This weekend was spent in the company of four other 'hoppers' taking in four Dutch games in two days...3 Eredivisie and 1 Topklasse. Thanks to the organisation of others who sorted out the notoriously difficult to obtain tickets (due to the Dutch ID card system) the hotel and transport, it was just a case of arriving at Schipol airport then enjoying the ride.....

12.30pm, Sunday 20th November 2011
ADO Den Haag 2-2 FC Utrecht
Attendance: 11,350

It was a very foggy trip on the the motorway from Deventer to The Hague and at certain stages it was quite worrying as to whether the game would be going ahead. Fortunately the fog had cleared by the time we reached the ground and there were no immediate problems.

The tickets had been secured through the Den Haag supporters club and upon arrival we had to head to the supporters bar to pick them up. The guy then proceeded to hand us some comps, which was a welcome gesture. In the supporters club there was plenty of Swansea City memorabilia on the wall and, in the ground itself, Welsh flags on display. I'm not sure what the link is but it certainly was bizarre.

Statue of Den Haag
legend Aad Mansveld
The Kyocera Stadium, as it is now sponsored, was opened in 2007, to replace the old Zuiderpark Stadium, and has a capacity of 15,000. It is a typical new build stadium and predictably it is out of town, in the middle of an industrial park.

Our seats were in an unreserved section of the ground, so we found ourselves sitting in close proximity to the Den Haag ultras. If Sepp Blatter thinks there is no problem with racism in football then he ought to pay a visit to this section of the Den Haag support as every time the black Utrecht forward went anywhere near the ball he was greeted with monkey chants. Very distasteful. The paradox though is that Den Haag had black players in their team, including one of their goalscorers.

The opposition today were Utrecht and the game was an absorbing encounter with two evenly matched mid-table sides. Utrecht took the lead when a corner was flicked on and Daan Bovenberg fired home at the back post.

Den Haag were deservedly level just before half time when Charlton Vicento was played through on goal to slot home the equaliser.

The homesters took the lead on the hour when an absolute thunderbolt by Lex Immers, from the edge of the box, nearly broke the back of the net. A glorious effort. With 10 minutes remaining Utrecht made it all square when Leon de Kogel scored from the penalty spot, after a handball in the box. The homesters had chances to nick the points but a draw was a fair result.

As the fog made an unwelcome return and began to descend over the ground, there were the first mutterings of whether the Excelsior game would be on and, more importantly, would our flights home still be going ahead?

Leon de Kogel equalises for Utrecht

Match highlights available via this link....

4.30pm, Sunday 20th November 2011
Excelsior 0-0 AZ Alkmaar
(Abandoned at half time due to fog)
Attendance: 3,500

This was a thrilling end-to-end game with lots of goalmouth action and fantastic displays of footballing skills. Total Dutch football at it's finest. Well it could have been for all that could be seen in the ground!

It was clear from the off that this game was never going to reach a conclusion and to be honest, it should never have started. Upon arrival at ground it was clear to see, or rather not, that this game had no chance.

From where we sat in the stand you couldn't see the other side of the pitch or the stand behind the far goal. The referee did start the game but when the ball was in play, once it crossed the halfway line it was anyone's guess as to what was happening.

Ten minutes before the interval, the fog became thicker and really the referee had no choice to bring the game to a premature conclusion. As is the way in Holland, the 2nd half will be played on Wednesday 7th December. Unfortunately I will not be there!

The view from my seat...absolutely pea soup!

Game over!

Match, err, highlights available via this link....

It was a very worrying trip back to Schipol Airport, as the fog showed no sign of relenting, and, with flights to the UK being cancelled all over the place, there was a growing sense of anticipation that we would not be going home. However everything turned out fine in the end and the plane was only delayed by about 20 minutes, bringing to an end another great weekend of hopping!

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