One of the published articles I wrote for AFC Liverpool’s Matchday programme
Wigan Robin Park FC will make the short trip to Merseyside to face AFC Liverpool in a fixture that reads like a mini premierleague game. Of course, Wigan Athletic versus Liverpool FC is a tie that we are more familiar with, though for some players it is something of a de ja vu, albeit a diluted one. Much like us, Wigan Robin Park also have a connection with their more illustrious namesake, whom they regularly welcome to their home ground of Robin Park. The Lactics reserves play their home games at the nearby stadium. It is this ground in which Liverpool reserves played against Wigan in the 2005/2006 and 2006/2007 seasons.
Wigan Athletic reserves played Liverpool FC reserves at Robin Park in 2005/2006 with Paul Willis named as a substitute. Our current number one was unfortunate to not make it on to the field that day, though it is of course understandable when you consider his competition for a place on the day. The hero of Istanbul, veteran Polish keeper Jerzy Dudek used the reserve fixture to make his comeback from injury and played the whole 90 minutes, leaving his young understudy on the bench.
Liverpool won 2-0 with goals from defender Zak Whitbread and Ramon Calliste and stand out performances from Danny Guthrie, a Bolton and now Newcastle premier league midfielder who played solidly before getting injured, and promising centre back Jack Hobbs. It was a day in which Robin Park was packed with talent, with the big names of Guthrie and Dudek coming up against a Lactics side featuring Josip Skoko and David Connelly.
The 2006/2007 reserve fixture was again held at Robin Park and is also notable for featuring a current AFC player. Ryan Wignall was named in the squad but, like Paul Willis the previous season, was an unused substitute. Liverpool won 2-0 again, this time with goals from Paul Anderson and Besian Indrizaj, the widemen combining well to see off the Lactics. It was because of the ruthless efficiency of the wide players, Anderson, Indrizaj, El Zhar and Guthrie bossing midfield that Wignall was left to watch on. Doubtless both our ex-LFC stars will play a key role this time round and will be looking forward to the return fixture where the spotlight will be firmly upon them rather than their former teamates.