Posts Tagged ‘england’

Under 19 International

18 November, 2008

img_1227_webA great fixture to test the whole infrastructure at, and around, the new stadium at Cuckoo Farm.  England v Germany in an under-19 international friendly.  As expected the kick-off was delayed, but only by 10 minutes due mainly I think to the fact that this was an unfamiliar evening kick-off time at 7pm.  But, then, we have to remember these were kids we were watching so they needed to finish early to get home to bed.  The worst of the traffic seemed to be coming off the A12 the Crown roundabout and trying to work its way through the business park.  It had been slow going round the northern bypass on the A12 but I think that was caused by a broken down car.

The main difference on the walking route to the stadium was the appearance of flag sellers, who didn’t seem to be doing much trade.  In fact they were still trying to sell them later as we left the ground after the match.

The announcement of the German team sounded like a premiership line-up, full of foreign names, but on this occasion not surprising.  The home team got some loud cheers and that was an encouraging start.

img_1225_webShortly after the start the ground was evidently full (official attendance 9,692 – a record for Cuckoo Farm) and there was a constant buzz around the ground in between the periods of excitement on the pitch.  Was this because the average age of the crowd was significantly lower, or just that everyone was so excited at being part of this show?  I’m not sure but the buzz continued throughout the whole game and there were regular chants from all four corners of the stadium with the accompanying klaxon calls.  A few people tried to start off ‘Mexican waves’ in different stands but all they got for their efforts was a ‘cuckoo flap’ that didn’t get much further than the short distance the England keeper could kick the ball.  Maybe they should pick their moment better, like when there’s a break in play and people just might have their attention elsewhere than on the game.

img_1241_webIt was pleasing to see a good team performance and just for the record England beat Germany 1-0.  Our very own Lee Hills (well, almost our own – he’s on loan of course) put in a solid performance at left back and it’s to be hoped that he can continue this in the next few club games.  The game was generally played in a good spirit, by the home team anyway, and I think most of the crowd missed the fact that one of the Germans was sent off near the end after getting a second yellow card.  The ref nearly missed it too, but the German management were too clever for themselves with the way they tried to first of all deal with a fake injury to the player at the touchline and then secondly they tried to substitute him.  All of this drew attention to him and the officials spotted the blunder and he was allowed to walk off gracefully into the tunnel – without a red card being shown!

img_1231_webAll in all a pleasant evening, albeit a bit cold in the stands with the wind chill factor having an effect on older knees.  Now we know what it’s like to have a full house, and I guess we will probably have to wait for the Southend game next year to hear what it’s like for an important fixture that means something to home faithful, and just as important a full North Stand!

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