Wednesday, September 21, 2016
SV Meppen – FC St. Pauli II (04-09-2016)
At the end of a great groundhopweekend with my brother I make one last hop (by myself) to Meppen, a small town just across the Dutch border in Northwest Germany. The local pride, SV Meppen, dates back to 1912 and spent a total of 12 years in the 2. Bundesliga (Second Division). In 1998 they relegated and a decade later they relegated again. Today they play in the Regionalliga Nord (Fourth Division North).
I arrive at the bit grandiosely named Hänsch-Arena – Hänsch Stadium would be much more accurate and adequate – and ca easily park in front of the cute stadium. As I buy my ticket for the (covered) Old Stand, for €10, I notice that I am one hour early. Kick-off is at 15.00, not 14.00.
Hänsch-Arena is a nice old stadium with two main covered stands on the long sides and two uncovered standing-only stands behind the goals. It also has a small fan shop and a cute stadium bar with full bar. Obviously, there are also several snack options involving sausages and even fries.
On this fifth round of the 2016-7 season there are (officially) 2.213 spectators, a pretty large number, which was undoubtedly because SV Meppen had won its first four games of the new season. The fans are local, typical of a small provincial town (white, middle class, predominantly male). There were also some 50 away supporters, not bad for a U-23 team.
After an uneventful start, the visitors make a dumb foul in the 5th minute, and SV Meppen gets a penalty. Although the goalie gets a hand to it, the ball goes in: 1-0. Just two minutes later the hosts have quick attack, the striker goes around the goalkeeper and scores: 2-0. What a start!
The hosts are enjoying their quick, and surprisingly comfortably lead, and get some corner kicks, while St. Pauli II creates a few half chances. In the 14th minute the visitors have a good attack, lone striker going alone at the goalkeeper, in between defenders, but shoots just wide. Ten minutes later another good St Pauli attack, but shoots hard at goalie.
After half an hour Meppen shoots from 25 meter at goal; the shot is low but stopped by the goalie. Ten minutes later a long Meppen solo from the left moves into the middle and then shoot just over. Half time score: 2-0.
St. Pauli dominates the first 15 min of the second half, though they create few real chances. In the 63rd minute a fast cross misses everyone in front of the goal, although a Pauli striker almost gets a foot against it.
By now the pace has dropped significantly. There are fewer chances but still the ball goes from side to side. The visitors are a bit better but not very effective in the end phase.
Unfortunately, I have to leave in the 75th minute, as I have to make an evening flight in Amsterdam. I later find out that SV Meppen win the game 3-1, the fifth consecutive win of the season.
SV Meppen is a nice small town club with a lot of tradition and loyal fans. A team that deserves to be in the 3. Bundesliga, which will undoubtedly be the case next season.