So grey

Six pointer.  Easter weekend.  Away day to Debrecen or The Debbers.

 Debrecen is the second largest town in Hungary and located within a long run from the Romanian border and this was my first trip there.  Joining me for the adventure would be Czech football connoisseur, Martin, who had driven all the way from Prague to be my chauffeur.  We made the two hour trip on the morning of the game arriving in town (via a short ticket purchasing detour) just in time for the kick-off the Spurs game.  Thankfully, the internet was on hand to take us down a back alley and into a bar pretending to be a sports bar.  Actually given it had the game on a projector and beer, it did a fairly good job.  I would not have liked hanging around when the sun went down (mainly because that would have defeated the whole purpose of travelling to Debrecen, which was of course to see the mighty MTK away.)

After the conclusion of the Spurs match, we took leave of the Derby Bar and headed to another bar which served food.  And we ate some food.  What a narrative!  But the game was nearing and our focus sharpened.  I ate my vegetable burrito with nervous trepidation.  Martin ate without a care in the world.  I think the lack of food since the morning and a few beers had led to him defocusing on the game and focusing on hunger.

A pretend castle and me in the ‘Derby’.  Hungover.

After a short tram ride to the stadium, we got to appreciate what a wonderful setting this is for a football match.  The Nagyerdei Stadium (Big Forest Stadium) is located in the Nagyerdo (Big Forest).  The stadium was opened in 2014 with a sanctification by a Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox priest, a concert by Lou Bega and a friendly match between Hungary Masters and Debrecen Masters.  What a show!  In the two and a half seasons it has been open, it has an average attendance of 3,500.  The stadium holds 20,000.  It is a real pity because it is a cracker.  The forest location helps.  The majority of the gates are located at the top of the arena and reachable by a sweeping, elevated platform that rises around most of the stadium, which also doubles up as a running track when a match is not going on.  We headed straight to the Red and White stadium bar, which had some weird stadium seating, big screen sport and button football (Hungarian Subbuteo) going on.  We bought a couple of beers, drained them and made our way up the lift to the home end to enter a web of confusion, lost keys and bureaucracy that only spat us out at the away end just in time for kick-off.  Still we made it…

Red and white.  Generally shite.

Not that it was a game making it for.  MTK had their best/only half-chance in the first couple of minutes as I was beating the other 11 MTK fans who had made the trip to the front of the beer queue (fortunately I watched the chance on the TV behind the bar).  It was all a steady slide towards Debrecen domination from there on in.  Fortunately, a combination of a good MTK goalkeeper in Petkovics and the fact that Debrecen themselves are also clearly an average at best team meant that until the 85th minute, they did not really threaten our goal too much.

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Rammed/hochin’

On the 85th minute, Petkovics was finally stranded as a header from a corner sailed past him and into the foot of the post.  Oof.  By this point, I had drunk a fair share of calm the nerve beers so was a bit hazy and only the subsequent highlights confirmed what had happened.  MTK had a brief flirtation in the final minute, but got no further than a wink in return.  0-0.   I said I would take 0-0.  In the end, I was happy with 0-0 although it was a terrible game.  Diosgyor lost so MTK go three points clear and level with today’s hosts.

8

Mezőkövesd-Zsóry

27

9

8

10

-8

35

D W L L D

9

Debrecen

27

8

7

12

-5

31

D L W W L

10

MTK

27

7

9

10

-8

31

D D W L W

11

Diósgyőr

27

8

4

15

-19

28

L W D W L

12

Gyirmót

27

4

8

15

-26

20

D L L W D

MTK host Videoton on Saturday, Debrecen host Haladas and Diosgyor go to Paks.  It would not be a surprise to see all teams lose, a result that would probably suit MTK best as we probably do not fancy getting too much against arguably the league’s strongest side.  Every point will count from now on in so I will take a 0-0.  ‘Fourtnately’, I will not be in Budapest to see this one as the Balkans await.

So grey

We finished our trip to Debrecen with a nice dinner in the delightfully Hungarian John Bull Pub.

Previous – Staying up?

Next – One kick beyond……

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