Sat 4th October 2008; KRC Mechelen v Mol Wesel; Belgian 3de Nationale; Res: 5-1; Att: 2000 approx; Admn: 10 Euros; Prog: 2 Euros;
I started the weekend off with a trip to Mechelen's other team, Racing, a ground I'd visited previously to see the reserves. Mechelen is a gem of a touwn with a fine grote markt and beguinage, only 20 minutes out of Brussles Eurostar terminal. The ground is situated to the North of the old town centre, conveniently close to the Anker brewery tap. This was Mechelen's first victory of the season and the five goals sent the vociferous crowd home happy dispite the biting wind. This is a typical old Belgian ground with a main stand with standing at the front and either side. There is a 10 storey block of flats overlooking one end and a covered terrace down the otherside. The other end seems to be used as a car park. 2 young lads sold programs by the turnstiles and the obligatory sausage and black pudding van was doing a steady trade.
Sun 5th October 2008; Kfc Duffel v Eendraacht Opstal; Belgian 4de Nationale; Res: 1-1; Att: 750 approx; Admn: 10 Euros; Prog: Free;
On Sunday we caught the bus from Mechelen for the 20 minute journey up to Duffel, home of the coat and bag, neither of which were visible on a day when the coat should have been compulsory. Luckily the bus dropped us off by the entrance and a pleasant hour was spent in the clubhouse sampling the wonderful Duvel ale. A 2 page program was handed out shortly before kick off. The ground doubled up as the local athletics stadium with an ample stand on the home straight and covered terracing opposite. The game itself was even with chances at either end and the 1-1 scoreline a fair result. Perhaps the most entertaining aspect was the sight of a shopping trolley holding a car battery which powered the assortment of air horns attached to it's sides.