Leeds Look to Bounce Back Against Troubled Wigan – by Rob Atkinson


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John Stiles: scored the only time Leeds beat Wigan Athletic

Next up for Leeds after the disappointment at Blackburn is a team we’ve met in the league before – but we’ve never beaten them, we’ve never actually managed a draw – we’ve never, shameful though it might seem, even managed to score a league goal against these giants of the game. Then again, we’ve only played them twice in league games.

It is of course the mighty Wigan Athletic we’re talking about, denizens of a town best-known for pies and rugby league, in that order – with the football club still the poor relation of those three preoccupations. Still, the Latics are not to be sniffed at these days – they come to Elland Road as FA Cup holders, still campaigning on the continent in the rarefied atmosphere of European football and of course they’re one of those big boys lately of the Blessed and Stardusty Premier League, with playing staff and parachute payments to match. So we’d better not under-estimate them then, right? Right.

Wigan have actually been a little disappointing so far this season, given high expectations of a swift and trouble-free return to the top-flight. The early optimism seemed justified when they travelled to Barnsley on the opening day and stuffed them 4-0. The Championship settled back and prepared to watch the Cup-holders disappear over the horizon at the top of the league, but it hasn’t worked out like that. Results since then have been patchy with bright spells and Wigan will need to buck up their ideas soon if they’re not to endure a long and frosty winter. The bleak situation culminated this week with the dismissal of manager Owen Coyle, so yet again Leeds are to face a team bereft of a permanent manager, and looking to prove a point or two perhaps.

Leeds have historically fared best against the Latics in Cup competitions, winning at the old and decrepit Springfield Park in the FA Cup 6th Round of 1987 and then achieving two creditable draws against notionally superior opposition in the 2006 competition, Wigan going through on penalties after the Elland Road replay. But all was misery in the league for United in our only season of level-par competition with the Lancastrians, the Pie-munchers running out 2-0 winners in LS11, and dismissing us 3-0 in the return. The aim will have to be the old Wilko battle plan for every campaign – let’s get our first goal, first point, first win – ideally all of them in the same game. Such will be the objective on Wednesday night when a crowd swelled by some freebie tickets should provide plenty of vocal backing – nothing gets a Yorkshireman (or woman) so ready and raring to go as summat for nowt.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Leeds may well have just a little too much for their trans-pennine foes in this latest meeting. Late injury/recovery news will have a big say in how matters turn out – but barring any unforeseen calamity (fingers crossed Rossco is fit) – I can see Leeds winning by the odd goal in three. And who knows – as that seasonal magic begins to gather about us all, maybe Luke Varney will grab a goal as he did at Bolton, to win another Roses battle. Stranger things have happened.

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7 responses to “Leeds Look to Bounce Back Against Troubled Wigan – by Rob Atkinson

  1. To be honest rob I wouldn’t be supprised if Ross mac hasn’t got a injured arse the ammount of time he was either knocked on it or fell on it on Saturday at blackburn , I’m a fan of his but he should have realised after the first 15mins that he would get nothing from that ref , just my opinion …
    The picture above brings back a few memories , me and my mate were on the algarve when Leeds played wigan in the last 8 of the FA cup and a few beers were downed that night , when the tickets went on sale for the semi against coventry me and the same lad walked from dewsbury the night before , we joined thousands of others outside elland rd for the night and managed to get two tickets at 10am the next day and then walk the 10 miles back to dewsbury,,, oh happy days

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    • I was at Featherstone Sports Centre after playing five-a-side – I retreated upstairs to the table-tennis area, sweaty as hell and extremely, more than usually, malodorous – and sat there with a radio clapped to my ears and my nerves shredded. It’s hard to believe it’s over 26 years ago – as you say, happy days (though I’d rather have been on the Algarve…)

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      • Mr orange

        Yeah it was a bettet setting than fetherstone lol , did you get a ticket for the semi rob ? I went to ER this fathers day for lunch and a stadium tour conducted by brendan ormsby ,, I said to him I’ve got to ask you brendon , he cut me short and said , I know , why didn’t I kick it in the stand !! , he then said it was the question every Leeds fan asks him , but what is forgotten is his goal against wigan he said

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      • I was at the semi, yes – it was actually the day after I started going out with my now wife. I nearly got crushed 2 years before we all realised just how dangerous Leppings Lane really was, but it seemed pretty perilous that day at times. All that paled besides the result though. I’ll never forget how insanely apeshit we went when Keith Edwards scored at our end to make it 2-2. And I’ll never quite forgive Brendan Ormsby. I’ll probably write it up one day, when I’ve got over it. But it’s only 26 years ago, so it’s still a bit raw…

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  2. What bemussed me was his claim to score in 6th round against wigan when it was john stiles and mickey Adams ,,, and yeah the crush in that end was there for all to see , I was in the seats in the side stand watching the lads being pulled out, I had actually been in the leppings lane end in the semi against man u 10yrs before , it was the only ticket I could get my hands on and it was in the man u end ,, I was 13 yrs old and I nearly got crushed against the barrier IN THE MAN U END …..

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