Dorog in Russian means road. An apt place to visit for an on the road game. I hate myself (the title of this blog sounds like a foreign expression, translated into English and said knowingly by a person, no one wants to correct.
Budapest roads hate me. I broke my ankle whilst on a run and now am residing in a well of self-pity. But less about my mental state and more about football. After my eight game MTK season blitz, I will try and be slightly more efficient and see if I can get back to something approaching a routine.
Where is Dorog? Good question. Thanks. A mere 30km from Budapest to the NW, I was initially considering running to my first ever football match (\but aforementioned (did I mention?) broken ankle put paid to that so I had to settle for the train with the recently formed International MTK fan group. All two of us. Some pre-game research helpfully showed that beer is a very useful source of silicon a key component in bone growth (to fix that broken ankle of mine) so I picked up some medicine for the trip. An absurdly slow journey through the strangely unHungarian hill of Pilis dropped us at Dorog’s shipping containeresque train station.
A very autumnal drizzle/fog had descended over the town. A town that is most famous for its coal mining history. I really want to use the term faded glories, but I think it is a) too clichéd and b) I am not sure whether Dorog ever had any glory. It was called home by two footballing legends, Grocsis Gyula and Buzsansky Jeno, who were the goalkeeper and right-back (in modern currency) of the Aranycsapat (or Hungary’s great team of the 50s). Indeed Buzsansky Jeno has given his name to the home stadium of Dorog. And what a cracker it is too. This is why relegation is a good thing. A solid Soviet concrete bowl (small). Away fans entered through a remarkable gated structure, skirted around a grass bank, past a beer hut before landing on shallow banked terrace. Windswept, mining, gritty, Northern. This stadium was my antithesis, but all the better for it. They even had a selection of beers including Soproni IPA. As a man with a beard, I do like my IPA. Soproni IPA is certainly not an IPA, but makes a pleasant change from commercial lagers and comes in at a fraction of the price of a craft IPA. (I did not get paid for that plug.) Maybe I should have.
Note lack of asphalt. Hard on freshly broken ankle.
We made it just in time to see Dorog score after just a few minutes. MTK’s young goalkeeper Demjen was replacing the mainly solid looking Viktor Szentpeteri and probably did not make the most of the opportunity. We also saw Vass Adam (anchorman extraordinaire) Balogh Bela (a defender) left out of the side meaning a complete change to the lower spine of the team. MTK did not look too unsettled and a flashingly optimistic volley from Vass Patrick and a point blank save from Sanyi were the best chances of the first half. The toilet like the town’s train station was in a shipping container.
MTK got a rocket up their bum at halftime and attacked with purpose from the off. Baki Akos slammed home a header from a corner (we are scoring a lot from corners) and it seemed like order was restored as it seemed that momentum had swung irreversibly. Dorog were not having any of that as an excellent header from their big man saw them retake the lead and prompted some strong gesticulating between both sets of fans who were stood on either side of the halfway line. There was even a smoke bomb that was tossed into our section and skidded towards my (broken) ankle. Unfortunately/Fortunately, one of the other MTK fans reacted faster and tossed it back whence it had come. My initial plan had been to lob it on the pitch and blame the home fans in my pidgin Hungarian and see MTK awarded the match. Clearly, a terrible idea. MTK deserved something from the game as they lay siege to Dorog’s goal. The keeper pulled off a couple of blinders and when we did find a way past him, the woodwork stood strong.
Crutch. Excellent for aggressive pointing.
We had to lose in the end. Having lost to Dorog in the cup last October, they have quickly become a bogey team. We decamped to the local pub whilst we waited for the next train. Good trip. Good stadium. Not the best result. Still it reminds us all of the value of victory.