A couple of very different matches last week for games 4 and 5 of my season.
Game 4: Coleraine 1-3 Linfield (The Oval, Belfast – 5.8.2017)
A return to (semi) serious Irish League action as Coleraine took on last season’s Double winners Linfield in the NI Charity Shield. Ex-Northern Ireland international Josh Carson fired Coleraine into a first half lead against his previous employers, but Linfield levelled before the break and their greater strength in depth on the bench allowed them to make several changes during the second half and the fresh legs turned the game in their favour.
The home stand at The Oval probably gives the best views of any ground in Belfast, not necessarily of the action on the pitch, but of the Belfast skyline. Numerous landmarks, most notably the iconic Harland and Wolff cranes provide the backdrop and of course you’ll get the odd low-flying plane, making its descent into the nearby George Best Belfast City Airport.
Game 5: BFC Dynamo 0-0 Wacker Nordhausen (Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Sportpark, Berlin – 9.8.2017)
Now this really was something a bit different to normal. Last week I went on a very enjoyable city break to Berlin and naturally enough, I managed to find a match to attend. With the Bundesliga not kicking off until later in August, it was down to the regionalised fourth-tier, where I watched BFC Dynamo draw 0-0 with Wacker Nordhausen. Although it started brightly enough, by the hour mark I knew it was nailed-on to finish goalless. Of course, the other game I could have chosen on Wednesday night finished 2-2.
Of course, I’ve got a lot more to say about this particular game and the fan experience in Berlin compared to elsewhere. Keep an eye on the site over the next few days for that.q