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Just try and have a little patience

Been another fun-filled week on the good ship Latics, eh? Seriously, Disney, it's way more entertaining here. In a grim, gallows humour, kitchen sink drama kind of way. Come and film us. Get Mike Leigh to direct it.

We didn’t get the pasting from Wrexham that had been predicted. Far from it. Up to the 85th minute, we were set to pull off a fantastic win after our best performance of the season. Fondop (who worked his arse off) put us ahead in the 26th minute with a brilliant individual goal, charging down a cleared ball in the centre circle and burying the ball into the net. We were more energetic, more aggressive, far better on the ball. Alas, we couldn’t maintain the pressure and visibly tired and sat deeper in the second half. Best of luck in your new jobs, Mick Rathbone and Trystan Jones. The equaliser was a long time coming, and the 96th minute penalty (what WAS Roberts thinking) was an absolute kick in the minge. Plenty of positives to take from the game, though, not least the Bombay Brew food van at the back of the Rocky.

The day was, predictably, slightly marred by a bunch of wannabe-Frodo-from-Green-Street dildos, many of whom were old enough to know better, embarrassing themselves before the game in the Tesco car park in Failsworth, and after the game in the North Stand car park and in the road outside the Carters Arms. Word of advice, bellends: if you’re old enough to remember those kids titting about in the street stopping the traffic in Fame, then you’re too old to be titting about in the street stopping the traffic like the Kids From Fame. I’d have had no sympathy if you’d been hit by a bus. Grow up, you silly bastards, your grandchildren are mortified. Every club’s got their dickheads, we’ve certainly got ours, and we shouldn’t judge Wrexham by theirs. We got chatting to a couple of pleasantly shitfaced Wrexham fans in the Greyhound, who informed me that Liverpool was built by ‘Welsh slavery’. Thanks for the history lesson, lads.

Surely, after such a hugely improved performance against the team that went top of the league, we’d beat Crisis Club Scunthorpe? It looked promising when Okagbue put us ahead with a cracking header, and wasn’t it lovely to see how delighted he was to have scored his first senior goal. It went rapidly downhill from there unfortunately, and we once again gifted the opposition two goals through defensive howlers. I was so relieved when we equalised through Tollitt’s penalty in the second half (and it WAS a penalty - shut up Bradders, yes it was), because the atmosphere would have been utterly toxic at full time if we’d lost. Not the kick in the crotch that Saturday was, but still pretty deflating.

A disappointing week on the pitch, then. The Oldham Times quoted David Unsworth as being unhappy with how many players we’ve got out injured, saying “It’s not acceptable for us to have the amount of injuries that we have. I’m not having it.” Rather than bemoaning our luck or using it as an excuse, though, he’s actually done something to try to rectify the problem. Appointing Mick Rathbone as physio and head of conditioning might prove to be the signing of the season. My Evertonian sister messaged me saying "You're gonna like Baz Rathbone". Finally, a Baz we can all get on board with.

It’s been an underwhelming start to the season, our results haven’t been good enough, but people saying “it’s no better than it was under the Lemsagams”…… Please. You cannot reverse years of neglect in 3 months. Little things are being done that show we’re moving in the right direction. Things like putting a step by the edge of the hill between the car park and the Rocky might not seem like much, but it shows the club want to make Boundary Park a better place to visit. Having samosas and a can of Vocation at half-time on Tuesday didn’t make up for the fact that we were 2-1 down, but it did make for a more enjoyable night overall. Making what small changes they can in the short term indicates that the current board want to do things properly in the long term. It’s going to take time, but Christ am I happy to be writing favourable reviews of the food at the ground while bemoaning our defensive mistakes instead of having to critique Barry Owen’s club statements about why a stand being shut isn’t the club’s fault actually but it’s too complicated for you plebs to understand. The club has been getting pissed and shat on by absolute shite merchants for years. The Rothwells want to be our salvation. Let's give them the time to be. See you at Maidenhead.

Written by Arlene Finnigan

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