Winning by the Skins of their Teeth

Posted: August 23, 2011 in Assorted Match Reports, FC St. Pauli

FC St. Pauli  2     MSV Duisburg  1       August 22nd 2011

We’re on one of our FC St. Pauli weekends in Hamburg, but a very special one this time as two of our great friends here, Carsten and Anna, got married in a country village near Hamburg on Saturday night. So the  great thing about this particular weekend’s schedule from our point of view is that St. Pauli’s home match v. MSV Duisburg is on the Monday night, giving us almost two full days to recover from  the sleepless Friday night and then the long night of the wedding party on Saturday. This suits us just fine, with the added bonus that Claire’s working week will be down to just three days by the time we’ve flown back to the UK tomorrow (as for me, last Friday was my last full week of work for a couple of months).  But 8.15 kick-off times on a Monday night don’t suit most of the local supporters, and as always on such occasions at the Millerntor Stadium,  there’s a noisy protest against the TV company as the match kicks off.

The St. Pauli Sudkurve Protests against the League & the Skyjackers

The protest helps stoke up a  brilliant atmosphere and, in the end,  a memorable 2-1 victory gained by virtually the last kick of added time – gained  in fact because of the brilliant atmosphere. If the 23,000 home supporters didn’t have such faith in their team and kept believing in them, then surely some players would have resorted to hoofing desperately in those final seconds, rather than carrying on playing patient football as they did, confident that they could still create the crucial opening, with the opposition down to ten men.

I’ve been coming here for a few years now and have grown to love this place, whether standing on the Sudkurve or in the Gegengerade.  It’s a complete lesson in non-stop support and atmosphere that would shame most English crowds. And all for less than a third of what it would cost me to sit in the deathly hush of say, Anfield.

The same Sudkurve celebrates the dramatic late victory

At half-time, by the way, some of those very same St. Pauli Skinheads who were with us at the wedding on Saturday picked up their trophy for winning the recent annual six-a-side competition between supporters’ groups. The applause from their mates in the Gegengerade stand was almost equalled by the derision from where we stood on the Sudkurve, as the Skins could only manage to stagger round about a third of a lap of honour. If the Sudkurve Ultras had been there at the wedding on Saturday, they would surely have been more sympathetic.

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