After my recent excursion to Germany, it was back on home soil this weekend and a relatively local trip down the A51 to Alsager. This was due to the fact I was attending a Hallowe'en party in the evening and needed to be home rather sharpish. As touched upon, Alsager is not that far from home yet it is one of those grounds that I just haven't got around to visiting unitil today.

The Bullets now find themselves in the North West Counties Premier after being demoted a couple of years back due to ground grading. It is easy to see why the bureaucrats would do this (not that many seats you see) but I thought Wood Park was a decent wee set up. There is plenty of cover, admittedly mostly standing, with the social club/tea hut/changing rooms on on a higher level to the ground and you walk down a little slope to get to the pitch.

Today's opponents were Maine Road, from Manchester obviously, and it was a mid table clash but with Alsager thrashing rivals Stone 6-3 in midweek I was hoping for a similar goal fest today. Ahhh.

The game was complete crap as neither side could muster an effort which forced either goalkeeper into a meaningful save. There was lots of persperation but very little inspiration for the 39 hardy souls in attendance and the game was petering out to a drab 0-0 draw when, five minutes from time, Ian Maitland bundled in a cross shot from two yards to snatch the points for the visitors. The obvious frustration of conceding a late goal boiled over and a few moments later Alsager's Dean Williams was sent sent off for raising his hands to a Maine Road player after a clash in midfield.

Despite the very poor game a decent little tick and I was back in the house by 6.30pm.


Saturday 30th October 2010
North West Counties Premier League
Alsager Town 0-1 Maine Road
Attendance: 39

MSV DUISBURG (Schauinsland Reisen Arena)

Guten Tag! At last, here is an account of my recent grounds tour of Germany...lots to get through so i'll keep it brief!

Sunday 24th October 2010
Bundesliga 2
MSV Duisburg 3-0 Karlsruher SC
Attendance: 14,127

For the final game of my German jaunt, it was back north to the small town of Duisburg (pronounced Doosh-burg) and their clash with Karlsrurher. Once again the ground on the outskirts of town is pretty impressive. The MSV Arena (now the Schauinsland Reisen Arena)  was built as recently as 2004 on the site of the old Wedaustadion and has a capacity of 31,500 but was far from full today.

The game was an enjoyable one, well it couldn't be any worse than yesterdays, and the home side registered a comfortable 3-0 victory. After just 10 minutes, Benjamin Kerns tapped home from inside the box after a cross from the left. Julian Koch headed home from a free-kick cross on 61 minutes and the game was wrapped up when Senst Sefa Yilmaz fired the ball home from 25 yards after 77 minutes.

The only disappointment for me was that listed in the Karlsruher squad was a player called Matthias Cuntz, but he never played today. Would have been childishly funny to hear the crowd chanting his name!

All that was left was to return to Frankfurt and catch my flight home. It has been another enjoyable few days in Germany, so until next time Auf Wiedersehen!

Julian Koch hedas home for Duisburg (61)


Guten Tag! At last, here is an account of my recent grounds tour of Germany...lots to get through so i'll keep it brief!

Saturday 23rd October 2010
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-0 Schalke 04
Attendance: 51,500

After a heavy, but thoroughly enjoyable, night on the 'pop' in Osnabruck, it was a traumatic start to the day as the pre-booked train at 0630 was missed quite comfortably. We eventually made it to the station in time to catch the 0820 train but at considerable additional cost, so that last beer proved to be an expensive one! It was a long four hour train journey south to Frankfurt (327km) for today's game and the slight delay meant it would be a bit of a rush to get to the game, as we had to go into the city first and drop the bags off.

For the second time in four days i'd be watching Schalke, as they were the opposition for Eintract today. The  Waldstadion (currently sponsored by Commerzbank) like most top stadia in Germany, is impressive and the fans were very noisy behind the goal (where our tickets were). The ground even had its own resident eagle 'Atilla' who is the club mascot, making a change from the normal foam-filled buffoon.

The match was a complete 51,500 sell out and our tickets had to be acquired through a ticket-exchange website but i'm sure it would be worth the cost. How wrong. The match was complete and utter shite. On a freezing cold afternoon there was little to get the crowd excited as Schalke looked a shadow of the side they were in mid-week and Frankfurt, despite having most of the play were absolutely dreadful in front of goal. The game ended goallless. Fortunately i'm not one of these sad hoppers who have to return to a ground to witness a goal, but saying that i'd happily return to Frankfurt for some more beer!