Friday, January 06, 2017

West Ham United FC

West Ham United 0 Manchester City 5 - FA Cup, 3rd Round

West Ham is in the London Borough of Newham in London. In the west it is a post-industrial neighbourhood abutting the site of the London Olympic Park and in the east it is mostly residential, consisting of Victorian terraced housing interspersed with higher density post-war social housing. The area has been one of the most deprived in the country and as part of the New Deal for Communities programme it forms, with neighbouring Plaistow, a regeneration area. A settlement in the area named Ham is first recorded as Hamme in an Anglo-Saxon charter of 958 and then in the 1086 Domesday Book as Hame. The earliest recorded use of West Ham, as distinct from East Ham, is in 1186 as Westhamma. It is formed from Old English 'hamm' and means 'a dry area of land between rivers or marshland', referring to the location of the settlement within boundaries formed by the rivers Lea, Thames and Roding and their marshes. West Ham is located 6.1 miles east of Charing Cross.



The club was founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks and reformed in 1900 as West Ham United. The club has traditionally played in a claret and blue home strip with white shorts. West Ham competed in the Southern League and Western League before joining the Football League in 1919; they were promoted to the top flight in 1923, when they also played in the first FA Cup Final at Wembley. In 1940, the club won the inaugural Football League War Cup. West Ham have been winners of the FA Cup three times, in 1964, 1975, and 1980, and have also been runners-up twice, in 1923, and 2006. The club have reached two major European finals, winning the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1965 and finishing runners up in the same competition in 1976. West Ham also won the Intertoto Cup in 1999. They are one of eight clubs never to have fallen below the second tier of English football, spending 59 of 91 league seasons in the top flight, up to and including the 2016–17 season. The club's highest league position to date came in 1985–86 when they achieved third place in the then First Division. Three West Ham players were members of the 1966 World Cup final-winning England team: captain Bobby Moore and goalscorers Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters. Celebrity fans include Petch and Iron Maiden.



The team's supporters are famous for their rendition of the chorus of their team's anthem, "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" introduced to the club by former manager Charlie Paynter in the late 1920s. A Pears soap commercial featuring the curly haired child in the Millais' "Bubbles" was well known at the time. The child resembled a player, Billy J. "Bubbles" Murray, from local schoolboy team, Park School, where the headmaster was Cornelius Beal. Beal was known locally for his music and rhyme and wrote special words to the tune of "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" whenever any player was having a good game. “I'm forever blowing bubbles, Pretty bubbles in the air. They fly so high, nearly reach the sky,Then like my dreams they fade and die. Fortune's always hiding, I've looked everywhere ... I'm forever blowing bubbles, pretty bubbles in the air.”



The London Stadium (originally known as the Olympic Stadium) is a stadium in Stratford, at Marshgate Lane in the Lower Lea Valley. It was constructed to serve as the home stadium for the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, hosting the track and field events and opening and closing ceremonies. It was subsequently renovated as a multi-purpose stadium, with its primary tenants being West Ham United Football Club and UK Athletics. However, the stadium operators arrange many other events for the stadium. The stadium site is on former industrial land between the River Lea (which re-joins the Navigation below Old Ford Lock), the City Mill River, and the Old Pudding Mill River; parts of the Bow Back Rivers. To make room for the stadium, the already partially obstructed Pudding Mill River, a short channel of the Lea which ran from the west side of the stadium south-eastwards across the stadium site, was filled in.



This Pieman had not intended making his initial visit to the London Stadium until May 2017 when Tottenham Hotspur visit in the Premier League. However, a colleague was unwell and unable to attend the match. I was able to offer my services as a late replacement and in doing so, recompleted my set of all current Premier League and Football League venues (“the 92”). I travelled to Stratford and completed my pre-match journey by going a further one stop east on the Docklands Light Railway (Canary Wharf branch) to Pudding Mill Lane. This station is a convenient alternative to the main Stratford station where you have the additional clash with Westfield shopping and is less than ten minutes walk from the London Stadium.



Having grabbed (just) a couple of daylight photographs outside the stadium and purchased match programmes, I was able to have a wander around the site. I was surprised to see that here was still construction work taking place around the Olympic Park but can see that there are a number of long term projects. Pudding Mill lane station being one such building site. I decided to get something to eat and swerved Westfield by opting for some decent fish and chips near Maryland station. It had started to rain by this time and sitting in this restaurant provided a good interlude. When returning to the stadium it was not possible to continue through the Westfield Centre as this route is blocked. Spectators are directed around the centre. Once inside the stadium I was able to take some more photographs and reflect on my only previous visit (2012) for a track and field evening at the Paralympics.



My seat for the match was in the lower tier along the side; tenth row near the half way line and the view was superb. History was being made as this was the first ever FA Cup-tie to be staged at this venue. City led 3-0 at the break; Yaya Toure starting the rout by firing a debatable penalty into the bottom left corner. Havard Nordtveit bundled Bacary Sagna's teasing cross into his own net, just 146 seconds before David Silva's composed tap-in. Shortly after the restart, Sergio Aguero cheekily diverted in Toure's shot and John Stones headed in his first Blues goal as the visitors comfortably saw the game out. I felt that Manchester City could have stepped up another gear if necessary. Health and Safety is clearly taken seriously at this venue and many of the home supporters willingly joined in with an emergency evacuation from late in the first half through to full time. My walk back to Stratford station was slower than previously experienced due to congestion but still only took around twenty minutes. An interesting if unexpected evening out in East London!










Attendance: 56,975
Admission: £25:00
Programme: £3:50 (100 pages)
Tea: £2:30 (not for me at those prices)

Monday, December 19, 2016

Leiston FC

Leiston 5 Harlow Town 2 - Isthmian League, Premier Division


Leiston is a compact town close to the Suffolk Coast, between Aldeburgh and Southwold. Boasting a leisure centre with indoor Olympic size swimming pool & gym, a large supermarket and a variety of caravan and campsites. Leiston is also the closest town to the Sizewell Power station and Sizewell Beach. The town was actually an ancient Saxon settlement and you can see signs of this at Leiston Abbey ruins. Once a very wealthy Abbey, this fell into disrepair after the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century, but is now a stunningly beautiful ruin and home to a national school for young chamber music players. Leiston also offers the oldest purpose built cinema in Suffolk, which celebrated its centenary in 2014. The opening of a railway line in the 19th century brought a new kind of engineering prosperity to the town, and in 1862 Richard Garrett was employing over 600 workers at his Leiston Works engineering plant. Steam engines, munitions, shell making lathes and box making machines were all engineered here but it finally closed as a commercial business in 1980. Unfortunately, the railway line closed for passengers in 1966, so the nearest station (Liverpool Street line to Ipswich, then Lowestoft line from Ipswich) is a couple of miles away in Saxmundham.


The football club was established in 1880 and was initially closely linked to the Richard Garrett Engineering Works, playing at the old Recreation Ground adjacent to Park Hill, with players changing in the White Horse Hotel or at the Works Hall. They reached the final of the Suffolk Senior Cup in 1892, 1897 and 1904, losing on each occasion, although they did win the Junior Cup in 1895. In 1894 they joined the North Suffolk League, which they played in until 1909. Between 1912 and 1914 they also played in the Ipswich & District League. After World War I the club was reformed as Leiston Works Athletic and rejoined the Ipswich & District League and the East Anglian League. In 1935 the club was reformed as Leiston. In 2001 the club stepped up to Division One of the Eastern Counties League and in 2004 was promoted to the Premier Division. The club reached the final of the Suffolk Premier Cup three times in succession between 2006 and 2008, but lost on each occasion; 3–2 after extra time against Lowestoft Town in 2006, 8–0 to Ipswich Town reserves in 2007, and on penalties to Needham Market in 2008. In the same season they beat Brentwood Town on penalties to win the East Anglian Cup. In the 2008–09 season the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time after beating Conference club Lewes 3–1 in a replay. In the first round, the club was drawn at home to Conference North club Fleetwood Town. After drawing 0–0 in front of a record crowd of 1,250, they lost the replay 2–0. In 2010–11 Leiston won the Eastern Counties League Premier Division, earning promotion to Division One North of the Isthmian League. This was followed by winning the title and achieving back-to-back promotions, moving up to the Isthmian League Premier Division.



To reach Leiston by public transport can be something of a challenge. Therefore, I was particularly pleased to offered a lift to this match. The journey via the M25, A12 and A14 was straighforward but it had been foggy all morning and this was not lifting. Accordingly, visibility was not great. The nearerer we got to Leiston and kick off time, it was not unreasonable to question wether to match would be able to take place.



On arrival at Victory Road, we were immediately struck by the friendliness of Leiston and in particular the people running the football club. Everyone I spoke to had a kind word and it is clear to see that the football club is very much a focal point of this relatively small Suffolk community.



In terms of spectator facilities, there is a covered seated stand running along one side of the pitch. For some of the opposite side, there is a covered terrace and this met at the halfway point by the extensive clubhouse building. Which contains a decent bar and other refreshment facilities, an impressive boardroom and the changing rooms. A separate block contains a smart club shop and the administrative office. Behind one of the goals is a small covered terrace. Oddly you can make out the words 'no standing' on this structure.



It was in the fine clubhouse that this Pieman revelled in a couple of pints of Jolly Holly (4.3%) from the St Austell Brewery - a lovely festive experience! After this pleasant interlude it was time for the match. Harlow Town, having made a good fist of it following their return to this division, started well and for quite a time took the game to their hosts. This endeavour was rewarded when they took the lead. Gradually Leiston came back into the match and by half time had taken the lead, the first goal having taken a wicked deflection.



It was clear to see why Leiston are having are having such a good season and I was particularly impressed with their passing and movement. The final score of 5-2 perhaps underlines this, but Harlow Town will look back on a game where they did not always get the rub of the green. Amazingly for the latter stages of the game, the fog cleared which was good news for those driving home. It will be interesting to watch the progress of Leiston, a further promotion will be to the Conference (2nd tier) which would be remarkable.






Attendance: 224
Admission: £10:00
Programme: £2:00 (48 pages)


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Mossley AFC

Mossley 7 Prescot Cables 2 - Northern Premier League, Division One North

Mossley is a small town and civil parish in Tameside, Greater Manchester, England. The town is in the upper Tame Valley in the foothills of the Pennines, 3 miles southeast of Oldham and 8.9 miles east of Manchester. The historic counties of Lancashire, Cheshire and the West Riding of Yorkshire meet in Mossley and local government wards and church parishes correspond to their boundaries It is the only parished area of Tameside, having had a parish council since 1999. Mossley - alongside neighbouring Stalybridge and Uppermill in Saddleworth - helped launch the annual Whit Friday Band Contest, an internationally known brass band event. This came about when the three towns held unconnected brass band events on 6 June 1884. From 1918 to 1950 the town gave its name to the Mossley constituency which returned a Member of Parliament; for most of the period, the MP was Austin Hopkinson, who was notable for being elected as an Independent candidate. 


The football club was formed in 1903 as Park Villa and initially competed in local competition. After just one season the club's name was changed to Mossley Juniors. In 1909 they became Mossley AFC and moved to their present ground Seel Park in 1912 from their previous site at Luzley. The early years of Mossley AFC were spent in the Ashton & District League culminating in a superb season in 1914–15 when Mossley won the League, Manchester Junior Cup and the Lady Aitken Cup, progressing to the South East Lancashire League in 1915, the Manchester Amateur League in 1916, the Lancashire Combination in 1918 and then were founder members of the Cheshire County League in 1919, finishing runners up in the first season in both League and League Cup and returning to win the League Cup the following season beating Sandbach Ramblers in the final. After more than fifty years in the Cheshire League, the Lilywhites were elected to the Northern Premier League in 1972. During the late 1970s, Mossley grew into a formidable force in non-league football. They won successive League titles in 1978–79 and 1979–80 and finished runners-up in each of the next three seasons. With manager Bob Murphy at the helm the club also saw its greatest moment. May 1980 saw the Lilywhites at Wembley Stadium in the final of the FA Trophy where Mossley lost 2–1 in the final to Dagenham, their first defeat in 31 games.


Having caught the 09:00 train from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly and strolled across to Manchester Victoria, I was well placed for my onward journey to Mossley. The trains to Mossley are hourly, but This Pieman was inspired to catch an alternative service to Stalybridge (one station before Mossley) in order to visit the splendid buffet bar on the eastbound platform. I had ventured here previously some years back and was keen to repeat the experience as the place is a shrine to railway memorabilia, real ale and (although not eating) some fantastic food. It was rather busy but the service was excellent and I was able to enjoy a pint of Hopton (4.4% £2:90) from the Thornbridge brewery. 


After this brief interlude, I was able to catch the next train to Mossley and five minutes later I was walking to the ground. Seel Park is reported as being less than half a mile from the railway station and I agree with this. However, what I had not expected and was not prepared for, was the very steep climb up to the ground. My efforts were rewarded when I eventually spotted the floodlights. By this time I was on level ground, which in this vicinity is at a premium. 


Seel Park is one of those traditional type venues that make the groundhopping hobby so rewarding. There is a covered seated stand that straddles the half way line, a covered terrace directly opposite and a similar terrace behind one of the goals. The opposite end of the ground is uncovered, but is raised and like the other areas, affords a good view of the playing area. The location of the stadium is such that the surrounding Pennine hills provide a tremendous backdrop. On a gloomy overcast day, as it was for my visit the mist on the hills formed quite a picture but am glad it stayed on the hills! Having taken ground photographs and chatted to the friendly officials on the gate and selling match programmes, I adjourned to the clubhouse where the early Watford v Everton match was being shown on the big screen. It was here that I entered the festive mood and delighted in a pint of Rocking Rudolph (4.2% £3:00) from Hardy & Hanson. 


I have always enjoyed the occasion when I have visited clubs in the Northern Premier League and this match was no exception. However, I was not expecting the avalanche of goals that I was to witness. The home side scored five without reply in the first period. There were a further four goals after the break, but these were shared. At times Prescot Cables held their own in this encounter, but overall Mossley, in particular Mike Fish (4 goals in the first period) were far too strong.


The walk back down to the station was a lot quicker than the earlier assent. The 17:41 train was delayed by 14 minutes but did go on to Bolton, where I was staying. I really enjoyed my trip to Seel Park and recommend a visit to anyone interested. The facilities, friendly welcome and magnificent setting all combine to offer a great experience. The abundance of goals was a bonus of course, as was the real ale in the clubhouse. When Mossley played at Wembley in 1980, this Pieman was there. Little did he know that decades later he would be visiting Mossley to watch a match at their ground.












Attendance: 130
Admission: £8:00
Programme: £2:00 (32 pages)
Pie, Peas and Gravy: £2:20

Thursday, November 24, 2016

AS Monaco U19

AS Monaco U19 2 Tottenham Hotspur U19 1 - UEFA Youth League, Group Stage

The Phoenicians, and after them the Greeks, had a temple on the Monacan headland honouring Hercules. The principality took its name from Monoikos, the Greek surname for this mythological hero. After being independent for 800 years, Monaco was annexed to France in 1793 and placed under Sardinia's protection in 1815. By the Franco-Monegasque treaty of 1861, Monaco went under French guardianship but continued to be independent. A treaty made with France in 1918 contained a clause providing that, in the event that the male Grimaldi dynasty should die out, Monaco would become an autonomous state under French protection. Monaco has a tourist business that attracts as many as 1.5 million visitors a year and is famous for its beaches and casinos, especially world-famous Monte Carlo. It had gaming tables as early as 1856. Prince Rainier III, born on May 31, 1923, succeeded his grandfather, Louis II, on the latter's death, on May 9, 1949. Rainier was married, in 1956, to American actress Grace Kelly and they subsequently had three children. Their son, Prince Albert Louis Pierre (b. 1958) was heir to the throne. Immensely popular, Princess Grace died on Sept. 14, 1982, of injuries sustained in a car accident near Monte Carlo. 





Association Sportive de Monaco Football Club was founded in 1924 and plays in Ligue 1, the top tier of French football. The club's traditional colours are red and white, and the club is known as Les Rouges et Blancs. The team plays its home matches at the Stade Louis II in Fontvieille. Monaco played at the original Stade Louis II since its construction in 1939. In 1985, the stadium was replaced with the current iteration, built on a nearby site consisting of land reclaimed from the Mediterranean, which has become a recurring feature of the stadium's seaside surroundings. The stadium is named after the former Prince of Monaco Louis II and houses a total of 18,500 supporters. In December 2011, 66.67% of the club was sold to the Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev while the club were bottom of Ligue 2.




Having attended both of Tottenham Hotspur’s away fixtures in the UEFA Youth League so far, this Pieman was keen to complete the set with a visit to AS Monaco’s training centre. I was already running late due to incompetence at Nice railway station, which meant I had to wait over an hour for a train. On arrival at Monaco there was just enough time to head over to the main stadium to obtain programmes for that evening’s main match before heading to the earlier fixture.


The Stade de La Turbie is situated close to the village of La Turbie, which is not in Monaco but France. A factor to consider is that this location is at the top of a mountain overlooking Monaco and although there is a local bus service to the village, our assembled group took a taxi to the summit. An added complication here being that our taxi was registered in Monaco and was not allowed to pick us up after the match. For this purpose we were able to secure a French taxi to get us back to town afterwards.




On arrival at the ground an hour before the scheduled 3pm kick off. We were unable to enter the stadium straight away. We were issued with our free match tickets but had to await the arrival of two policemen whose job it was to facilitate the body search of spectators. Once inside the stadium I immediately realised that this is a venue where spectators are suffered as an unwanted necessity by the host club rather than seen as a benefit. There are toilet facilities but these are outside the viewing areas and back at the ground entrance. Refreshment facilities are limited to a vending machine. 



Worse was to follow with the revelation that you would either be watching the match through a fence or at best looking over the top of one. Behind the far goal is a small uncovered stand, which presumably meets regulations (the club’s reserve team plays their home fixtures here). Along one side is a flat standing area. On the opposite side is where the respective benches are located (adjacent to the mountainside) and the remaining end houses the changing facilities and administrative block. All in all this is an extremely unfriendly place with some obstructive personnel. An attempt to obtain a team sheet was met with contempt although this Pieman is extremely grateful to Dean Rastrick (a Tottenham Hotspur official) for helping and arguing the case for the visiting supporters.

Assembled Englishmen

The match saw ten men AS Monaco overcome their visitors from London, having gone behind in the second period. Before the match Spurs had to make a late change as their goalkeeper was hit in the face by a ball during the warm up. Having received medical attention, he was unable to play. The replacement to the original line-up had to be approved by both clubs and UEFA. Our return taxi was waiting at the end of the match and we were soon heading down the slopes to Monaco and another match!









Attendance: ?
Admission: Free
Programme: None (team sheet just about obtained)

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Hadley FC

Hadley 1 Hertford Town 2 - Spartan South Midlands League, Premier Division

Arkley is a village in the London Borough of Barnet. It consists of a long village strung out between Barnet and Stirling Corner, roughly centred on the "Gate" pub, and composed of the ancient hamlets of Barnet Gate, Rowley Green and Arkley. It is located 10.6 miles north north-west of Charing Cross. The origins of the name Arkley are unclear; it is first recorded as Arkleyslond in 1332. The name Arkley appears to mean "woodland clearing by the ark or by the place where arks (chest, bin or other wooden receptacle) are made. Arkley Windmill was in use by 1806. It is marked as "corn" windmill on the Ordnance Survey of the 1860s. From photographs, it appears to have had only two of its original sails by the 1890s, by which time it may have been powered by steam. It ceased to be a functioning mill during World War I, and was restored in 1930, but not as a working mill.



Hadley Football Club was founded in 1882 and started playing in the North Middlesex League. After the Second World War they joined the Barnet and District League and, from about 1947, played at Wrotham Park at the Barnet end of Kitts End Road. In the 1977–78 season the club joined the Hertfordshire Senior County League, starting in Division Three and winning that division in their first attempt. The club also moved grounds to enable them to progress to the Herts Senior County League and moved to a pitch with better facilities in St. Albans Road, Barnet. The club stayed in this league until 1985 when they joined the Southern Olympian League and moved grounds again to play at the Woodside Park Club, Southover, Totteridge. The club moved grounds again in 1992 to Brickfield Lane in Arkley, Barnet and re-joined the Herts Senior County League in the 1999–00 season. The club joined the Spartan South Midlands League, and the club was accepted into Division Two for the start of the 2008–09 season. The club gained promotion to Division One in their first season and repeated the promotion process again a season later.



In recent seasons Hadley FC has been unable to use Brickfield Lane for home matches and had been groundsharing at Potters Bar Town FC. However, with the required ground improvements in place, they are now back at base. To reach the ground by public transport, it is possible to get a bus direct from either Potters Bar or Barnet. The bus route passes the end of the private road that is Brickfield Lane. I was fortunate to be offered a lift to this match and on arrival at the ground, having parked up, a refreshment opportunity was realised. The Gate public house is conveniently situated just across the road from the ground. This establishment was doing good trade and the Doombar was in good condition. Three handpumps in total, the other offerings being Abbot and IPA from Greene King.



I believe it is fair to say that this venue is still a work in progress but the club is to be congratulated on what has been achieved so far. The main club building sits back from the playing venue and houses the changing facilities, the boardroom and refreshment area. It was here that we opted to sample the rather large hot dogs on offer just as you enter the building. Our Polish correspondent Kevin Morris is often featured on social media with a large sausage and this Pieman pulled of a coup by persuading Tottenham Hotspur legend and current Hadley FC manager Micky Hazard, to pose in similar fashion.

Micky Hazard with hot dog

The revamped venue has concrete hardstanding around the entirety of the pitch. Along the side where the dugouts are situated is a covered seated stand. On the opposite side of the pitch is a covered two step terrace, which although basic in appearance, affords an excellent view of proceedings. There are conifers situated along this side of the pitch which along with the more established trees behind one goal and those further back near the road, give the ground an enclosed feel. For a relatively small venue there appears plenty of car parking available immediately outside the clubhouse and a larger area just beyond.



The move back to this venue has encouraged visits from groundhoppers and it was good to catch up with Luke, Lee and Bob. On a progressively chilly afternoon, despite the bright sunshine, we opted to watch the match from the covered terrace as this was the least windy, thus warmer, part of the ground. A competitive match ensued with the home side leading before conceding a penalty. From where I was standing I thought the resulting red card was extremely harsh and did affect the rest of the match. Yellow at best was this Pieman's verdict and possibly not even that. However, referee Kennedy Kikulwe decided otherwise.



Ten men Hadley were up against it for the majority of the second period. Their goalkeeper was superb and it is to his credit that Hertford only scored once. Hertford are a form team at the moment and this victory lifted them to 3rd in the table with four games in hand on leaders London Colney who are fourteen points ahead. This match ended just before 5pm and I think Mr Kikulwe may be in need of a new watch for Christmas as this was excessive. However, this fine November 5th afternoon perhaps deserved an encore and with Micky Hazard, Giant Hotdogs and Sussex Hopper, who needs fireworks?





Attendance: 83
Admission: £6:00
Programme: £1:00 (20 pages)
Tea: £1:00
Giant Hot Dog: £2:50

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Bayer Leverkusen U19

Bayer 04 Leverkusen U19 3 Tottenham Hotspur U19 1 - UEFA Youth League, Group Stage

The heart of what is now Leverkusen was a village called Wiesdorf, which dates back to the 12th century. The entire area was rural until the late 19th century, when industry prompted the development that led to the city of Leverkusen, and to its becoming one of the most important centres of the German chemical industry. The chemist Carl Leverkus, looking for a place to build a dye factory, chose Wiesdorf in 1860. He built a factory for the production of artificial ultramarine blue at the Kahlberg in Wiesdorf in 1861, and called the emerging settlement "Leverkusen". The factory was taken over by the Bayer company in 1891; Bayer moved its headquarters to Wiesdorf in 1912. After asset confiscation at the end of the First World War, it became IG Farben. The city of Leverkusen proper was founded in 1930 by merging Wiesdorf, Schlebusch, Steinbüchel and Rheindorf, and was posthumously named after Carl Leverkus.



Bayer 04 Leverkusen was founded in 1904 by employees of the German pharmaceutical company Bayer, whose headquarters are in Leverkusen and from which the club draws its name. It was formerly the best-known department of TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen, a sports club whose members also participate in athletics, gymnastics, basketball and other sports including the RTHC Bayer Leverkusen (rowing, tennis and hockey). In 1999 the football department was separated from the sports club and is now a separate entity.


As is consistent with the UEFA Champions League, the respective U19 sides have a parallel competition. The venue for Bayer Leverkusen home matches is the Ulrich-Haberland Stadion. This venue is adjacent to the BayArena, the main ground for Bayer Leverkusen. The name of the stadium is a tribute to the former name of the BayArena.



This Pieman had already enjoyed a splendid lunch just up the road from the stadium at Brauhouse Janes. This culinary treat was to celebrate Andy Scott’s 50th birthday. The typical German cuisine was extremely welcome. After consuming a large pan of pork, potatoes, fried onion and sauerkraut, washed down with some fine German beer, there was little room for anything else.


On the way to the match, there was time to collect programmes for the evening match. This is always preferable abroad, as distribution is often erratic. The smaller stadium has a published capacity of 3200. Along one side there is a reasonably sized seated stand (covered in the central area). This is the side adjacent to the main stadium. The toilet and refreshment facilities are those of the main stadium.


There is uncovered terracing behind both goals and a small uncovered area of seating in one of the corners. The remaining side of the ground is not accessible for spectators but was used by the TV company broadcasting the match. Although segregation for supporters was in place, it was easy to watch the match from the main section.

Pat Jennings and Martin Chivers

For the third successive match in this tournament, the young Spurs side was not outplayed but ended the match defeated, this was despite taking a first half lead. Refreshment facilities were open for the duration. At the conclusion of the match it started to rain. With time to spare before the main event, there was an opportunity to sample more of the local Kolsh beer at a nearby restaurant.







Attendance: 783
Admission: Free
Programme: None (team sheet issued)