Latics 0-1 Boro
Saturday 5th May 2007

Period, dot, point, spot, full-stop or whatever you want to call it.  That’s where we are, the end is near and we’ll be facing the final curtain somewhere around snake pass.  We called for more changes, we called for more effort and we got them.  We got them and they weren’t enough.  Whilst I applaud anyone who still has the faith to rely on last day mathematics, I can’t make the sums add up myself, anymore.

For the last home game of the Season, Latics decided serve up a précis of their whole season.  Indications that they can play football, that some of them do actually care about showing it mixed with the big boots and small hearts that have left the club floundering.  Overall we ended up with a flat performance without any real threat from either side.

Yet again Latics were the architects of their own downfall.  There’s been precious little to laugh at down at the JJB this season but the guffaw was audible when Stuart Downing slipped when lining up his blast from 20-odd yards.  The mirth turned to a more familiar feeling as the ball looped up in the air and the Latics defence watched Mark Viduka ghost (that’s if a man of that size is capable of ghosting) in at the back post.  It was a tap in for the Aussie and effectively game over, even at that early stage.

Of course the referee had missed the double touch from Downing, just as he missed the latter handball in the penalty area and down at Craven Cottage, Jewell’s beloved Liverpool made nine changes in a game that took Fulham out of our sights.  Elsewhere, the Argentinian picked up a brace that saw the Hammers waltz past our near friends and neighbours.

But none of those things matter, Latics lost this game because they had neither the guile or the guts to pull it off.  When relegation is confirmed it will be true to say that circumstances have conspired against Latics, but truer that to say that they have done nothing to deserve better luck.

So for the first time this season, Paul Jewell’s team is in the relegation places.  Only a win at Bramhall Lane next Sunday will give us a chance of staying in this league.  We’d then be looking for Man United and Liverpool to do us a favour.  At the end of the day you just can’t see it happening other clubs just want this division more than ours does.

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