Author Topic: The Wurst is yet to come : generally jaundiced jottings from German jaunts.  (Read 4325 times)

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JCFC

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An overcast morning meant that the Autumn colours did not glow as they had recently in Yorkshire, but they were sufficiently varied to be attractive even so. There was an added bonus, as the slight haze lent Frankfurt, not normally the most appealing of cities, an almost  romantic appearance when seen in the distance across the fields. A mediaeval Florentine, roused from half millennium of slumber, might have thought he was nearing San Gimignano. But hang on, this is supposed to be about football...

The Friday Regionalliga matches were out of range, so it was one step down to Oberliga level for

Friday 26th October 2018
Hessenliga
FC 1931 Eddersheim   1   v   2   SV Bad Vilbel
Adrian Kokott (Limburgerhof); Julian Kuhn, Jonas Isulay

There was time for a visit to the pleasant clubhouse before heading out in search of an evening meal -  Bratwurst once again: what a pity that the Germans have not discovered decent British cuisine such as pie and peas or ... erm ... the Hamburger.

Herr Kokott is tall, slim and fairly young-looking, despite having borrowed Desperate Dan's razor. He rapidly collected Brownie points - long sleeves and a handkerchief put him well in credit. This was slightly eroded when a couple of early attack-stopping fouls - one each way - drew free-kicks, but not the word of warning that would have been the minimum in the NCEFL and above.Each keeper had one decent save to make, Herr Kuhn raced down his line to stop a minor spat developing, but towards half-time play became scrappy, with numerous free-kicks. Eddersheim had two of these in attacking positions, the first being headed wide, the second fired just over.

The first half had been fairly even, but Eddersheim had a definite territorial advantage in the second period, which was unfortunate for JCFC, whose vantage point was towards the other end.Herr Kokott reappeared in short sleeves. What he lost in Brownie points, he gained in freedom of his arms and he was soon able to reach for his yellow card for the home number 8, another following on the hour for the Eddersheim number 5, accompanied by a gesture of illicit use of the arm.Eddersheim took the lead soon afterwards. There was a yellow for a Bad Vilbel defender, but within minutes his side had launched a rare attack, culminating in an excellent finish on the turn. The winner came on 78 minutes in splendid style, a cross beyond the far post being touched back first time for a colleague to bury it. Eddersheim had one late chance, but put it wide.

Herr Kokott  moved well, though not an obvious fan of working wide and controlled the match effectively in the expected German way - that is to say without seeming to lead the game. A steady, unspectacular performance, which did the job well enough.

On the 20 minute walk back to the station, Eddersheim seemed to be taking its role as a dormitory town seriously - not that there had been much sign of life two hours earlier.
« Last Edit: Sat 27 Oct 2018 06:24 by JCFC »

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JCFC

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It was up two levels for

Saturday 27th October 2018
3. Liga
SV Wehen-Wiesbaden   0   v   0   FSV Zwickau
Eric Müller (Bremen); Lukas Benen, Simon Rott.

Wehen was originally a club from a small township in the Taunus, but rose through the ranks. In 2007 their ground was unsuitable for a short-lived promotion to the Zweite Bundesliga, so they moved to a new stadium in the nearby city of Wiesbaden, amending their name accordingly. Despite creating a new (rather pedestrian) anthem, the crowds -on this occasion 1830 - leave most of the stadium unoccupied. Zwickau, meanwhile - a town in many areas as grey as the team's shirts - have been upwardly mobile. The town is known for being the birthplace of Robert Schumann ... and the Trabant.

Herr Müller was promoted to the 3.Liga list in 2016 as part of a job lot of three unrelated Müllers, one of whom has this year been promoted to the Zweite Bundesliga list. Referees on the third and second division lists act as assistants on the league above as well as refereeing in divisions below, so they normally receive just eight games per season at their official level, nine if they are lucky. This was Herr Müller's third of the season - and oddly his second at Wiesbaden.

The officials were in long-sleeved yellow shirts, Herr Müller pushing his above the elbow, but retaining the black trim. He is quite tall, fair-haired and broad-shouldered and was to have a straightforward first period: a warning for a tug, a correct yellow for a late slide and a quiet word for something said when a team-mate was penalised - all to Zwickau players. Even so, the home captain, from his viewpoint as goalkeeper, wanted a word at the break.

Wehen came close soon after the restart, courtesy of a deflection which looped over the keeper, but safely out for a corner. It was apparent that Zwickau were content with what they had and their foul count increased, with three more yellows along the way. On 86 minutes one of the fouls was in the penalty area. There was jubilation in the home camp, but to a neutral it was no surprise when it was saved. Herr Müller had done a decent job of chivvying players along, but might possibly have added a couple more minutes at the end.

Herr Müller's sprinting is effective rather than elegant -he has to wind himself up to get going - but he was always on the spot, with use of reverse gear to adjust position. His lateral movement, by no means a given in Germany, was particularly impressive. His decisions appeared accurate and his general demeanour less detached than in many of his peers, in a way that pleased JCFC, but may not be what his lords and masters are expecting.

Two steps down again this afternoon!

PS: Two further things added to JCFC's confusion about regulations.
The first was when a trainer was warming up 6 subs in the corner.
The second when a player from each side collided in the goal area and were both required to leave the pitch after treatment.
I shall have to do some swotting!
« Last Edit: Sun 28 Oct 2018 09:16 by JCFC »

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Yellow was again the officials' colour scheme at

Sunday 28th October 2018
Hessenliga
SpVgg 03 Neu-Isenburg   1   v   5   SG Barockstadt Fulda-Lehnerz
Sebastian Betz (Bad Soden); Martin Maienschein, Steffen Krah.

Until this Summer the visitors were known as TSV Lehnerz, a suburb of that splendid hymn-tune Fulda, but took over the first team of Borussia Fulda, who promptly resigned from the league, and they adopted the new name.

The features of the cheery referee had a strangely familiar look: had he been a little shorter and a shade less blond, JCFC would have sworn that he was Lee Hible's long-lost German cousin. (Do the Germans have a word for Doppelgänger?) As the match was played in light drizzle, we even had the Hible sweep of the rain from his hair. In the course of the match he had plenty of by-play with AR2, an older chap, with a lived-in look, whose signalling of offsides was desultory, but accurate. AR1 was a bright and eager-looking young man with prominent ears.

The match got off to a lively start, Herr Betz being grabbed by the shoulder by the home number 17 as his side were awarded a free-kick. Perhaps he thought it had been inside the penalty area. In the end it mattered not a jot as the free-kick was fired home. For Neu-Isenburg, that was as good as it was to get as the visitors took control. The home number 17 received a "no more" indication for a tug back before Lehnerz equalised on 28 minutes.A home defender received a yellow card for an attack-stopping trip before half-time.

A Neu-Isenburg defender made a hash of a header back to his keeper, but the attacker put the ball wide. Herr Maienschein flagged for a foul on 62 minutes, Herr Betz acquainting a second home man with his yellow card.The home keeper made a desperate lunge to turn the ball away, but  within 30 seconds the visitors had gone ahead - though a small posse of home players had questions they wanted answered. Neu-Isenburg had a decent spell, during which two yellow cards went to the visitors, but the last five minutes brought Lehnerz three more goals, the announcer sounding more lugubrious with each one.

There was much to like about Herr Betz's manner and amiable relaxed approach, though the waving of a card from a distance is not something that appeals. Even less so the interminable blasts of the whistle for the most minor things. The moment of controversy about the visitors' second goal apart, Herr Betz made refereeing look quite easy: why make it sound difficult?
« Last Edit: Sun 28 Oct 2018 20:51 by JCFC »

bmb

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Yellow was again the officials' colour scheme at

Disgraceful conduct from all concerned...
Hajrá Lilák. Csak a Kispest. Hajrá Magyarok! Hajrá játékvezetői csapat! Soha ne add fel

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Up three steps to a 2. Bundesliga match, with a 1. Bundesliga official - albeit one of the as yet lesser lights - in charge and long sleeves.

Monday 29th October 2018
2. Bundesliga
VfL Bochum 1848   3   v   3   SSV Jahn Regensburg
Martin Petersen (Stuttgart); Christian Gittelmann, Katrina Rafalski.

The switch to Winter Time on Sunday had encouraged the weather gods to switch to Winter temperatures. Arriving far too early, having overestimated the time the trip would take, JCFC was faced with a wait of 90 minutes before kick-off. Fortunately he was well provided with reading matter: a book and the morning paper; unfortunately it was too cold to take hands out of pockets to hold them. Herr Petersen and Frau Rafalski plodded their separate ways through their warm-up. Herr Gittelmann branched out at right angles with a long series of marvellous footwork, leaps and gyrations. If the producers of Strictly Come Dancing were watching, he would be a shoo-in for the next series.

It was the visitors who opened the scoring on ten minutes, a move from a corner ending with a header. Thereafter Bochum did the bulk of the attacking, without really testing the keeper -  until added time when they equalised with a powerful drive.

The seating plan had not indicated that the gangway next to JCFC's seat would see regular comings and goings of security men. So it was that JCFC was unable to say how on 54 minutes, with the Regensburg keeper about to take a free-kick, the next thing seen was a Bochum attacker 30 metres out on the point of rolling the ball into an empty net. The keeper had plenty to say when the goal was awarded, with a few colleagues in support - but there was no general sense of outrage. There was no doubt about Bochum's third, ten minutes later, as the visiting right back gave away possession, leaving the opposing winger to square the ball for another simple finish. Regensburg had a regulation penalty saved on 68minutes, but converted a second  -slightly dubious-looking from a distance - to make it 3-2 with a quarter of an hour to go. Bochum hung on until the 93rd minute, when Regensburg scored to earn a point.

Herr Petersen does not seem to be the most charismatic of officials, but refereed in a generally sensible manner, not looking for offences where none existed and keeping things moving well - even helping out with the checks at a late triple substitution. There were two clear-cut cautions to Regensburg, one in each half. A solid, unspectacular evening's work.

JCFC is not a fan of 20.30 kick-off, with 22.20 finishes, but was back in Gelsenkirchen to start thawing out before midnight, wishing that he had stayed in and watched the Regionalliga on TV. There may be a similar decision tonight - live in Wuppertal or a cup tie on TV.
« Last Edit: Tue 30 Oct 2018 09:05 by JCFC »

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Well, the die is cast! It remains very cold, with a biting wind, but a morning visit to C & A saw JCFC equipped with woolly gloves and an extra sweater. Wuppertal it shall be. After all, it is hard to resist the chance to see a referee named after an item of footwear. A figure to rank alongside tennis player Jack Sock, Slipper of the Yard, Evelyn Waugh's wonderful creation William Boot (or Jesse of that ilk for our Nottinghamshire friends) fifties man-about-town Algernon Winkle-Picker and exotic dancer Mandy Cornplaster. OK, the last two might be products of JCFC's fevered imagination - that's what comes of spending too long in freezing football grounds.

JCFC

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For a long time it seemed the wrong decision. Late trains,one being stopped and turned round two stations short of its destination, and heavy rain saw a soggy and unhappy JCFC arrive at

Tuesday 30th October 2018
Regionalliga West
Wuppertaler SV   2   v   3   Fortuna Düsseldorf
Alexander Schuh (Mönchengladbach); Torsten Schwerdtfeger, Cedric Gottschalk

The officials took to the field in yellow, and with black cuffs and collar looked very smart - sorry bmb! Herr Schuh is 27 and is fair-haired and slightly built. So too AR1 and a hand-changer to boot. AR2 was older, heavier, with an awkward gait and total commitment to his right hand.

From the off there were numerous bumps and spills -let's put that down to the conditions. Professional U-23 sides are normally pretty disciplined, but Fortuna's was well practised in the art of making the most of any contact to win free-kicks, as Herr Schuh in time came to realise.. The rain grew even more intense and on the quarter hour those spectators standing in the open were invited into the stand. Most took advantage, but the ultras and their **** choirmaster bravely stayed put throughout. Wuppertal did most of the attacking, but on 36 minutes, non-existent marking allowed Fortuna to take the lead. There were yellow cards within a minute for the home full-backs, the second leading to a free-kick at the edge of the area, which sailed into the net from a narrow angle. A splendid shot in stoppage time gave Fortuna their third.

Bmb must have been on the phone as the officials returned in black. Wuppertal soon had a handball appeal waved away - Herr Schuh reasonably deciding that the ricochet from foot to hand was inadvertent. On 55 minutes Herr Gottschalk raised his flag for offside; a second later Herr Schuh awarded a penalty. Herr Gottschalk briefly lowered his flag but thought better of it. Fortuna players drew the referee's attention and the decision was changed. Now it was Wuppertal's turn to protest. As all retreated for the offside free-kick, Herr Schuh went and spoke to his assistant, returning to reaward the penalty, duly converted by Wuppertal. A challenge by the home number 10 sent an opponent through the air. It looked a clear yellow, but he went through a whole rigmarole of praying gestures before it could be administered - he was of Italian stock after all. Good interplay and a fine shot led to Wuppertal's second on 71 minutes. A foul by the Fortuna number 12 brought a reaction from his opponent and a lecture for both. Wuppertal had two clear chances, putting the first wide and the second over the bar.  The third was stopped by a foul, leading to some milling and a red card for the Fortuna 4. Wuppertal pressed hard, one attack producing four blocks in the goalmouth, but could not find the equaliser.

It had been the least straightforward of the five matches watched. Herr Schuh had moved well,used his whistle sensibly and not done too badly, but without quite convincing in terms of authority.

Happily the rain had finally relented and an uncomfortably brisk walk to the station enabled JCFC to catch the train with seconds to spare.

NB The **** replaces a word indicating that the young man was without a shirt. Or 'baht top as they don't say on Ilkley Moor.
« Last Edit: Wed 31 Oct 2018 20:24 by JCFC »

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The officials took to the field in yellow, and with black cuffs and collar looked very smart - sorry bmb!

Naughty step for you... The only thing yellow looks is vile!

Bmb must have been on the phone as the officials returned in black.

You know it
Hajrá Lilák. Csak a Kispest. Hajrá Magyarok! Hajrá játékvezetői csapat! Soha ne add fel

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The ground was just a short walk from the hotel ,but  it was as well that I had set off 55 minutes before kick-off. The ticket had a plan of the ground, but no indication of the appropriate entrance. I found what seemed to be the right one, only to be turned away by a steward, who directed me to the opposite corner of the ground, which entailed a roundabout walk through the streets - and a police checkpoint . Once there it became apparent that the steward had been wrong, so the trek back had to be undertaken, meaning that there was no time for food before

Friday 23rd November 2018
2. Bundesliga
SpVgg Greuther Fürth   3   v   2   1.FC Magdeburg
Markus Schmidt (Stuttgart); Manuel Bergmann, Fabian Maibaum.

Having hoped to see an up and coming young referee in charge, I was slightly disappointed when Herr Schmidt was appointed. True, he did once merit that description, when he was the youngest referee in the top leagues, but that was two decades or so ago. He was promoted to the 1. Bundesliga in 2003 and is currently the longest serving member of that list, without ever hitting the heights, averaging just over ten matches a season, only partly explained by an injury. From photos I had formed the impression that he was fairly small, but in reality he is pretty tall and thin. (A similar surprise had occurred many years ago when Harry New made a rare appearance at Leeds Road and was much taller than he appeared on television.)

Greuther Fürth is an established club at this level and have had a good first half of the season, while newly-promoted Magdeburg are in danger of speedy relegation.

Herr Maibaum was quickly in action with a flag for a foul within the first minute; not to be outdone, Herr Bergmann followed just 30 seconds later. The early stages saw some nice imaginative touches, but they came to nothing, thanks to good defensive work - and occasional not so nice touches. Midway through the half, however, Magdeburg twice came close within seconds, first an attacker was within inches of getting his foot to a cross and next a defender was back in time to clear a ball rolling goalwards. It was against the run of the play when a rapid attack saw the home side go ahead on the half hour, but they then enjoyed a good spell. The Magdeburg number 11 was called for an exchange of views when showing dissent but seemed to come out on top, having, if not the last word, definitely the last flouncing gestures. The Fürth winger lofted the ball over the onrushing keeper, but saw it slip just off target. It was the opponents' tricky winger whose run and cross set up the equaliser on 39 minutes.The home number 15 received a yellow card before the break for hauling down an opponent.

Magdeburg went ahead on 48 minutes with an excellent run and finish. Extended holding by the Magdeburg number 6 drew a free-kick but not the expected card. On 71 minutes a Magdeburg attacker had run clear of the defence when he went down, seemingly clipped from behind. Herr Schmidt raced to the spot to show a yellow to the home number 38. If this was intended to settle matters, it did not succeed both sides, for different reasons, being horrified at the verdict. Greuther Fürth were then denied by a good save and had penalty appeals for handball waved away. A leaping save by the home keeper turned the ball for a corner; the home number 17 was cautioned for dissent towards Herr Maibaum. On 87 minutes Fürth won a free kick a few yards short of the penalty area. Before the kick was taken Herr Schmidt insisted that an attacker standing on the 6 yard line come back to an onside position - and the kick was fired home for the equaliser.There followed gripping last few minutes, with both sides looking for a winner. Dissent earned the home number 29 a yellow card. The home keeper tipped a shot over the bar, while at the other end a header hit the side netting. In added time a corner. was headed home to give Fürth a winner they scarcely deserved. Substitutes and staff.raced across the pitch to the opposite corner to celebrate. Herr Schmidt  headed towards the centre, taking no action ... And after some seconds blew the final whistle. The Magdeburg number 6 was understandably not impressed with this  and received a yellow card as I left in search of sustenance.

For most of the game it had.not offered many problems and Herr Schmidt had not been greatly exercised. His manner was relaxed, but he managed to be there or thereabouts throughout. His style, though, was not totally convincing in either consistency or authority and the end of the match left much to be desired - common sense or copping out?
« Last Edit: Sat 24 Nov 2018 21:54 by JCFC »

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A late-running train meant a missed connection in Treuchtlingen, leading to the discovery of a memorial  stone. On the 23 February 1945, as part of Operation Clarion, Treuchtlingen was one of the railway junctions to suffer a heavy American bombing raid. As the raiders' approach was  discovered the top priority was to move a munitions train into the safety of a nearby tunnel. People who could not make it to a bunker took refuge in the station underpass, where a direct hit resulted in the loss of some 300 lives.

The day's destination was Eichsttät, a small town with an important ecclesiastical history and a present-day Catholic University, leading to the sight of a man of a certain age experiencing the difficulty of climbing over the seats in the stand while wearing a cassock. It has a handsome centre and would make a good stop for a stroll and a coffee - provided that you bore in mind the lugubrious PA announcer's claim that the local traffic wardens are always glad to treat visitors to a parking ticket - of the penalty variety.

And so, not before time, to the game

Saturday 24th November 2018
Regionalliga Bayern
VfB Eichstätt   0   v   3   FV Illertissen
Patrick Hanslbauer (Zirndorf); Philipp Eckerlein, Christoph Stühler.

The home side has made is way up through the league and a great point was made of the fact that they currently top the league - dizzy heights indeed. With Illertissen in the lower half of the table, a home win seemed assured.

AR2 was a hand-changer, AR1 was not..Eichstätt forced a good save from the keeper on 10 minutes, but it was the visitors who took the lead direct from a free-kick on 17 minutes and put another chance just wide shortly afterwards.A couple of visiting players were spoken to - number 29 for two fouls, number 23 for childishly delaying a throw. Midway through the half an Eichstätt player took a free-kick, aiming at an opponent who had not retreated far enough. Herr Hanslbauer  was luckily able to indicate a rolling ball. On 27 minutes he called an excellent advantage, returning to caution the Illertissen number 18 for the very late challenge. Two minutes later the home keeper came out to collect a high ball, but an attacker beat him to it to double the lead. They came close to a third, hitting the post, before their number 30 was cautioned for a stray arm. Eichstätt did manage a late chance, but had looked poor in the first half.

They emerged for the second half with the air of a side on the receiving end of a hair-dryer, and their number 4 was cautioned for a high foot. In attacking, however, they left gaping holes at the back and Illertissen's third came all too easily. In a repeat of the first caution, it was the home number 33 who saw yellow after advantage had been played. The visiting keeper had one decent save to make, but the home side's efforts subsided. Three further yellows were shown, one to the visitors,two to Eichstätt..The teams have a match this coming weekend, but  then the Winter pause means that they then have to wait until March.

For me, Herr Hanslbauer - another operating below his pay grade, having been promoted to the 3rd Division for this season - put in an impressive afternoon's work, receiving not only handshakes but several pats on the back from the losing side. His triage had been very accurate, with sensibly restrained use of the whistle and open body-language. His movement was good and he used his reverse gear to good effect. It would be nice to think that at 28 he might move higher still - but that is probably the kiss of death.7 yellows is possibly quit e a lot by English standards, but here represented a referee doing his job accurately and well... and "you ain't seen nothing yet!" ...

« Last Edit: Sun 25 Nov 2018 21:37 by JCFC »

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"... and "you ain't seen nothing yet!" ..."
Here we are dangling, waiting for the next episode.

JCFC

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"... and "you ain't seen nothing yet!" ..."
Here we are dangling, waiting for the next episode.

Sorry to leave you in that precarious position, Microscopist, though when you say "we", ah hae ma doots. Be that as it may, you may well find, to adapt the old adage, that it is better to dangle hopefully than to be let down with a bump.

When a new stadium was opened in Mainz a few years ago, the old ground was not sold for development and is still used by the Under-23 side, which is where I went for

Sunday 25th November 2018
Regionalliga Südwest
1. FSV Mainz 05 ll   2   v   2   TSG Balingen
Dennis Meinhardt (Flieden); Patrick Werner, Jeffrey Euchler

The officials did not look particularly prepossessing as they warmed up, but once into their blue tops with long sleeves and black cuffs the assistants appeared very smart - and their subsequent performance, complete with slick hand-switching, was pretty impressive, particularly in the case of AR1 - though some 20 hours had passed before I twigged that I had seen him referee in the Hessenliga as recently as May. The referee's short sleeves did nothing to offset a slightly insipid facial appearance, which made him look a decade older than he actually is.

The match began with a number of unnecessarily long and loud blasts, and though Herr Meinhardt did manage to introduce a few crotchets and quavers, the semi-breve remained the default note, with occasional blow-until-you-can't-breves - sometimes appropriately. Unfortunately we did not have much chance to view his man-management skills, the first notable foul, in the 12th minute, being a definite yellow card offence, accepted as such by the offender, the visiting number 2. A deliberate trip with no attempt to play the ball saw the home number 20 follow him onto the crime sheet on the quarter hour. He did speak to the home number 17 for trying to delay a free-kick. It was not proving a quality match, being low on skill and high on both clumsy challenges and petulant reactions. Balingen had a distinct territorial advantage, but it was Mainz who came close midway through the half, a shot from a corner being cleared off the line by the defender on the far post. The Balingen number 3 was the next to see yellow, "legging-up" the opponent who had got away from him. On 27 minutes the Mainz number 17 ignored his earlier warning and blocked the taking of a free-kick, Balingen number 30 reacting with a barge. Herr Meinhardt issued cards number four and five, but not in a constructive way - more cooling chat as well would have been better. The Mainz coach was not a happy fellow by this point and AR1 had to go and calm him. Eventually Balingen played the free-kick forward and took the lead. The only other effort of note in the half was an overhead kick by Balingen that went just wide.

Mainz equalised early in the second half, then yellow number six went to their number 15. There was a great chance for the Balingen number 7, but he put his shot wide. A spat between the home number 16 and the Balingen number 18 was quickly nipped in the bud by AR1 and this time no cards were flashed. Just after the hour a Balingen player lay in the penalty area as a Mainz attack was cleared, AR1 raised a flag, thought about taking it down, but kept it up - proving a distraction to me as the ball was in the Mainz half by now as the whistle was blown. The next minute was curious as Herr Meinhardt jogged gently back to see to the injured player, ignoring his assistant, ultimately taking out a yellow card and walking back to the Mainz half, where it was shown to the home number 20 - to his apparent surprise - so the seventh yellow card was followed by a red. Balingen forced a good save from the Mainz goalkeeper, Mainz number 16 put a good chance wide, Balingen hit the post and yellow number 8 went to the Mainz number 33. The Mainz left-back was injured and had to be helped off the field, temporarily leaving his side with nine men. This was the cue for a Balingen foghorn of a certain age to set up a chant of "TSG" - strangled in infancy as Mainz ran clear within seconds to take the lead. EVEN a miserable old blighter like me was moved to laugh out loud. Strangely none of the Balingen contingent seemed to find things quite so amusing. Two yellows were flashed a minute later, the Mainz 16 tuging at a shirt, the Balingen number 6 responding with his elbow to the stomach. The Mainz keeper made a couple of good saves. On 84 minutes it was the turn of an infant to instigate a chant of "FSV" with similar unwanted results as Balingen headed an equaliser from a corner. Yellow number eleven went to the Mainz number 14 before Mainz were wide with a great chance in what turned out to be the last kick of the match. Balingen players gave the usual handshakes to the officials, Mainz headed straight down the tunnel.

Normally one would expect a match with 11 yellows and 1 red to have provided the sort of entertainment afforded by gladiators of old, but this was just an annoyingly petty affair. Herr Meinhardt had little real hope of imposing discipline on recalcitrant players, but though the yellow cards were justified, the manner of their delivery did little to help matters.

And so to Saarbrücken for the night (and a delicious ragout of goose leg in wine with noodles.) The plan was to attend the Regionalliga match on Monday evening - or night, with a 20.15 kick-off - but with rain threatened, another decent meal in prospect and the match live on TV, nobody with any sense would make the trip.
« Last Edit: Tue 27 Nov 2018 20:08 by JCFC »

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But then I have rarely been credited with having much sense, so it was off to the station for the train to a rainy

Monday 26th November 2018
Regionalliga Südwest
FC 08 Homburg   4   v   0   VfR 08 Wormatia Worms
Tobias Fritsch (Frankfurt); Sascha Kief, Joshua Zanke.

Again, a 3rd Division official was parachuted in. Given that the oldest male referee on that list is 32 (the two females are older) it was surprising to see a 40 year old emerge to lead the warm-up. He had a strong build and appearance, with jutting jaw and protruding posterior, his fair hair fighting a losing battle against the expansionist inroads of his forehead. He is, in fact, 28. At the toss he seemed to possess a very cheerful disposition.

The two teams lay immediately below the two in the previous match in the fair-play table - very close to the bottom - so possible mayhem might have been expected. Homburg went ahead in the second minute when a tame effort appeared to pass through the Worms keeper, who did, however, save a much more dangerous one soon afterwards. A series of ricochets on 17 minutes left a homburg attacker with a great opening, but he blasted over from close in. Worms, not unusually towards the lower end of the league table, came back, but they too lifted their best chance over the bar, before having a free-kick fisted away and putting a header wide. The Homburg boss was rather excitable and Herr Fritsch had a firm word with him on 33 minutes - the only disciplinary sanction the half required.

Again the half began with a Homburg goal - this time from a rather more emphatic header. The home keeper made a couple of good saves but on 72 minutes a barge in the back gave Homburg a penalty: the fouled player finished some distance outside the area, but Herr Fritsch's decision was instant and not disputed. The penalty made it 3-0 and another, conceded by the keeper on 84 minute, led to the fourth goal of a game which had not been as one-sided as the score suggests.

Herr Fritsch is not the most elegant of movers and much of his work was done on the walk or at a gentle trot, but on the four or five occasiobns when a sprint was called for, he proved more than equal to the task. His manner was relaxed - in a game that suited that approach - and the match was enjoyable. This is his third season in the 3rd Division, which can often be make or break time. In England there is little doubt that he would be upwardly mobile - assuming that he can cope with sterner tests - but German requirements are rather different, it seems, so we will have to wait to see how he fares.

The bus up towards the ground had stopped running by the time the match finished, but the walk down through the dark streets and across the centre to the station was accomplished more easily than feared, so I was back in Saarbrücken by 23.15.

JCFC

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Friday produced a series of wrong decisions. Looking for another line to highlight on my dilapidated rail map, (how sad is that?) I planned to make the trip to Erben. Wiki et al suggested that there was plenty of interest for the visitor, so I decided to wait and see the sights. Arriving just before noon, I was greeted by the tolling of a deep bell, echoed initially by its cheeky young grandson from across the town. The youngster gave up at twelve, but grandad had greater stamina and continued. On reaching the centre it became clear that it had been tolling to mourn the fact that the town had died and gone to heaven. The sights proved few and were quickly seen, so a cafe would have been welcome, but the place was shut, except for an ice cream parlour. As the only thing coming to me from out of the skies was steady drizzle, Eberny Eis did not appeal (if yesterday's effort saw me heading for the naughty step, that will surely lead Whistleblower to cast me into some oubliette) so it was back to the station to wait 45 minutes for the next train. All of which did not do much for my mood and did not augur well for the officials at

Friday 8th March 2019
Bayernliga Nord
SC Eltersdorf   1   v   1   FSV Erlangen Bruck
Andreas Dinger (Biscofsgrün); Jan Dirrigl, Michael Bäumel.

Pouring rain on the walk from station to ground did not improve matters, but the clubhouse saved the day with Schnitzel, chips and salad. The decent programme was free. This was very much a local derby and drew a respectable (for the fifth tier) crowd of 350. Herr Dinger is approaching oldie status, being 30, the two assistants (both accomplished hand switchers) being 20 and 21. All three looked immaculate in their primrose shirts with black collar and cuffs.

The first quarter was spent almost wholly in the Bruck half - so much so that the home keeper was often mooching around on the edge of the centre circle - but it was not until midway through the half that Eltersdorf took the lead. There followed a couple of yellow cards for the visitors. Eltersdorf continued to create and miss chances, and were fortunate that a clear break by the visitors seconds before the interval came to nothing.

Bruck offered rather more in the second half, equalising on the hour when they lifted the ball over the keeper. The game became very stop-start, with the home team picking up two yellows this time. Bruck came close to a winner on 88 minutes, the home keeper diving full length to touch the ball away. As added time began a clash produced a minor flurry, quickly stopped by Herr Dinger, who consulted his assistant before showing yellow to a player from each side.

For much of the game Herr Dinger's movement was not greatly tested, but when it was, he was not found wanting. One throw in the first half saw neither referee nor assistant keen to make the decision, but otherwise his triage was very good. He did whistle unduly long and hard for some mundane offences, but Germans seem to like that. His carding technique involved flashing the card at a player some distance away, but again, that seems to be the custom. He did maintain good control and used his smile well to maintain pleasant relations with the players.

The match having begun at a civilised 19.00, I was back in Bamberg before 22.00.
« Last Edit: Sat 09 Mar 2019 08:35 by JCFC »

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All three looked immaculate in their primrose shirts with black collar and cuffs.

Primrose! I'll leave a cushion for you on the naughty step!
Hajrá Lilák. Csak a Kispest. Hajrá Magyarok! Hajrá játékvezetői csapat! Soha ne add fel