O were my love yon Lilac fair,
Wi purple blossoms to the Spring,
And I, a bird to shelter there,
When wearied on my little wing!
How I wad mourn when it was torn
By Autumn wild, and Winter rude!
But I wad sing on wanton wing,
When youthfu’ May its bloom renew’d.
Except for May read early March as Scotland will still take another couple of months to warm up. Indeed the sun was shining and the first signs of spring were in the air as we made our fateful way to the Bozsik Jozsi. This time to be treated as guests in our own (temporary) home. Football (and much of life) becomes that much more pleasurable when one is under the rays of a gently warming sun.
My MTK scarf was safely tucked in my bag as we boarded the Number 42 to Tulipan utca surrounded by tens (well about ten) Honved fans. Police presence was distinctly minimal reflecting the quantity of fans and the good nature surrounding Budapest’s lesser derby.
Avoiding the main gate, we skulked around to the away end tucked away next to a large cemetry and a vast collection of flower shops. The burly looking security guards asked me to undo my coat. It seemed spring had brought romance into the air although he was not my type despite the rather seductive patting down I received. He even wished my speedy recovery in light of the cheap Chinese plastic cast on my left ankle. Nice chap! Gyongyi was having a less romantic explanation of what I will call the MLZS Fruit Security Policy.
MLSZ Fruit Security Policy
· Whole apples cannot be taken into the stadium;
· Apples must be cut into quarters (or smaller);
· Quartered (or smaller) apples cannot be placed into boxes;
· Carrots are acceptable;
· Bananas are questionable; and
· Irrespective of the above, any and all fruit is allowed into the stadium if you promise not to throw.
MLSZ says no healthy living.
Gyongyi promised not to throw the fruit so apples were allowed into the stadium, which was a great relief to my doctor who was concerned about whether he would no longer be required to stay away (Burnsesque).
As an usual move (probably due to the aged nature of MTK’s fan base), a small seating section was also arranged. We decided on standing on the beautiful concrete steps offering a very different perspective than that which we normally have from the home section. It also redemonstarted that this stadium is very much based on the Soviet concrete stadium (small) template despite the renovations that happened some ten years ago.
Tibi is back (see my first blog post – Hello Goodbye https://timmybacsi.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/hello-goodbye/) although he is actually called Peter and dislikes photos. Good to see him again though.
MTK welcomed back Hegedus Lajos, news of which was warmly received in the away section. The rest of the team had a familiar look to the week before which meant that Vass Adam and Horvath „the Doctor” Zsolt starting from the bench with Thiam and Csiki retaining their places after fairly disappointing games last week.
A „rousing” rendition of the Hungarian national anthem was blurted out on a speaker system on desperate need of an upgrade and we were off. Despite the various offers that Honved had put on for this game, the turnout was dissapointing. Neither a family day nor a ladies’ special (Happy Women Day for all my female readers) had convinced Kispestians to come out in great numbers to support a team on an 11 game winless streak. The game felt very much like a kick around in the park with quality to match. The first half saw little of note as MTK struggled to get hold of the ball and retain possession. Hegedus provided a huge measure of reassurance back in goal and a defence that had looked decidedly shaky against Paks gave little of note to Honved (who to be honest were toothless for the whole game). MTK themselves created little other than a fairly tame Kanta freekick that was palmed to safety with ease. Poloskei’s attempt to recreate his freekick last week caused a minor terror scare at Ferihegy airport as it shot past flight W6431 from Barcelona on its approach to land.
Half time saw the welcome introduction of the Doctor, but the game continued in much the same fashion although MTK were showing a little more intent and quality. Ten minutes into the second half though saw a fairly innocuous challenge on the halfway line by Thiam see him receive his marching orders for his second bookable offence. It seemed soft from where we were (some 80 – 90 yards away), and the MTK players felt so too judged on the reaction. Replays suggest he was a little unlucky and not helped by the reaction of the Honved player, but he did give the referee a decision to make.
With Fradi’s win on Saturday, the game now seemed to me to be about holding on for the point rather than going for the three. JozsiBacsi reacted (slowly) by replacing Hrepka with Vass Adam. Csiki slotted in up top with Kanta reverting to a fairly deep left wing role. Almost immediately (and in all likelihood unconnected to the substitution), Kanta floated a freekick towards the penalty spot from some 35 yards out, Horvath leaps like a gambolling lamb, goalkeeper flaps like a windmilll and the net bulges. Soft. 1-0.
MTK took the opportunity to drop deep (as they do) and line up with two fairly solid banks of four (with a bit of licence for the Doctor to roam forward on the right). And roam forward he did when a long ball over the top saw him outpace the left back to force himself to the byline and square for Csiki to score the easiest goal of his career (although he bust a lung to put himself in that position).
Honved now took control of the ball and MTK were happy to paw away there tame attacks like a cat playing with a leaf. Honved were very poor and the even emptier stands at the full-time whistle suggested that the fans are not all too optimistic that they will escape this mess. The team started with only four Hungarian players (versus 9.5 for MTK) and a set of very disappointing foreigners. It is hard for the fans to buy into what has typically been a local Kispest team fed by players coming through from the academy. With twelve games without a win now, if they don’t start picking up points soon then they could be in big trouble. There were very few positives for Honved. They struggled to match an MTK team who for whatever reason were incapable of making a pass in the first half. Even when MTK lost Thiam, they looked the better side and in the end were comfortable winners.
MTK stumble on. After a torrid, turgid first half, the red card galvansied them into life. The three men of the bench (the Doctor, Vass A and Torghelle) all looked sharp and improved the team. They must start next week in a game which could see Vidi all but secure the title and take a nine point lead with victory. MTK will still be looking over their shoulder at the impressive Fradi who they face in a fortnight. The next two games will likely have a huge influence as to which way the season will go for MTK – two victories and the cries of „Champion Team” will not seem quite so far fetched, two defeats and MTK will be in the Fradi, Debrecen and Diosgyor mix. I am ready, are you? (you probably don’t care that much).
Win the next two and who knows…