Saturday, 30 March 2019

Worst display since Lambert arrived

Saturday 30 March 2019, Ipswich Town 0 Hull City 2 - Championship, Portman Road

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

How many Americans?

Basketball, Liga Nationala Grupa Rosie
CSU Sibiu 70 CSM Oradea 72
Att: c.1,500 (at Sala Transilvania)

A bonus to our Romanian football trip was to get a chance to watch top league basketball, the home team started in first place but soon found themselves behind to the visitors.

Towards the end of the game the visitors found themselves 12 points ahead as the home fans got angry and started to have a go at their own team - it worked!

The home team decided to play with just 90 seconds left and found themselves within one point of the away team with just seconds left on the clock, however a pantie was conceded at in the end the home team could not get back on terms.

Football in Heaven - Romania - part 2

"Football in Heaven 3" - 21- 25 March 2019
Transylvania - Romania

Sunday 24 March 2019
Another 9.15am departure to get to our first game at 11am, once on the coach we were told the game had been changed as the local FA recommended the game we were now heading to, under an hour later we found ourselves in an empty town square, a walk through an arch and we found ourselves at a local sports ground, modern clubhouse and changing rooms, and on one side was a couple of rows of plastic seats, out in the open. as both teams were mid table not sure why this game was being recommended - we soon found out.

Romanian IV Liga (Sibiu County)

ACS Unirea Miercurea-Sibiului 3 (Roman 36,71, Albean 62)
AS LSS Vointa Sibiu 0

Att:155 (at Stadionul Orasenesc-Miercurea)

Just before kick off the away fans arrived from Sibiu, and they were loud, colourful and in good spirits, beer was on sale from the back of a car and they quickly purchased a few cans to go with their bottles of local spirits.

Then the surprise - a programme- however it was produced by the fans of the away team - for those who must have a programme, they also produce for their home games. the programme was A5, 4 pages and colour with a cracking picture of another Sibiu club FC Solimii Sibiu from the days of communism.

The woman giving out the programme was able to give us a brief history of the club, they had been a top division club but had gone bust and ended up in the lower divisions, however their fans had stuck by them and they had a large group with them today plus fans from another top league club who had come along to support them.

So Vointa had great fans, their team looked physically fit and looked the part but they also seemed to be a team of individuals and in the end were easily beaten by the home team.

We then set off for a ground many of us had been looking forward to, as it was in a town that had once been voted the most polluted in Europe!

Romanian IV Liga (Sibiu County)

AS Copsa Mica 1 (Getner 2)
ACS Paltinis Rasinari 4 (Nasta 37,45, Chirila 40, Ganea 73)

Att:116 (at Stadionul Orasenesc)

The ground was large, oval shaped and I guess once had a cinder/shale running track round it. Changing rooms and the groundsmans house were on one side and on the other was a few rows of open seating on crumbling concrete supports.

Around the ground were a umber of now disused factories, all with large chimneys and across the railway line from the ground were blocks of eastern European/ communist style housing blocks - football wise , the game was ruined by a card happy Ref, and just before the break he sent off one of the visitors from a second bookable offence - diving! Looked a bit harsh from where were sat. even with 10 men, the away team had little problem holding on to the win.

We then had 45 minute train to the beautiful Transylvania city of Sighisoara, visiting the small village of Beirtan on the way.

Another brilliant trip, with Emmy our top Romanian and helping make it a great weekend, many new friends made a big thank you to Peter and Steve for inviting us on another great East European adventure.

Football in Heaven 3 - Romania - Part 1

"Football in Heaven 3" - 21- 25 March 2019
Transylvania - Romania

Another great trip with our superb World Soccer guide - Emmy - these sort of hops are not for those who must have top league football or watch 4 to 5 games a day - it is about scenic/ quirky grounds, plenty of time for culture and mixing and socialising - this trip was truly international as well as us British, a large group of Norwegians, two French, a Belgian, Pole, Dane, some Romanians - all transported around in a our coach with the first 4 nights based in Sibiu ( 10 minutes from airport) and then the last night in the heart of Transylvania - Sighisoara

As usual - (along with 2 others) I turned up late and missed the first two games - from all accounts the location of the first game ( a bonus) was basic but the game on Friday had an amazing rickety wooden stand.

Saturday 23 March
Left our hotel for our 11am game, and visited the ground of ACS Paltinis Rasinari - the Arena Rasinari, we then arrived a few minutes before kick off at our first game ( enough time for our Norwegian friends to empty the local off license of most their stock!

Romanian IV Liga (Sibiu County)

FC Cisnadie 13 (Cotofan 4,72, Dragomir 23, Cocos 33, Coman 36,42, Bratima pen 48,87, Andrei 66, Rodean 76,86,89, Anghel 80)

AS Armata Sibiu 2 (Trasca 12, Raulea 45)

Att:84 (at Stadionul Textila)

Best ground we were going to visit, a well built and impressive wooden main stand plus uncovered seating on the far side plus an electric scoreboard - a ground kept in very good condition, however football wise the game was very one sided, but at one stage it was 1-1 and the visitors second goal was an impressive chip of the keeper.

Two of the home goals would have beaten most keepers. Low crowd but we were made very welcome and supplied with a free beer at half time.

The afternoon game would see two Division 5 sides play however this was Romanian Cup tie, the home side were only playing their second game since the winter break, imagine the ground is covered by snow most of the winter as on the other side of the road was a ski lift.

Cupa Romaniei - Faza 3

AS Cindrelul Gura Raului 2 (Ruse 16, Damaschin og 19)
AS Silvatex Orlat 1 (Topîrcean 17)

Att:198 (at Stadionul Comunal)

The ground was like another we visited last year, with the ground jammed in between the mountain and the river. the ground was new with the clubhouse/changing rooms only being used for the second time. One open wooden stand stuck at the bottom of the mountain with a cage around the pitch. A number of us climbed up the hill to get a good elevated view of the game.

Local derby and a cup match meant the game was scrappy and the second half saw some impressive diving/screaming and play acting.

Afterwards we were asked to stay to share a cold buffet with both teams plus enjoy cups of the local spirits and then we found time for a penalty shoot out between the English, Norwegians and the home team players.

It was then the short drive back to Sibiu, to get tickets for the top league basketball game