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If you were one of those who thought the Xanthi game a big ‘n,
Perhaps you ought to wait until you’ve seen today’s at Wigan,
For this could well turn out to be an interesting duel,
Against a team new to the Premiership, under their manager, Paul Jewell.
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The hosts take to the field in their striped shirts – blue and white,
And the new boys in the top flight have certainly found an appetite,
The afternoon is grey but there’s a smashing atmosphere,
The travelling fans expect three points and they make it crystal clear.
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Mr. Rennie blows his whistle then the game starts off quite brightly,
And this is certainly a fixture that we must not take too lightly,
Wigan bring in Stefan Henchoz to stiffen up their defence,
And this will be a hard one so, “Let battle now commence.”
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Many so-called experts have the hosts already doomed,
But, suddenly, they’re attacking us and immediate danger loomed,
They were massed inside our area showing tremendous perseverance,
Their corner’s very well defended with another timely clearance.
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A tremendous ball from Southgate, of the very highest order,
Picked out the young James Morrison, our talented marauder,
This pressure brought the Boro a couple of corners in a minute,
Though both were cleared, the Boro are still, most definitely, in it.
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In just the thirteenth minute came a free kick from Xavier,
Which had the fans ecstatic and relishing the atmosphere,
Viduka got a great touch, to justify his selection,
Then Yakubu read it brilliantly and his finish was perfection.
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The ball was ‘killed’ within an instant and then with venom it was thumped,
The ‘keeper was left helpless with his shoulders clearly slumped,
“Unlucky thirteenth for Wigan?” our commentator gushed,
“And now that we have got one, will our Wigan hosts be crushed?”
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Rochemback gave the ball away and Kavanagh took possession,
Since going just a goal behind our hosts have seemed to freshen,
The ball came well inside the box: they’re showing great perseverance,
And Boro then got off the hook with a last-ditch Ugo clearance.
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Some of Southgate’s passing has been above the call of duty,
And his next one – wide to Morrison – was another absolute beauty,
The young lad picked out Viduka then the danger did diminish,
For Mark then shot above the bar for a disappointing finish.
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We’ve a 3-2 situation with the Boro on a charge,
Pogatetz ran for ‘miles’ with the hosts’ goal looming large,
But, with Yak darting through the middle, he simply knew not what to do,
The chance then went, with Pogatetz caught in ten minds, not just two.
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With Wigan striding forward, Roberts shows that he’s no mug,
And Ugo gets away with giving his arm a ’gentle’ tug,
We’re getting caught too often: don’t let anyone be deceived,
And when the attack is finally cleared, Schwarzer’s mightily relieved.
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Bullard’s on a charge now and he really is a flier,
Pogatetz pulls him back and gets a yellow from Uriah,
Then Boateng was embarrassed when the Boro were torn apart,
And the ref. refused a penalty and that broke the Wigan heart.
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The points then could have been assured from a Fabio ball sublime,
But Pogatetz somehow hit the bar, well into added time,
Towards Wigan this encounter slowly but surely is tilting,
Is this to be another case of the Boro, post Europe, wilting?
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Doriva’s on for Morrison, who has had a little knock,
And Wigan strive relentlessly, the Boro’s door to unlock,
If they lose they’ll go down ‘fighting,’ and they definitely pose a threat,
And Boro need a second goal for this game ain’t over yet.
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The Boro start the second half with the same eleven men,
But one has a genuine feeling they must display a greater yen,
Boateng and Rochemback must be certainly more involved,
If this difficult situation is to be convincingly resolved.
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After all we’re once more seeking back-to-back Premiership wins,
But, many opposing personnel are playing out of their skins,
Then Kavanagh’s dashing infield, into a massive Boro gap,
But Southgate tackled brilliantly and didn’t fall into the trap.
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In collision with McCulloch, ‘keeper Schwarzer took full brunt,
As the centre forward sought to meet a hefty Wigan punt,
But the Boro’s right hand side needs to be urgently addressed,
If the constant Wigan threat is to be finally suppressed.
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Viduka’s substituted, much to everyone’s surprise,
And Maccarone’s on as Wigan ‘fight’ to equalise,
Then Connolly was rested, but he’s done so very well,
Camara’s extra speed up front will probably cause us hell.
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It took but four short minutes for Camara to rejoice,
And the home fans celebrated with just one tremendous voice,
There was a hint of controversy, with a suspicion of handball,
But it was Ehiogu’s failed clearance that brought about the downfall.
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Camara got another ball and chose to have a bash,
And Schwarzer barely saw it as it passed him in a flash,
Hit with everything he had, it whizzed like lightning past the post,
One thing’s absolutely certain: Wigan haven’t given up the ghost.
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Schwarzer saved the Boro’s bacon when he stopped one on the line,
Though the deflection did suggest more by good fortune than design,
Then Boro forced two corners, from which Ugo put one wide,
And the final whistle sounded: we’d committed suicide.
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An opportunity for victory was so easily thrown away,
In yet another Boro, ‘less than positive’ display,
A ‘hangover following Europe’ is what many folk will claim,
But we must be firing on all cylinders in our very next big game.
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For it’s then we meet the ‘Black Cats,’ from just up the A19,
So McClaren must have them functioning like a well-oiled machine,
Sunderland have surely used up most of their nine lives,
So, from now until next Sunday, we need to sharpen up the knives.