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Home: Ground Hopping & Programmes: International Hopping:
31.10.08 to 02.11.08 Holland/Germany

 



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31.10.08 to 02.11.08 Holland/Germany Can't Post or

With The Wall having opted to stick to his previous booking despite being annoyed at missing Veendam we had a very comfortable weekend as follows (flew to Bremen with Paddy's Airways) :

Friday 31st Dutch Jupiler League (Eesrste Divisie) Veendam 2 FC Eindhoven 2 Admission 10 Euros. Crowd 3028 and programme 1 Euro.

Main aim of the weekend was to remedy a couple of serious gaps in our hopping CV, the first of which was Veendam, where we had arrived 23 hours late a few years ago followng a very late switch. Pleasant enough ground and at least not all the same size and shape stands as a lot of the new ones. Two large stands and smaller areas, partly standing, at the ends. Frankly the game was not up to much with Veendam playing vintage "Ray Wilkins" football at a pedestrian pace. Surprising therefore that we got four goals including the home side's late equaliser, which wouldn't have been significant had not a greedy Eindhoven player put an already goalbound shot in from about six inches and then been given offside ! Equaliser sparked a major protest from Eindhoven and we had the unusual incident of an already substituted player being shown the red card.

Saturday 1st 1400 Germany Division 3 Kickers Emden 1 Erzgebirge Aue 1. Admission 9 Euros standing. Programme 0.5 Euros. Crowd 3346.

Very bedraggled and bitty looking ground, with two smallish stands and standing along the sides and behind the goals, at one end in a virtual cage. Kickers Emden were surprisingly top of the new Third Division but certainly didn't play like it and desevedly fell behind to a goal from Aue striker Lukunku, who then contrived to get himself sent off in the second half. Emden's equaliser was worth the admission money alone as their sweeper hammered in an unstoppable shot from just outside the box after a long throw was not properly cleared. We were unexpectedly honoured to be joined by the eminent Mr D Hutchings, yet another well known hopping Baggies fan, at the end of his week long European tour.

Saturday 1st 1800 Germany Bezirksoberliga Weser-Ems Vorwarts Nordhorn 3 Blau Weiss Lohne 1. Admission 3.5 euros. Large A4 programme free. Crowd about 120.

Excellent "bonus game" in what sounds like quite a low league but is in fact Level 6 after the recent reorganisation (the new league names in different areas take some fathoming !) . Very smart new looking clubhouse and a very welcome stand (260 seats ) on what was now a wet night. Excellent catering as well with large and very tasty Frikadels on offer as well as coffee for 1 Euro with free choccy bikkies. Best game of the trip and the scoreline could have been a lot closer but for two superb saves by the home keeper.

Sunday 2nd November 1045 Oberliga Hamburg USC Paloma 1 Meiendorfer SV 3. Admission 3 euros. Programme free. Crowd officially 220 but actually many more.

There are now very few shale pitches left in leagues as high as this (Level 5) but this is one of them. No spectator facilities other than a few seats on the far side and the obligatory refreshment hut selling bratties. Game was not that bad, with top of the table Meiendorf showing touches of class despite the difficult surface, which behaved very much like the original artificial surfaces with excessive bounce in particular, and I think Stan's assessment that "this is football but not as we know it" was a little harsh.

Having taken the precaution of parking already at St Pauli we travelled to and from this match by U Bahn.

Sunday 2nd November Bundesliga 2 St Pauli 1 Nurnberg 0 Admission a swingeing 40 euros but beggars can't be choosers and we had to get tickets in advance as St Pauli is usually "ausverkauft". Crowd 23201. Programme 1.60 although there was also a free sheet which called itself "Stadion Zeitung".

Main object of the trip and a terrible disappointment. St Pauli is a nice traditional ground (at the end of the Reeperbahn for the uninitiated) and crowd atmosphere was good but the game was awful. Nurnberg are normally either in the Bundesliga or challenging to get back there ; this season they are neither and lacked ambition, deservedly losing to an Own Goal, which just about summed up the match. We saw St Pauli last year at Augsburg in an equally drab match, and am I alone in thinking their sh*tty brown coloured kit is dreadful ?

...... and so back to Bremen for a nicely timed 1925 flight to an unbelievably quiet Stansted.

 
 


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