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)

No comments: