VFR Aalen 0 v 1 FC Sankt Pauli:
Finally football once more! Somewhere in the midst of a gap in matches, I rediscovered my desire for the game. The anticipation of a journey with friends, bottles of Club Mate and bouncing around some terrace. Sunday came around and provided a relatively painless start. The Osnabrücker Section of the SPM remained true to form, overslept and so arrived, unwashed, an hour late. This afforded me an extra hour in bed.
The journey down to Aalen proved extremely easy. Empty motorways, clear skies and no speed limits. With a tremendous trash-mixtape on offer, it looked roughly like this.
Aalens Ultras appear to have won themselves a rather unsavoury reputation as a bunch of rightwing divs. Nevertheless there was little to be seen of them in the village (Reichstadt/”town” of the Reich my fucking arse, the place is tiny). There were few fans on foot and surprisingly the only stickers on show were from Borussia Dortmund’s visit some while ago.
We headed into the ground, onto the really nice away end. An expansive, open, terrace behind the goal, with plenty of space to roam around down the front. I also got my new, very smart, knitted scarf from Oi’s girlfriend. With that on, and the sun shining, there was no need for a coat. Spring is here! The Hamburger Wolke were also back in attendance, with various exams now finished. So with everyone in place the match could begin. FCSP are obviously “top rivals” for this sponsor backed side from Southern Germany, and so we were honoured with a choreo from the home side. Mosaic cards all around the ground, with flags and streamers in their home end. It was a half decent start, but their supported waned (at one stage whilst we were doing the weird drum/clap thing that occurs occasionally, you noticed the stony silence around the rest of the ground). Our own support also needed encouragement after a very mediocre start. The lad with the megaphone was provoked by the lack of engagement into ranting at a lot of the fans in attendance (singling out those not from the Hamburg area). I feel uncomfortable about judging where fans come from to support the side (it’s not like I live locally myself), but we do seem to have a problem with large numbers in the south, but indifference from many in attendance. It would be good, if people got more involved and the issue of where everyone is from became an irrelevance once more. After this brief interlude, the away end delivered one of our loudest supports witnessed in a while.
On the pitch, the match wasn’t up to much. We edged the first half in my opinion but as per usual chances were few and far between. As the second half continued, my confidence in at least getting a point started to lessen. Aalen went close numerous times, only held at bay by the ever excellent Tschauner (has there been a player this season so consistently brilliant? He deserves more appreciation). We barely ventured up the pitch, with only the lively but slightly erratic Gyau, creating chances. Then with mere moments to go, Ginczek went on a mazy solo run, he appeared to dodge various challenges before being tackled/fouled. A few seconds passed and then the ref pointed to the spot. Ginczek dusted himself off to tuck the penalty away, cuing pandemonium in our end. A few more nervous minutes and we had held on to win. What a lovely feeling. 3 points closer to safety, just hugging everyone in reaching distance, serotonin in the sunshine. The Aalen fans took the result badly, which only made things sweeter. In fact this led to one of the finest moments of the excursion. As we drove out of Aalen, the trash CD was back on and we might have been singing at the top of our voices along to Aerosmith – Don’t want to miss a thing. With the windows down. In front of us at the traffic lights a car full of Aalen fans was waiting, with the person in the passenger seat seemingly conversing with someone on the pavement. We assumed he must’ve known them, but as the light went green, he went to spring out of the car to attack the (now apparent) Sankt Pauli fan on the pavement. We tooted and swore, so that his mate was forced to drive off. We could see through their rear windshield that the one lad was still fuming, as he banged the side of the car with his fist. This set to a soundtrack of awful softrock was wonderfully surreal and we were in tears of laughter following them up the road. Eventually the car’s passengers noticed our amusement and we received a middle finger and then, with the door open at 70kmh, a rather abortive attempt at a Hitler salute. We giggled some more, blew kisses, waved and went on our way.
Apart from bumping into arch-enemies “Wilde Wessischweine” ;-) in Burgerking somewhere south of Frankfurt, the rest of the journey was fairly uneventful. Quite how my fellow, much cherished, travellers can claim to be punks though, when they know ALL the words to EVERY Pur song ever written, remains unanswered.