Chats and thrushes
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.
VERSUS THE LINNET
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.
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)
Monday, 11 January 2010
He broke his leg in a cup final, you know
This Saturday - if the ice/snow thaws and the rain doesn't arrive and and... - the visitors to the stadio will be Cheadle Town. There are a lot of ifs there but if (there goes another one) the temperature does rise to 4C or 5C there must be a chance. And if it does take place it will be our first game for 45 days or six and a half weeks if you so wish. Which puts into perspective Father Jack Whelan's latest "walking fucking soundbite" that the premiership season should be extended due to what... two games being postponed. Wait while I shed a tear. But before then let us have a look at the Wigan Athletic fixtures.
They have nineteen league games remaining. One of the postponed games - Bolton Wanderers - has already been rearranged leaving just the Aston Villa game to be scheduled. A quick perusal of the fixtures of Wigan Athletic and Aston Villa tells me that the midweek commencing 1 February, the midweek commencing 23 February and all the midweeks in March, April and May are free.
Even Wigan Athletic's administration ought to be able to get one game played in that period. Surely...
Father Jack's reasoning of needing an extension to the season is beyond belief.
For the record The Robins also have nineteen league games to play of which SIX still need to be rescheduled. And that is at the moment before more postponements kick in - which they will. No undersoil heating (even undersoil heating that doesn't work/isn't turned on) at this level. Then of course we have to mention that the Vodkat Division One season finishes two weeks before the premiership season finishes. However I'm sure the Vodkat League will sort it out. There are a couple of weekends at the end of the season and plenty of free midweeks. And the clubs (that are all in the same boat) will raise teams for these games even though their players and officials will have done a day's work first and driven themselves to the game. That's a proper day's work not two hours kicking a ball about followed by a night in a five star hotel and a gentle morning stroll.
No Father Jack - you are talking absolute bollocks as per normal...
For the record this is where The Robins are at (at) the moment
In the league we have 19 games to play. Thirtenn have dates fixed for them while six still need to be rescheduled.
We are also awaiting a new date for Leek CSOB in the 1st Division Cup. So...
UPDATED FIXTURES IN SIMPLE(ISH) TERMS
SATURDAY 16 JANUARY: CHEADLE TOWN HOME
SATURDAY 23 JANUARY: RUNCORN LINNETS HOME Vodkat Challenge Cup
Saturday 30 January: Irlam Away
Tuesday 2 February: Rochdale Town Away
SATURDAY 6 FEBRUARY: ASHTON TOWN HOME
SATURDAY 13 FEBRUARY: IF WE BEAT LEEK CSOB IN 1ST DIV TROPHY: AFC LIVERPOOL HOME 1st Division Trophy
SATURDAY 20 FEBRUARY: FREE WEEKEND NO SCHEDULED GAME AS @ 9/1/10
SATURDAY 27 FEBRUARY: BARNOLDSWICK TOWN HOME
Saturday 6 March: Ashton Town Away
SATURDAY 13 MARCH: DAISY HILL HOME
Monday 15 March: Chadderton Away
SATURDAY 20 MARCH: FREE WEEKEND NO SCHEDULED GAME AS @ 9/1/10
SATURDAY 27 MARCH: NORTON UNITED HOME
SATURDAY 3 APRIL: FREE WEEKEND NO SCHEDULED GAME AS @ 9/1/10
TUESDAY 6 APRIL: AFC BLACKPOOL HOME
Saturday 10 April: Eccleshall Away
Saturday 17 April: Atherton Colls Away
Saturday 24 April: AFC Liverpool Away
GAMES STILL TO BE ARRANGED:
AFC Blackpool v Wigan Robin Park
Cheadle Town v Wigan Robin Park
Holker Old Boys v Wigan Robin Park
Oldham Boro v Wigan Robin Park
WIGAN ROBIN PARK v LEEK CSOB
WIGAN ROBIN PARK v STONE DOMINOES
1st Division Trophy
WIGAN ROBIN PARK v LEEK CSOB
Monday, 4 January 2010
TOMORROW'S GAME IS OFF AGAIN
Think that means it's back at the Stadio de Robin Park. When? Who knows?
Next up is Oldham Borough away on Saturday 9 January - now giving that Oldham is sub-zero in July I'm not at all confident... Meanwhile to make up for the lack of football action here are:
SOME OF THE THINGS WE MISS AT FOOTBALL
Dogs on the pitch: Even men with steel hearts love to see a dog on the pitch
Proper footballs that didn't swerve all over the place
Irish players playing for Ireland
Terraces and surges down them. Not sure I could cope with them at my age but they were great fun
Teams with just one change kit. And it was the change kit in case colours clashed, not the away kit or whatever
No squad numbers. Number 11 is the left winger not some reserve full back
David Coleman saying: “1-0” rather than all the SKY TV bollocks
Third replays rather than penalty shoot-outs
Footballers playing cricket in the Summer rather than meaningless but lucrative friendlies
The smell of pipe tobacco on the terraces
Not being able to predict the Top Four – in fact finishing fourth was just that...
The days when football Agents were unheard of
Match of the Day on Saturday and local highlights on Sunday
The FA Cup being taken seriously by EVERYONE
Players who a) you've heard of before and b) you can pronounce their name
Pools Panels covering every match
Rattles, rosettes and bobble hats
The Teleprinter and later the videprinter
Gazzetta Football Italia on Channel 4 on a Saturday morning
Grounds with character rather than the characterless identikits new stadia
Jimmy Hill – he was a prat but as bad as some of the ones now? I'm not sure
Players staying long enough for a testimonial game – and actually needing the money
No internet warriors
Characters in midfield rather than workhorses. Bowles rather than Makele any day
Orange footballs and snow on the pitch with bails of hay around the edge
Changing ends at half time
(Apart from Franny Lee) No diving
Ex-players running pubs
Coming home from a match and actually saying: “Somebody was sent off today” - it was so rare an occurrence
The smell of wintergreen
Players from the lower league signing for a top club
AND OF COURSE YOU CAN STILL SEE MOST OF THE ABOVE HAPPEN AT YOUR LOCAL NON-LEAGUE SIDE.... Whenever this snow and ice clears, that is...