The Jam Factory – Kecskemet (Away) Review

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From my first days of (trying to) learn Hungarian I had become acquainted with the Kecskemet Jam Factory.  For some reason it played a central role in teaching Hungarian to foreigners in Soviet times (I learnt with Soviet material as opposed to learning in Soviet times I hasten to add).

With the complete absence of football teams in Hungary’s South-East periphery, this also represented the closest thing that Gyöngyi has to a home game further helped by having her Godparents put us up for the night of the game.

The Town

With Gyöngyi’s relatives living in the town and its relative proximity to Budapest, we have been to Kecskemet on numerous occasions (still no visit to the jam factory though).  It seems like a prosperous provincial city on the edge of Hungary’s famous great plain.  The great plain to me is a big expanse of land without hills or slopes, which is a beautiful in a way (possibly beyond my comprehension).  In many other ways, it is a featureless desert of grass.  Anyway until Szeged or Bekescsaba got promoted to the big time, I will refrain from talking any more about the Great Plain.

Kecskemet is home to a Mercedes factory so much like Győr has some German influence although not as readily apparent.  I like Kecskemet although I feel it is not going to get many visitors beyond German Mercedes workers given its position sandwiched between Budapest and the lovely Szeged.

Maybe the Jam Factory should open a visitor’s centre?

The Stadium

Soviet concrete bowl (small) with extra-large running track.  Fortunately for once our vision was not obscured by a safety fence or net.  Unfortunately, we were about 100 yards from the pitch and the same again from the other end.

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Worst news of the day – there was no refreshment stand.  The plague of Georgia had followed us to South Central Hungary.  Having just worked a six day week before jumping on a train to Kecskemet with seconds to spare (Gyöngyi breaking her 5km record in the process with a breathless dash from the office) and then realising that we (mainly me) had forgotten to buy train tickets, we were both in need of refreshment in addition to the bananas we had brought with us*.

After some pretty complex negotiations, it was agreed that once in each half, the stewards/security would escort MTK fans to the home section to meet their refreshment needs.  As such, it took a good twenty minutes for the away section to get itself into any sort of action.

I must point out that the building in the top right corner of the photo above is not a train station, which would make access to the stadium very easy.

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The Game

MTK were on a five league game winning streak and now hot on the heels of the thus far invincible Videoton (damn you Fejes Andras my ex-friend).  This felt like one of those games where the run was going to end.  Kecskemet had struggled to kick start their season losing the first four on the bounce before going five unbeaten and winning three of the last four including a win at previously unbeaten Paks last time out.  I just had a feeling about this one.

Vass Adam was back in the starting line-up which in my book is generally a good thing, but otherwise MTK were pretty much unchanged from last time out.  Torghelle finally seems to be springing back into life as he regains match fitness and had seemingly given MTK the lead when he his control and volley cannoned off the post with the keeper sprawling after about twenty minutes.  Torghelle continued to throw himself around much to the displeasure of an aggrieved home crowd (who were in pretty good voice).  Their mood soured further when the referee gave a penalty to MTK on the stroke of half time.  Bese Barnabas turned his man on the byline and was seemingly caught by the defenders trailing leg.  Ref pointed to the spot immediately and up stepped our man Kanta to stroke home the eventual winner.  Despite the protests of the fans, Kecskemet’s players did little protesting of the decision so it seems to be a fair one.  Hard to tell on this evidence…

 

Second half (and the arrival of sunflower seeds from the refreshment area) was very much one of grinding out a result.  MTK held the ball well and dropped in as the game progressed denying Kecskemet time and possession.  MTK always looked more likely for the second and if they had been a bit more composed on the counter, could have put the game to bed. As it was Kecskemet offered little, maybe one shot on target was all they could muster.

How are you feeling now, Andras?

 Fejes Andras started his first league game of the season for Vidi on Sunday.  They lost.  MTK close the lead to the top to three points and now have the league in their hands: a 100% record from here on in and a 6-0 victory against Vidi (to ensure a better head-to-head) and the league is ours.  Am I dreaming? 

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Dreaming enough that I have now got my blog up-to-date and wondering how I will be able to get to the San Siro next year. 

We go live from here on in!!  Hajra MTK!!

 

*Hungarian stewards/security guards are particularly suspicious of fruit and vegetables.  Both at Bozsik Jozsef and Paks, we had to work hard to get our carrots through the gates and Kecskemet were not too happy about our bananas (partially understandable).  Just a word of warning to anyone who likes raw fruit and vegetables at a football match.

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