SG Dynamo Dresden 1 – 0 FC St Pauli:
So after a day’s sun and relaxation, it was finally time for the match. Most St Pauli fans were arriving by football special at the main train station, and it was likely that they would then be escorted by the police to the ground. This represented a problem for the rest of us, as we needed to somehow get through the police lines, without being spotted by any Dresden fans looking for a fight.
I got to the train station early and dropped off my bag, before going to a nearby cafe for breakfast. As I finished my coffee more fans and police had started to mill about. This included several water cannons and a little tank. Unsure of which platform the football special would arrive on, I picked up a couple of magazines and went and waited in the station. It appeared that there was a small “welcoming committee”, including some of our friends from the previous night. Occasionally looking up from my magazine, I saw a few other familiar faces in non-football colours, obviously with a similar plan to myself. Shortly before the train arrived, we saw a section where the police were lining up. We quickly moved up the steps to the platform there and, low and behold, arrived just as the St Pauli train came into the station.
Now re-unified with the rest of the away supporters, we were then escorted down another flight of stairs and into a tunnel where buses waited for us. With the ground being so nearby, and the weather looking so nice, most of us walked on by, hoping to force the police into allowing us to travel on foot. Unfortunately though the numbers weren’t large enough, and the riot cops eventually pushed us back and onto the buses.
Things were more chaotic at the ground itself. The buses dropped us off, but there was no one working the gates, so we were penned in. A bit later, stewards turned up and the lengthy procedure for getting into the ground began. I had wondered why it was all taking so long, but I soon found out why. In order to get in, you had to show your ticket and be frisked. Then if you were unlucky, like me, you had to wait for a sniffer dog to inspect you for explosives. Then your ticket was checked once more and you were frisked again. My bag was then looked through, after which the bag had to be checked in at a cloakroom anyway. Suntan lotion is a security risk!
Once inside the ground, I took up a spot near the fence to the home supporters. As is often the case, this section of the home crowd is populated exclusively by halfbakes. In this case ’roided up and keen to make eye contact, or indeed Hitler salutes.
As the game kicked off, our end delayed the usual singing of “Aux Armes”, and instead we all crossed our wrists and chanted “Diffidati con noi”. This was in protest at the German FA handing out bans to fans who were merely defending themselves, and other fans, against nazis at the Schweinske Cup. In the home end, the fans did that thing that sadly to most people will be simply known as the “poznan”. It should look impressive when a whole terrace turns its back to the pitch and jumps up and down. Unfortunately though, it now just looks a bit plastic and reminds me of Berties, in the ill-fitting replica shirts, bouncing up and down.
The Dresden end, was in fact, slightly odd. For some periods of the game, it appeared to be completely silent. I was beginning to wonder whether yet another famous fanscene (like Eintracht Frankfurt) would disappoint. However when they did sing, it was very loud indeed. Despite a lot of streamers, there was no choreo. Then part way through the first half, a collossal “surfer” flag was suddenly passed out, covering the whole of their end. Handpainted, in great detail, and just used at random, part way through a match. I don’t think it was only me, who’s jaw dropped. Very impressive!
Our own end also looked very good, with one lad, climbing on to a ledge in the middle. Nothing gives a terrace more depth, than someone standing at a different height. The photos of it look brillant! We also were in pretty good voice, despite everyone sweating buckets and having to go and get more water from the taps in the bogs at regular intervals.
There were a few “transpis”/papermills aimed at us St Pauli fans. No doubt they are only aimed to provoke. Some though were so backwards, I would’ve expected them from some small town like Chemnitz, but not the fans of an important city like Dresden. Surely some of their own fans must cringe when reading them.
Despite the weather, the match was pretty entertaining. We hit the bar once, but Dresden probably deserved their second –half goal (even if Zambrano should have cleared it). We were good for a point, but a stunning save by Dynamo’s goalkeeper foiled us.
With the defeat, there is little chance of us making the play-off. Nevertheless, we clapped the team off, before heading for the buses. Once back at the station, I slipped out through the police lines once more, and caught my train back home.