Wigan Athletic - 12th Man - 29/12/11
In this weeks Wigan Evening Post '12th Man' feature there are two contributions from Vital Latics:
The recent run of form was brought to a crashing halt with a proper Christmas bump at Old Trafford, a 5-0 thumping wasn't what I had asked Santa for, but with referee Phil Dowd seemingly intent on proving that officials do lean towards the big clubs, it was always going to be an uphill struggle for the Latics to get anything from the game.
Dowd may have wrongly sent Sammon off for just shielding the ball and gave a penalty for a trip on Park that occurred outside the area, but it was the reluctance of the Staffordshire official to give the Latics any decisions that was the main cause for concern. What is it with refs this season? A bit of consistency wouldn't go amiss.
Martinez was quite rightly livid after the game, whilst the sending off of Sammon may not have directly inflicted defeat on the Latics; it surely curbed any chance of a comeback in a game that we were growing into as the first half wore on.
It would be a shame though to dwell on the Boxing Day defeat, after all we appeared to have turned the corner and the coming new year brings a renewed optimism as far as Premier League survival is concerned. Lately performances have been excellent, results good and with five points from the last four games we are on the right path to climb the table.
Next up for the Latics is a trip to Stoke, the scene of that fantastic finale to last season, a repeat result, or even a draw and the Man United match will be swept out with the old as the New Year is welcomed in.
All the best for 2012 to Latics fans everywhere
Phil Dowd Owes Me 88 Quid
Christmas is well and truly over. It wasn't spoiled by the Grinch, Phil Dowd did the job for him. A controversial decision by the portly official removed all competition from the game at Old Trafford just as we were starting to deliver our usual fight back. I have to use the word official, the definition of referee requires impartiality, and I'm not sure that it exists in this case.
A good start for the home side saw them a goal up, and as usual we then began to settle into the game a bit more and began to look like we would certainly put up a respectable showing if not more.
Then came the decision that changed the game. Conor Sammon sent off for a nothing challenge, when a similar challenge, committed earlier by a United player was met by a smile. It made a hard task even harder, putting us back on the back foot and gave them a boost. As they are prone to do, they accepted the gift with both hands then rammed it down our throats. The national media rammed the usual patronising attitude again, never mind you'd not have got anything anyway. The fact that we've picked up more points from losing positions than anyone else, and done it in recent weeks, is clearly not being taken into account.
One thing did confuse me yesterday, who we were supposed to be remembering? Clearly the memo didn't make the away support. The home stands paid their silent respects to somebody, while the bananas and friends tried to take the roof off, or is it the theatre of dreams because they were mostly asleep? I can't imagine them being quiet out of embarrassment, caused by one of the biggest clubs in the game taking free handouts from the officials.
Latics and Proud
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