committee met and has decided that under National League system regulations Ashton Athletic will retain their place in the Premier Division, to maintain the full complement of 22 clubs in the division.
With West Didsbury & Chorlton's participation in the league it looks like Division One could very well be running with 18 clubs.
Not only that but we also lose out on the chance to play Ashton Ath - in what was to be an eagerly-awaited local derby when it was The Robins intention to take six points from them and drink their bar dry!
There's a chance we'll get them in the cup but until then the team that entered the league from the Manchester League Dicision One (rather than Premier League) and got promoted to the Vodkat Premier League when they finished outside the promotion spots live to fight another day in the Premier Division.
Best of luck to them, though. Might be a bit difficult on the playing side after they thought they'd be at Division One level but they've a chance.
Now let's hope for that cup draw!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Joe Hawkins has been pondering a lot lately, gently pondering…



Is it good Wigan etiquette to eat a meat and tater pie with a plastic fork?
Has there ever been a bigger cunt than John Terry?
That Irish slapper that Fat Frank is shagging. Who ever told her she was a) talented and b) decent looking? Horrible talentless munter - a bit like Fat Frank then.
Chester fans. Biggest set of deluded whoppers ever. Their behaviour - on the non-league messageboards - when they thought (God forbid) they might have to play in the Vodkat League was pitiful, embarrassing, pathetic, big-time Charlie and downright disgusting.
The England team kit. About the only thing they got right. Big up to Umbro, Aitor Throup and Charlie Allen. Second best kit - Paraguay. Red and white stripes and blue shorts shouldn't work but as been seen before it just does…
Moonboots' mixes. The Balearic DJ, Wigan's finest and all-round top bloke. Go to Google and check them out. Skill!
Stevie Wonder at Glastonbury from the comfort of the armchair. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant!
The rest of the acts from Glastonbury from the comfort of the armchair. Dreadful, absolutely dreadful. Apart from Ray Davies immediately after England's capitulation to the Gerries. Turned the telly over and there he is performing 'Waterloo Sunset' and 'Days' for his mate - the Kinks bassist Peter Quaife - who had died during the week. Beautiful, stirring, emotional and skilful. Everything that those overpaid egotistic prima donnas hadn't been. Thank you for the days, Pete.
Chris Waddle's outburst: "We need to go back to jumpers for goalposts". Well said you chubby old Geordie.
Waiting for the fixtures. Waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting… We know it takes a while and we know the reasons but it doesn't make it any easier especially when the Premiership and Football League fixtures have been out for weeks.
Henley's tee shirts, shorts, black socks and horrible trainers. "The youth of today pah", he says as he sits in madras shirt, chinos and dessies. Joe Hawkins still leading the way in his fifties 
Muffin Man back on form. Large tater, small meat and a slice. Perfection. Gordon "I used to be a footballer you useless fucking idiot" Ramsey: Eat your big fat arse out - that's all it takes!
That said it's a barm cake. Never baps, rolls, muffins or whatever.
Diego Maradona. You just can't come to hate him, can you? I know, I know but you'd have one of him over a hundred John Terrys. Did I mention that he was a cunt? I liked the comment I saw on the internet: "If you got the five biggest cunts in the world together and let them have a race to find out who was the biggest cunt John Terry would finish second on purpose. He's that big of a cunt!"
Pre-season training: I'm sweating, throwing up, cursing and turning crimson just watching the lads do their stuff.
Beckham for England manager campaigns. "They think it's all over. It is now."
The good folks on the nonleaguezone website have been having their bit of fun predicting how the divisions will pan out this season. I've kept out of it as you can't tell at this time of the season but it's shaping up to be a good one and I honestly don't think we’ll be far off.
The ITV commentary team. Barring Gareth Southgate - what a useless set of blurts. Turns over to BBC and Linekar, Shearer and Hansen. Hmmmm
Solidity from the Vodkat clubs and fans over the summer - concerning the Chester business and their attacks - and very strong leadership from the League committee. Well done to all concerned.
"Enjoy yourself it's later than you think"
Joe Hawkins

The morning after the afternoon before part one


The morning after the afternoon before part one
It was 1-4, it could have been 2-2 at halftime and it could quite easily have been 1-7. England is out of the World Cup, a million flags wilt in the sun, another dignified manager looks lost and lonely and the golden generation didn't even glisten.
But first let's get the 2-2 bit out of the way. Yes it was over the line and yes it may have changed the game but we were well and truly battered.
The manager made mistakes and he may even have been sacked when you read this. Questions should be asked but in my view the blame lies with the players and the "best league in the world". To put it simply the players are overpaid, over-hyped, arrogant, egotistic twats and that is putting it politely. Add into that the fact that they are simply not very good and it was obvious that a young, vibrant German side would quite literally leave them standing. "Not very good" I hear you say. "They are brilliant, they play in the best league in the world and there's Wazza, Stevie G and JT." That is maybe correct if you subscribe to the fact that Sky Sports and Talksport are telling you that By now they will indeed be telling you that and unfortunately they are telling you a load of crap. Like Wazza, Stevie G and JT the league is overpaid, over-hyped, arrogant and egotistic and some of us have realised this for years.
A league with six English managers and not too many more English-born players. A league where even the club's academies are rammed with foreign youngsters and a league where the main aim of 15 teams is to finish 17th with anything else a bonus. See when I say some of us have realised this for years that some of us is becoming more of us as the seasons pass by. The England support was described as a different type of support to that (that) has followed England in the past and that much is true. Whilst cost and distance was undoubtedly a factor in this there is also a huge number of people that see through all the shite. Through all the hype, the Sky shit, the phone-ins and the utter horrible human beings that are our golden generation.
It needs to change but it won't. The FA are so in-deep with Sky Sports that every England press conference started with five questions from the Sky football correspondent. The new breed of England fans that were in South Africa has won. It's their game now and whilst they'll be spouting off on internet messageboards and radio phone-ins about the failure of England's national team. By next week they'll spouting off on internet messageboards and radio phone-ins about the latest South American signing that nobody has heard of for their club whilst totally oblivious that they are part of the problem.
The players will be quiet for a while. Maybe Terry - who undoubtedly would have been dropped by Capello if Ferdinand and King had been fit - will mouth off because he's John Terry and he's a cunt but the rest (who are merely twats) will hold their lip. But come the big kick-off. The first Super Sunday or Grand Slam Saturday they'll be back. Soft arse "once a blue always a blue" Wayne Rooney will be snarling at referees and kicking anything that moves spurred on by his gloating manager. Ashley Cole will be oblivious to it all in his new set of wheels, Stevie G will still look shit-scared of something but still be adored by Liverpool's Cornish support while the aforementioned JT will be getting away with all sorts both on and off the pitch. Andy Gray will be analysing offsides while Richard Keys genuflects. The Soccer Saturday pundits will be screaming at a television screen while trying to make the Wolves and Blackburn goal-less draw sound like Brazil v Italy 1970 while the blurts in replica shirts will be passing through a pub near you.
But it could have been 2-2 at half time, technology, yawn, yawn, yawn. The debate will rage on and you know what the new breed and Sky Sports will love that. Referees will go upstairs to the eye in the sky and the Sky (Sports) in your eye will repeat it over and over again. Middle class tossers will watch the big screen at the Emirates and up it will come: NO GOAL. It'll be just like watching rugby league.
England 1 Germany 4 should be a wake-up call, a watershed, a dawning of a new era but sadly it will be just a trailer for the "best league in the world". Some of us quite simply aren't arsed anymore…

THE BLOG IS BACK


After a bit of a break the blog is back...

Just in time for the 2010/11 season following the Robins...

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

FIXTURE UPDATE: ALL LEAGUE GAMES NOW REARRANGED


Looks like all the fixtures have now been rearranged - Information taken from the Football Mitoo website


TONIGHT: AFC LIVERPOOL HOME - VODKAT DIVISION ONE TROPHY QUARTER-FINAL


Saturday 20 March: Rochdale Town Away


Tuesday 23 March: AFC Blackpool Away


Saturday 27 March: No game at present*


Monday 29 March: St Helens Town Away -Vodkat Challenge Cup Quarter-Final


Saturday 3 April: Oldham Boro Away


TUESDAY 6 APRIL: AFC BLACKPOOL HOME


Saturday 10 April: Eccleshall Away


TUESDAY 13 APRIL: LEEK CSOB HOME


Saturday 17 April: Atherton Colls Away


Tuesday 20 April: Holker Old Boys Away


Saturday 24 April: Chadderton Away


Saturday 1 May: Cheadle Town Away


TUESDAY 4 MAY: CHEADLE TOWN HOME


SATURDAY 8 MAY: STONE DOMINOES



* Saturday 27 March: Seems to me that there is a possibility of a game this day: If we beat AFC Liverpool tonight we could play AFC Blackpool in semi-final as other semi is that day. If we lose to AFC tonight we could play St Helens on this day. The game is scheduled for the Monday but neither us nor Saints have a game on Saturday 27 March at present

--

Monday, 15 March 2010

Honours even: Robins 1 Norton United 1


Well what do we all make of this division this year?

No stand-out team like Bootle (last term) with everybody - and I mean everybody - looking capable of beating each other.

Take Norton on Saturday. They looked a completely different team to the one we played at the beginning of the season. As did Daisy Hill, Ashton et al. It really is a very even division and on Saturday an even game was played out by two pretty evenly matched teams. Even if I say so myself...

Admittedly The Robins had a fantastic double-opportunity to grab all three points in injury time when Adi Whittle latched on to a flicked header from Big Pey Vermiglio. Deciding to go alone rather than square the ball to Dean Callaway he (maybe) took the ball a step too much forward but his powerful shot was superbly saved by the
visitor's keeper Leigh Miller. The rebound fell to Deano who hit the ball first time only to see his shot richochet off the post and go behind for a dead ball. Definite chances that should probably have been put away but in fairness the keeper made a cracking save and Deano's wasn't the best angle to hit it at but it was hands on heads time for all concerned.

Not that Norton deserved to lose as they took the game to us, kept two men upfront all game and defended from the front making life hard for The Robins on a difficult windy day.

Playing with the breeze the visitors went ahead on 12 minutes after they opened up our defence to leave Ashley Hill with an easy finish.

While it is true to say that the visitors dominated the first period the Robins produced the move of the game moments before half time when good work by Ryan Small led to Lee Moss finishing neatly to take the teams in level at the break and alter The Gaffer's half time team talk/rollicking.

With the wind on their backs in the second half The Robins looked the more accomplished team and finished the stronger going close on a number of occasions culminating in the great double-chance during injury time. That said Norton were always a threat and it would have been cruel on them to lose as they brought a positive attitude to the Arena and contributed to a good game in difficult conditions.

That last sentence is obviously utter bollocks and we'd have take the (undeserved) win by whatever means necessary.

The other downer - apart from the dropped points was yet another injury. This time it was Neil Swift that was taken to hospital. The verdict - cartilage damage that will see him out for "at least two weeks". When will it end?

However we've got to press on as AFC Liverpool are here in the quarter final of the Vodkat Division One Trophy tomorrow.

I'm just putting the dubbin on my boots and am available if required...

In a nutshell:

Cold - very cold
Norton's Number One Fan - With club badge and Norton's Number One Fan tattooed on his neck! He was a nice lad, mind
Norton's Number 10 - Delroy Somebodyorother never stopped moaning from first minute until he was taken off. That said we gave him the man on the match but just shut the fuck up, lad.
How many players did they bring with them? Looked about twenty two and I didn't even get a buttie at the end of the game there was that many of them.
Not sure who got our MOM - one of those games when nobody really stood out and nobody had a stinker. Game of two halves with both keepers having little to do for a half each.
Robin's Nest due to staff being over at a Cat Show. The 62nd All-Breed Championship Show in fact!
How much do we pay per match for the place? If it's not salsa dancing it's fat lads playing five-a-side or bloody cats. That said there was a lovely girl who was obviously lost. I coolly asked her if she was here for the football or was looking for the darts. She just looked at me like I was mad. Well it was Daz Mullen who told me the darts were on across the road!
Big Pey doing his usual and "taking somebody out". This time it was the referee!
Top quality chicken curry and rice in The Oddies
Roll on tomorrow when the scousers come to town - should be a good un.

Kick off 8pm. Admission £4 (£2 concessions)

"BRING ON THE ROBINS"

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Put that in your pipe: Ashton Town 2 Wigan Robin Park 3


Part two of the Pie Classico served up a cracker as The Robins snatched a win with a sensational last-minute goal from Dean Midgeley.

In what was an entertaining game and with the scores level at 2-2 the seventeen-year-old full back won a tackle deep in his own half and with nothing on in front of him simply carried the ball forward beating Ashton defenders for fun before going around the the keeper and putting/scuffing the ball into the empty net.

Cue mad scenes on the pitch, in the dugout and on the terraces. It was deserved and totally justified.

The Robins playing up a hill resembling one of the three peaks they took the game to the scousers and it was no surprise when Swifty got his second goal in four days when he got on the end of a cross to stroke the ball home.

I'm not sure what the cartwheels and somersaults were all about. You're a bloody fullback lad leave that to the nancy boy forwards! Then again he probably doesn't get many goals but in his new role as winger you never know.

It was good to see the lads playing some decent stuff as they are beginning to get their act together aftera ropey period. To be fair to Ashton they can play a bit it's just a pity that they had to resort to taking it in turns to kick seven shades out of Ryan Small. Not that it bothers Ryan who just dusts himself down and gets on with it. Got to say for a midfielder he's doing a good job upfront at the moment and he worked the line well and never stopped running.

Town got into the game just before half-time when a long ball was misjudged by Midge, it hit him on the back and allowed the Ashton lad to put a good cross in for Steve Edwards to lose his marker and put the ball away. You expect it off Ste Eddy as he is a master at the art and good luck to him.

Playing down the hill in the second half Wigan sensed blood and in the 58th minute Ryan Small beat Ashton centre-half Gary Doyle to a long ball and then sensing ex-Robins trialist keeper Andy Hewitt off his line chipped him from 25 yards fo a fantastic goal.

Now when you score the first thing you do is keep it tight and all that but what you don't need is an atrocious decision by a referee who sees a free-kick from a perfect tackle. Despite protestations the decision stood and Wallace superbly placed the ball directly into the corner of the net to make it 2-2.

The goal however didn't dent The Robins confidence and they pressed forward going close on a couple of occasions before Midgeley scored his first goal for the club.

Time was up and cue the celebrations. A very, very sweet victory and to quote a member of the Ashton management after they beat us at the Stadio de Robin Park: "Put that in your pipe and smoke it."

In a nutshell:
Good pint of Deuchars in the Cross Keys
Fifteen of our line-up were Wiganers
One of Ashton's line-up was a Wiganer
Brilliant goal from Ryan - even better one from Midge
All our lads having good games
John Leech running the line in tights (oh and coaching the Town players as he went along)
The other liner wearing glasses
Nothing from the ref. How he gave that free-kick only he will know and our lads on other side claim Swifty should have had a pen in the second half
Their right back going through the back of Deano and claiming he got the ball was pitiful. Not to mention his response to our fans. More than pitiful. Bit disappointing to see him subbed immediately - we were looking forward to giving him some
But in the end three good points and roll on Norton United this Saturday. Robin Park Arena 3pm kick-off.

Monday, 8 March 2010

AFC Liverpool 0 Wigan Robin Park 1


What's not to like about Prescot?

Well quite a bit probably but when we go it's normally to collect three points from AFC Liverpool.

They normally do the same at our gaff but we'll forget about that for the moment. Having put the word out to a couple of people that we'd be in the Hope & Anchor (surely Cockney rhyming slang...) we took one look and thought: "The Sun Inn must be a better bet" and pottered down there. Swifty senior joined us after downing a pint in one or two in said Hope.

And a nice little boozer it is. Three rooms including an old-fashioned snug and a couple of corking pints of Cumberland and Old Speckled Hen was had by all.

Accompanied by some great "Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town" country and western music as all pubs should be made to play in the afternoon. We then moved around the corner to the home of the A57 Scooter Club. The Deanes House or summat. It was a big breezy pub and alright if you like that sort of thing, a pint of Boddies and down to the match. Pay-in, pick up their excellent programme, tell Robbo Senior we've been in a pub with pictures of scooters on the wall and settle down just in time for Swifty Junior to put us ahead.

On a black pudding of a pitch The Robins were soon on the front foot. A long throw from debutant Sam Rimmer was laid-back by Jon Corcoran to Neil Swift who cut in from the right and beat the AFC keeper from 18 yards for the opener.

In a tight first half chances were few and far between but Jay Foulds had to be at his best just before half-time as he pulled off a superb double save. That said we could have been further ahead but a great chance was missed by er (yeah you've guessed) Andy Neafcy who hit the ball straight into the keeper's hands. He was later heard to say that he will buy everybody a beer in Oddies when he scores. I may have dreamt that but as he'll never score we needn't woory about that.

The second half took on much the same flavour with neither team creating much. AFC Liverpool's threat was effectively snuffed out when they were reduced to ten men when their substitute Karl Gornell was sent off - minutes after he had come onto the pitch - for pushing Swifty in the face. This allowed The Robins to hold on comfortably for a fine away victory.

Neil Swift was awarded man of the match but everybody put in a good shift with Darren Mullen again defying the years producing a commanding performance at the back. Sam Rimmer also made his full debut and looked comfortable throughout whilst Ryan Small in an unfamiliar centre-forward role led the line well.

We retired to the clubhouse for a beer or so and caught up with some of the people we know from AFC Liverpool. I have to say I really enjoy our encounters with the club and although crowds have dropped off at the club I find the people there to be a really decent set. The pitch isn't helping them at all - as they obviously like to play football - so we will have to be at our best for the cup encounter.

We said our farewells invited them to our place in a week or so and jumped the train back to Bryn and have to report the hotpot in Oddies was on fine form. Pity the curry and rice had gone when we got there but beggars (and that is what we are)can't be choosers.

We are back in that other small part of Liverpool - Ashton Town - this Tuesday night so here's hoping for a good game. Kick off 7.45pm

"BRING ON THE ROBINS"

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Miss Wigan Robin Park March 2010 Robyn Hobson



She's 21 from Cape Town, South Africa a feature in FHM over there and what with the World Cup being held there that's a good enough link to football as such. Oh and she's bloody lovely as well.

The Robins try and draw some positives from game: Robins 2 Daisy Hill 2


When fit please pass to the next person on the injury list

















Wigan Robin Park 2-2 Daisy Hill HT:2-0

Roll out the cliches and... it most certainly was a game of two halves. Well as far as the scoring goes anyway. In truth it was a pretty open game and although we went into half-time with a two-goal lead if it hadn't been for some superb goalkeeping by Jay Foulds they could have been in it. That said a Mossy rareity and a tremendous Dean Callaway finish meant we went into the break in control.

It might have all seemed rosy but the loss of Woody after just thirteen minutes of his comeback put a dampener on things. He was replaced by Dave Blakeney - making his debut - with Swifty moved to left back for his tenth position in two games.

Immediately after the break Deano Callaway found himnself on the end of a superb move but somwhow - and I have no idea how missed with an open goal beckoning. There was talk of spin on the ball, sun in his eyes or summat but it should have been 3-0. ten minutes later it was 2-1. Thirty minutes later it was 2-2.

Daisy Hill had most of the second half and it is fair that they took a point from the game but the lads will be kicking themselves. Not only should we have been three-up but later Chris McNall latching onto a through ball beat the keeper only to see his shot go agonisingly wide.

As the game went into injury a succession of injuries saw two Daisy Hill players go down and then Chris McNally turned suerbly in the box but a combination of the turn, the goalkeeper and defender coming out saw him down on the floor and in agony. The game finished with Macca flat-out behind the goal. An ambualnce was called and the word is ligament damage. Another sickening injury blow for The Robins. I've lost count how many lads we have out now and not sure when it will end.

With two games on Saturday it's going to be a real struggle to get 22 players on the pitch (or cabbage patch in the case of AFC Liverpool's Prescot home) but that's what the management get paid for. That's if they did get paid but you get my drift

As for last all that said it was an entertaining game and in a nutshell...

I know everybody says this but: "The referee gave us - now what's the technical word for this ah... - fuck-all"
Absolutely zilch, zero. A couple of his decisions were baffling to say the least.Corners that were definitely goal kicks, Daisy Hill players three yards away from a free-kick etc
Good debut from the young kid who came on early
Heartbreak for Woody and Macca
Another Callaway special. The lad looks on fire at the moment and Jay Foulds is also in the form of his life. Well they say keepers get better the older they get!
Usual chaos on the door at night games at the Arena. Referees meeting, some other council meeting, matches on the all-weather pitches. St Judes rugby there!! They get enough favours off the council (alegedly) can't they put their own placcy pitch down. Gymnastics and God knows what. You simply haven't a clue who's going the football or not!
Good butties as usual
Chipper buying me a beer!
AFC Liverpool next-up and "Bring on The Robins"

Monday, 22 February 2010

When the Robins go marching in... Vodkat Challenge Cup Preview


Not a clue who these lot are - some Aussie group or summat - just googled St Helens and found it. She's the most attractive thing I've ever seen from Saints... Well apart from a Pimblett Pie

I'm not sure what year it was but I was acting the little tough lad outside Woolies when Saints came around the corner... Dressed in white boiler suits, bowler hats and boots. Clockwork Orange style and we had to admit they'd done us on the clothes front.

Just that once, mind as previous to that date I'd always thought Saints people were greasers like the Carr Mill Dammers. Yes, often though we'd be all in the Billinge Higher End Under-18s disco dancing to Skinhead Moonstomp and The Liquidator when someone would announce that 'The Dammers' were waiting for us on Billinge Hill and we'd all leave the club and yomp up to Billinge Hill to do battle. 'The Dammers' were from the Carr Mill Dam Estate at St Helens and were apparently all greasers - something us Skins and Suedes detested. I say apparently because of course they were never there. We also, on a couple of occasions, walked all the way to Windy Harbour to meet up with Ashton who of course never turned up. I doubt if there was ever any chance it was going to go off and it's strange that all these fights were about to take place during the summer months and never in the depths of winter. However to a young 13-year old it was quite an impressive sight to be with all these older (16-year plus) lads walking down the street. But that's my opinions of St Helens. Greasers and greabos and it always made me laugh when I saw the WIGAN BOOTBOYS graffiti at Carr Mill lights. Is it still there?

Ah the memories. Innocent times and all that bollocks. Since then I've been to Saints v Wigan matches, seen Latics against St Helens Town in a friendly or two but it's all been much more civilised. Well mainly so - but this is a family site and we're all a lot older now. In fact I like visiting St Helens now as I'm usually off to the excellent The Citadel Arts Centre if I happen to be in the town.













This Tuesday I'll be back to see Wigan's non-league side take on St Helens Town (from the division above us) in the Vodkat Challenge Cup Quarter Final for what should be a great encounter.

Both sides have suffered indifferent form of late but both recorded excellent wins at the weekend and I know everybody at this end is buzzing about the game.

Saints will undoubtedly win "the slowest player on the pitch award" if Dougie Pitts is playing while Ben Kay will be more worried about his hairstyle and Alice band than bothering about midfield battles so we should be okay. Or maybe not. Whatever happens it should be a great encounter and we look forward to visiting Knowsley Road for the first and last time at the old wreck (sorry ground) before it makes way for the new shiny thing. Give me an old wreck over a new plastic stadia any day and Knowsley Road is chocca with character. Where Town play next season I've no idea.

So it's a day away - weather permitting. Reading recent reports from the superb www.thetownblog.blogspot.com it appears that the pitch is pretty dire which should affect things but we'll see.

Let's just hope for a good day out, a few beers and an excellent game. And may the best team win... That last bit is bollocks of course as I'm sure either side will take a dodgy one-niller. In fact is Alan Wiley the ref?

"BRING ON THE ROBINS"

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Wigan Robin Park 2 Leek CSOB 0


"We're on the march with Neafcy's Army
We're on the march to Wember.... er wherever the final is" - maybe

Now if it's not salsa dancing and burlesque lessons then it's fit, lithesome young female athletes pottering about the gaff when you're trying to sell a programme or two. Not that I could catch 'em anyroad but it was a pleasant distraction before the main event of the afternoon. It is also worth noting that some lads had booked one of the all-weather pitches. It's bad enough all the fatties who think they are Rooney coming through on a midweek day let's hope this isn't going to be a common occurrence on Saturdays as well. Then again Leek could have had a full ninety minute game on there themselves as they all arrived at just gone one!!!

Some two hours and (just the) four minutes (late this week) the game kicked-off. The lads and speccies knew that the "old fella" Tarr would be the danger and so it proved as he created a couple of openings but failed to convert. He also failed to keep up his early promise and as he faded so did Leek's chances.

That said and done the teams went into the break even and goalless thanks to Wigan keeper Jay Foulds being at his best while Ryan Small went close with a long-range effort for The Robins.

A half-time shuffle of the pack by The Gaffer saw Dean Callaway dropping just behind Macca and he had a blinder. Full of energy and commitment he was quickly rewarded by opening The Robins account on 52 minutes. The Leek players went radio rental at the ref and linesmen complaining that Deano was offside. What they failed to take into account was that it was one of their own lads that headed the ball to him.

Leek seemed knocked back by this and offered little and were completely knackered when Chric McNally rattled a blinder in from summat like thirty yards. The ever-inventive-Evertonian unveiled another celebration by running to the bench and getting Woody to kiss his right boot. Latest news is that Woody's pulled another hamstring bending down to kiss it and could be out for another six weeks!

The Robins should ahve gone three up when a superb move saw Swifty hit a perfect left-footed cross right onto the head of a fellow Robin. Unfortunately that head belonged to Andy Neafcy and as we know he wouldn't score in Jumpin Jaks!

So back on to our winning ways and into a quarter-final home tie against AFC Liverpool - who we owe big time.

In a Nutshell
MOM Andy Neafcy
Wigan Robin Bastards' MOM Darren Mullen
Cracking performance from the three youngsters, D Robbo, Dean Midgeley and Jay Roberts.
Good butties as normal even if I'm "not getting" the veggie pepper ones
The normal ref assessor was there - probably finding nothing wrong with the officials again. I'm sure comes to ours every week for the butties, coffees and warm lounge
Corcy proving that he is even slower doing ballboy duties than he is in centre mid.
Pie - on form
Beer - Guinness at £2.70 a can!!! Normal price at Robin Park Arena bars but bloody hell, come on
Hot Pot in Oddy's - Bloody superb. That good I had two platefulls. The Hopper had FOUR!!!
Bring on St Helens
And.... "Bring on The Robins"

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

"Once, twice three times a loser"



Well that's three defeats on the bounce now. Not expected but with an injury list that must now be up to about twenty it probably makes sense.

After the Ashton game I reported in the local paper that we were missing seven centre-halves to be promptly informed it was in fact NINE. So it's hardly surprising and the three points and bragging rights went the way of Ashton Town at a foggy Robin Park Arena that Saturday.

They deserved their 4-2 victory as Ashton hot-shot Steve Edwards bagged a brace making that 20 for the season so far.

With such a threadbare squad it was always going to be a tough ask for The Robins makeshift defence and this was highlighted as Ashton were two-up through Edwards and Christian Baxby after ten minutes.

The Robins gained their composure and were back on level terms on the hour through Chris McNally and Ryan Small - playing his first game for eight weeks or so. However instead of pushing on for the victory two more individual errors in four minutes presented the game to Town as Edwards and substitute Kevin Hill completed the scoring.

As the Robins manager John Neafcy said: "We were down to the bare bones and didn't have a recognised centre-half available.

"We knew where the danger would come from but we didn't help ourselves with some sloppy defending."

The one good thing is that we don't have long to go to avenge the defeat as we go there early next month for the second leg of the Pie Classico or should that be Pan of Scouse Classico - with some of the accents emanating from that end.

Against the Are they Yorkshiremen? from up near Burnley way with three teenagers making their debuts - and other debutants on the bench - The Robins were always going to be up against it. Add into the mix a delay of 25 minutes to kick-off whilst a replacement assistant referee was found - after the original couldn't get a babysitter - I'm sure the youngsters' nerves were jangling somewhat.

When the game got under way The Robins settled well and produced some good football as they took the game to the visitors. However - on 32 minutes - a misplaced pass from the old/experienced* (delete as appropriate) Darren Mullen led to a Barnoldswick attack that was finished off by Spencer Jordan.

With The Robins fans and management still seething about the suspicion of offside that accompanied the opening goal they were furious when Joe Shelmedine made it two when he tapped the ball into the net from within the six-yard box with no defenders between him and the line. There was no clever run. he just stood there and knocked it in. Admittedly I wasn't level play to say for certain but neither was the liner as he was level with me. This feller needed Ring and Ride never mind a babysitter!!

As Park tried to get back into the game Chris McNally, Mullen and Ryan Small all went close but Barnoldswick sealed the win when Daz Mullen was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area on the hour mark. Looked to me that he went in for the tackle and the ball hit his hand. That said we'd probably have shouted for it. Russell Clarke stepped up to expertly beat Jay Foulds in the Wigan goal from the penalty spot. It was a tough one for Daz as he had a cracking game all told and marshalled the young lads superbly

As John Neafcy said after the game.

"We had two seventeen-year-olds in Dean Robinson and Dean Midgeley in the back-four and I thought they were absolutely superb and along with Jamie Roberts who made his first start up-front it shows the future at the club is bright.

"We just didn't get the rub of the green with the decisions from the referee and one of his assistants.

"Ironically the best official was the lad they called in at short notice."

This Saturday The Robins will hopefully face Leek CSOB in the Division One Trophy at the Arena. It should have been played four months ago but as long as babysitters are available kick-off will be 3pm Admission £4 (£2 concessions)

Get yourselves down to the Stadio. As usual the pies and coffee will be hot and a quarter-final place awaits the winners

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Wigan v Ashton and gang wars without tartar sauce


Well, it was total wipeout (again) during the week as ice, snow and rain decimated the Vodkat fictures.

This meant there was no midweek trip to Cassie Gabs for The Robins. And let's face it Rochdale's cold enough in August never mind on a freezing Tuesday night in February! Lucky escape in my book. Then again it does mean another fixture to be rearranged and another chance to get our mojo back after the Irlam result has gone missing.

Not a great day at Irlam in all honesty as we crashed to a 2-0 defeat.

Despite dominating the first ten and final ten minutes they were second-best for the remainder of the match and only excellent goalkeeping from Jay Foulds kept the scoreline down.

It looked like we might ride their luck but Darren Green latched onto a defensive error to open the scoring for the home side on the hour mark.

As the game progressed Wigan began to find their rhythm with Chris McNally and Steve Williams both going close.
However as the game entered injury time Matty Williams broke away for Irlam and despite looking yards offside beat Jay Foulds. The flag stayed down and Irlam sewed up a deserved victory.

This Saturday our near neighbours from Stubshaw Cross - Ashton Town - are the visitors and as long as the weather improves/holds out (it bloody better do as we've done the programmes) it will be good to get a match under our belts. The same of course applies to Ashton and it really will be a tough one to call as their game was called off at Cheadle midweek and like everybody their season has been stop/start. They have been in decent form and in Steve Edwards upfront have a prven goalscorer.

All we can hope for is that the best team on the day wins.

Which of course utter bollocks as we'll take a crabby win as no doubt they will. However be good to get a good derby game in. The pies will be decent. The pitch - whatever the weather has been like - will still be better than the mess at the stadium next door and I'm sure everybody is looking forward to it

Kick-off at the Stadio de Robin Park is 3pm £4 (£2 concessions) admission.

Meanwhile a snippet from something due soon

Gang wars without tartar sauce
















Some sort of gang battle going on at home. Wigan v Ashton. Get a phonecall this Sunday morning that informs me there has been some sort of fight in Ashton town centre. Fifty arrested. Petty spoils about petty things. Got caught up in it myself a few months ago Home for the weekend. Normal night, nothing happening. Shit music and shitter club. We go for a taxi come down the stairs and there are ten onto three of us. Nothing really happens. Some div decides he's Bruce Lee and spins and hollers and goes to karate chop me but it all goes horribly wrong and he falls on the floor in a heap. The taxi driver says: "Don't worry lads I saw everything you did nothing wrong.

"Shall I go to the police?"

"Nah, the village of Orrell will do.

"We are okay," I reply.

Then as he pulls away…

"There's one of them."

And drives straight at him. Ten is now twenty, the driver stalls and a piece of scaffolding goes through the windscreen. Followed by bottles, bricks and bins and we end up at the hospital with cuts and bruises and then the police station where we can tell them nothing and we give addresses in London and a bright spark of a copper says: "It's spreading.

"The dispute is spreading."

Just let us get home to our parents - to our beds to ease our aches and pains. Awake with bloodied head and swollen pride later to be informed - at the match - that the lads were Ashton and it's all about Ashton versus Wigan and some bad shit is going down. Reprisals and beatings. Mob war… Ashton a small town that is both part of Wigan and apart from Wigan . Large Scouse population. Never really been. Never really wanted to go but hey these things matter to some people. I should be bitter about the skirmish but I have other things on my mind when I am excitedly told via the phone that fifty have been arrested but I'm tired and weary.

Been having a kickabout in Regent's Park. Few beers in the Four Feathers. As normal. Quiet Sunday. Few beers then Macdonalds. Diuble cheeseburgers all round apart from Fillet of Fish without the tartar sauce for Dell. Love going to Macs and seeing how long it will be before Dell gets served. They pride themselves on being the fastest of fast food but order something that isn't the norm and it throws them. We should try ordering without the gherkin rather than throw them but hey… And of course Dell always recounts the fact that we wouldn't be here today if he had tartar sauce on his fillet of fish. For a year or so ago we were in Macdonalds on the Oxford Street/Tottenham Court Road axis when we waited and waited and waited for his fillet sans tartar. While we waited the tube that we would or could have caught crashed. Or caught fire or something. But Dell maintains if it wasn't for him we would have been on it and we would indeed have not spent this Sunday afternoon eating reasonably fast food from across the ocean.

Afternoon is now evening and we are in The Tibberton Arms. The Tib as it is known in these parts and it is full to the rafters. Earth Wind and Fire is the soundtrack. Hair blonde. Jeans faded. Jewellery gold. Sunday night and everybody is out in their Sunday best. We have a couple, look at the girls, chat to a few faces that we know and meander back to The Camden Head. There is a time and a place for dancing and blonde girls but Sunday night in The Tib after playing football and before work on Monday morning is neither that time nor that place. There is also a vibe about the place that doesn't sit easy with me. Nobody else bothers but they've been brought up on the streets of Islington and The Angel and the Cross but I can see that the kids from the Packington and the Peabody flats have their own patch. Eyes always darting. Checking who is in there and I am aware I am an outsider. An uneasiness prevails. A restlessness that is only broken and calmed by Maze and Frankie Beverley. Maze could stop wars. Stop petty gang wars. Play fucking "Joy and Pain" to the Argies and the Brits and our Alan and we would all be okay. But of course Alan doesn't like Maze. He doesn't know them but he says he doesn't like them. Never heard them and I doubt he ever will as he - like so many others won't open their hearts. Won't open their soul. Be on his way to the Falklands in a week or so. Or so they say. Should be with us listening to Frankie and watching beautiful blonde girls dancing to the Fatback Band. Or failing that ordering Guinness in The Camden Head.

The Camden is a proper pub. Old and ornate with an island bar, friendly staff and decent beer. Big fire to keep you warm and now with the Sunday Camden Passage antiques traders and hunters gone the pub is left to the locals. It is The Angel's pub. Generations of local lads - and it mainly is lads in The Camden - have passed this way. There's a nosiness about the pub that you can get lost in. Various groups of blokes having a final pint before Monday morning. Others sat on their own finishing off the Sunday papers with their talks of exclusion zones and death in the South Atlantic and the north of Ireland .

Great pub The Camden. Great pub for a last Guinness before the 43 home and work the next day…


Faded Lois Dreams (pub. 15 March 2010)

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Miss Wigan Robin Park February 2010 Robin MacKintosh



From Italian Vogue July 1988 - Beautiful girl

As for football things the Ashton Town preview will be online Thursday...

Thursday, 21 January 2010

ROBINS v LINNETS in the RSPB Challenge Cup

THE ROBIN



Latin name
Erithacus rubecula

Family
Chats and thrushes

Overview
The UK's favourite bird - with its bright red breast it is familar throughout the year and especially at Christmas! Males and females look identical, and young birds have no red breast and are spotted with golden brown. Robins sing nearly all year round and despite their cute appearance, they are aggressively territorial and are quick to drive away intruders. They will sing at night next to street lights.

Where to see them
Across the UK in woodland, hedgerows, parks and gardens.

When to see them
All year round.

What they eat
Worms, seeds, fruits and insects.

Estimated numbers
5,895,000 territories

VERSUS THE LINNET


Latin name
Carduelis cannabina

Family
Finches

Overview
A small, slim finch, widely distributed, and once very popular as a cage bird because of its melodious song. Males are attractively marked with crimson foreheads and breasts, females much browner. It can be flighty and has an undulating flight, usually twittering as it flies. Now it is declining, in common with many other birds which use farmland, and is a Red List species.

Where to see them
While widespread across the UK, there are concentrations along the east coast from Kent to Aberdeenshire but they are scarce in upland regions and north west Scotland. Look for it on commons, heathland, rough ground, farmland hedges, saltmarshes and in parks and gardens.

When to see them
All year round.

What they eat
Seeds and insects.

Estimated numbers
556,000 territories

So that's sorted: "The UK's favourite bird, they are aggressively territorial and are quick to drive away intruders". And "there's more of us than you." Oh and Robins eat worms which is well hard!

NAILED-ON HOME WIN

As for the sideshow and the Vodkat Challenge Cup - who knows? The Robins haven't played for SEVEN AND A HALF WEEKS so fitness may be a problem. Then again I'm sure our lads had a booze-free Christmas and have abstained from alcohol so far this year. Well I've done it - well I'd done it until I went the ressies game at Ashton Athletic in the Meat Pattie classico in the week (Good win 3-1 to the lads)when somebody forced me to have two pints of cold lager. Bloody horrible and I'll be abstaining again until Saturday.

Adverse weather has led to a string of postponements for The Robins but the visit of Premier Division Linnets in the last sixteen of the Vodkat Challenge Cup has whetted the appetites of all at the club.

The visitors were formed in April 2006, when the fans of Runcorn Football Club, dismayed at the club’s predicament, voted to establish a new club which would continue the proud tradition of non-league football which had existed in the town since 1918.

In the past Runcorn were regular visitors to Wigan as they were rivals of Latics - prior to their election to the Football League - in the Cheshire and Northern Premier Leagues. The current club has been playing at Witton Albion's ground in Northwich but after support from Halton Council and the reward of various grants they expect to be playing back in the town for the start of the 2010/11 season.

Runcorn will be backed by a large following and are renowned for their free-scoring, which should test The Robins cup and promotion aspirations. Theya are also renowned for letting a few in. Local lad "Big Phil" Priestley's is The Linnets custodian so feel free to heckle him/pepper him with shots.

Meanwhile the enforced break has at least allowed long-term injury victims Steve Williams and Mike Wood time to fully recover meaning The Robins should have a full squad to choose from.

It should be an excellent game and it will be good to see a Runcorn side - who look like returning to their home town next season - playing in Wigan. I saw them against Latics many times and they were always close affairs.

This is a great game to wipe away the cobwebs and actually get to watch some football. So get down to the Stadio de Robin Park. Robin's Nest will be open, the programme's a good un and two sets of honest teams will be putting their all in rather than worrying about image rights/getting paid/Phil Neville giving them the finger/The Glazer's debt/The fat waiter's goatee and whatever else has happened in the premiersoap this week...

Kick-off on Saturday is 3pm with admission £4 (£2 concessions)

"Bring it on" (as they say on SKY, probably)