It’s a bumper helping of action from the lower leagues as I visit two new grounds and make a quick return trip to an old favourite.
⚽️ AD Esperanza 3-1 CD Barajas
🏟 Campo Virgen de la Esperanza, Madrid
🏆 Madrid Primera Regional, Group 2
We’ve had mostly good weather throughout February but this particular Sunday morning was rather chilly and grey. Perfect weather to try a new ground then!
With nothing in the Tercera really appealing, I decided to check out some Primera Regional at AD Esperanza, not far away from Canillas, where I had gone a couple of weeks previously.
The area between Esperanza metro and the ground was pretty much deserted, but I found the ground easily enough and was able to take my place in the stand, for free of course!
The home side enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges, taking a deserved lead on 18 minutes through and excellent shot from the edge of the area.
If the first half had been quite sedate, things took a rather more frantic turn after the break. Esperanza doubled their lead on 55 minutes and Barajas were reduced to ten men before play even resumed, one of their players receiving two quick fire yellow cards for dissent.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, Barajas got back in contention with a goal of their own on 65 minutes, but suffered a further blow when the scorer received his second yellow card minutes later.
Esperanza scored a third goal in 75 minutes not without controversy as the linesman on the far side had raised his flag, only for the referee to overrule him and allow the goal to stand. By now Barajas’ heads had gone and as the minutes ticked away they received two more red cards, one a straight red for an off the ball altercation on the touchline and another second yellow (which could easily have been a straight red itself) for a nasty tackle from behind.
Bar Watch: Excellent! The bar is rather small, and as a result was uncomfortably crowded before kick off, but it does boast a small terrace outside. It has a lot of memorabilia on the walls and, most importantly for these winter months, ¡Hay Caldo!
Shop Watch: There is merchandise available at the bar or the club office. I saw a poster advertising scarves and of course, face masks but sadly I lacked sufficient cash for a purchase. Maybe next time (because there will be a next time!)
Match Rating: 8.5/10 – There was plenty of entertainment at Esperanza! I’ve never seen a meltdown quite like Barajas’ before in over 20 years of going to football and I suspect it’ll be a while before I ever see something similar again. I’ll definitely be going back to Esperanza soon though, a really nice wee ground and something of a hidden gem.
⚽️ CD Colonia Moscardó 3-0 EF Ciudad de Getafe
🏟 Estadio Román Valero, Madrid
🏆 Madrid Preferente Group 2
Rounding off February, I finally ended up going to a ground which had long been on my radar, but I’d never got round to visiting before. Colonia Moscardó’s Estadio Román Valero is a great lower league ground with classic concrete terracing on two sides, a small stand (occupied on this occasion by the substitutes of the two clubs) and a massive scoreboard.
The home side are pushing for promotion to the Tercera this year and didn’t take long to stamp their authority on the game. Three goals inside the first half hour, each capping off well-worked team moves, put them firmly in the driving seat.
Ciudad de Getafe did have quite a few chances in the first half – it wasn’t the hammering a 3-0 half time score would suggest – and early in the second half they were presented with a golden opportunity to get on the scoresheet and put doubt in their opponents’ mind from the penalty spot. But a great save from the Moscardó goalkeeper put paid to that and pretty much put the game to bed.
The remaining time was relatively comfortable for the hosts, who had a few chances to extend their advantage but were frustrated by some close offside calls and wayward finishing.
Bar Watch: The bar at Moscardó is absolutely huge! It has two rooms and a massive terrace around the back as well.
Shop Watch: Upon entering the ground there is a table selling scarves as well as t-shirts celebrating the club’s 75th anniversary (they come with a free key ring!) although sadly there was no sign of any replicas of their classy Atlético-style shirt from Hummel.
Match Rating: 8/10 – This was a fun morning out! It fizzled out a bit after the penalty miss early in the second half, but the excellent first half from Moscardó left an impression. I’ll definitely be back soon.
⚽️ CD Canillas 2-1 CD San Roque EFF
🏟 Municipal Canillas, Madrid
🏆 Madrid Preferente Group 1
💶 Free Entry
A bit of a last minute change of plan saw me making the short journey to Canillas rather than a longer trip to Villaverde – unfortunately meaning I missed Botti’s best performance of the season – but events in the north of the city were still entertaining.
Canillas went in front early on and the game stayed that way until the final ten minutes. On 84 minutes a brilliant strike, almost out of nothing, brought visitors San Roque level but their celebrations had barely died down when Canillas took the ball up to the other end and scored what turned out to be the winner.
It wasn’t just action-packed at the end. Both sides had plenty of chances throughout the game and the presence of a few away fans at the far end made for a good atmosphere.
Bar Watch: Canillas’ bar is great – I’ve mentioned this numerous times before and it’s got a great selection of bocatas should you fancy a snack.
Shop Watch: As before, there’s merchandise on sale from behind the bar.
Match Rating: 7/10 – An exciting finale and another very pleasant Sunday morning out at Canillas. I’m very glad to have it as an option for free football not too far from home!