Another day. Another Nemzeti Bajnoksag III match. This time we move to the Eastern group despite being only 8km from yesterday’s game in District III. Makes me wonder who plays in the Central group although I guess the Budapest teams are flexible on which group they play in.
I am at BKV Elöre. BKV is the Budapest transport network so this is in effect the equivalent of a Transport For London team. The history of the team stretches well back into Communist times where it was common across the Eastern bloc for teams to be arms of parts of the government. Today BKV is constantly running a loss and being bailed out by the national government, which goes part of the way in explaining the tough times the club has fallen on.
The stadium is a beauty. It is located the width of the road from the MTK home (which is currently being rebuilt – more on that later in the year). That road is aptly called Sport utca. The BKV ground consists of one large grandstand that looks like it was built in times of yore. It is a big ‘un housing a restaurant and all sort of other amenities. Alas I ended up in the away section which denied me access to all amenities other than a toilet. As I needed the toilet, this was a relief. REAC were the team in town. Another Budapest team and another team that has seen better days. I snuggled into the wooden bench on offer and hoped that I would not have splinters in my bum.
The game was another enjoyable one. REAC took the lead on the stroke of half-time with a free kick from distance that must have done some wobbling because the goalkeeper was flapping as the ball went in dead center. REAC celebrated by running to their bench. Any one who watches little YouTube football clips will know this is a mistake. BKV were in their rights to kick off and run the ball into the empty net. Frustratingly, they did not.
Poor Norbi. I think Norbi was the Number 15, center midfielder. He constantly got an earful from the vocal visiting manager down in front of me. I am not sure he had ever played CM before as the game seemed to pass him by. He did look far more comfortable as he dropped to right back later in the game. Still Norbi will not sleep without hearing his coach in his ear.
The second half opened up. This seems to happen at this level which is due to the fitness levels i guess. The game was so open that the REAC left back (love a left back being my own position) found himself past the midfield and in a world of confusion. I know the feeling. “Forward” we yelled. And forward he ran and ran and ran. Football is easy for us left backs. No challenge came. He opened himself up and slotted the bal home from 25 yards. “Left backs of the world unite” I cried, before checking my bum for splinters.
BKV pressed forward and REAC lost their shape. BKV created a handful of excellent chances before finally converting one. At this point with 20 minutes left, an equalizer looked inevitable. But a combination of good goalkeeping and terrible finishing kept the visitor’s lead intact.
Quick word for the ref. He was excellent. He called out the play acting that was fairly common and kept the players in check despite their protests. He looked a bit like a Hungarian Gary Neville. I don’t think that is a compliment.
Anyway, BKV in the late summer sun is a lovely place to watch football.
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