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Saturday 2nd June 2012 ko 16.00

Oberliga Neidersachsen

VfL BÜCKEBURG 2 (Buchwald 33 Schmälkoch 90)

VSK OSTERHOLZ-SCHARMBECK 3 (Ordenewitz 6 71 Manah 86)

Att 247 (h/c)

Entry FREE

Programme FREE

Badge €5

Pennant €6

From our base in Dortmund, we found a tiny bar on the way to the main station, for beer-for-breakfast before catching a commuter train to Minden. From there we caught a suburban service one stop to the pretty town of Bückeburg. Its situated in Lower Saxony, on the border with North Rhine Westphalia. It was once the capital of the tiny principality of Schaumburg-Lipp, and was the residence of the Princes of Schaumburg-Lippe. Although the Princely family surrendered political power in 1918, they still live there today. The palace, part of which is open to the public, is a major tourist attraction, and houses works of art and a library.

I can only assume that the residents were either at the football or the castle, because the town seemed deserted as we took the 5 minute walk from the railway station to the Jahnstadion. On arrival that was a bonus that it was free entry (normally €6) as part of the club’s centenary celebrations. It struck us all that as a marketing tool it worked well, as we all bought something; beer at €2, or a currywurst, or something from a well stocked club shop.

As a ground, it was notable that there was only one raised area, an uncovered terrace on one side, an end was closed off, and the other end provided a fairly impractical viewing piont due to a net. Most activity seemed to be taking place on the near side, with a cafe and beer seller doing brisk trade. I just wondered where people would have positioned themselves if it’d been raining.

The game, in the 5th tier of German football, saw two sides at the lower end of the table, but safe slug it out in a game where the result would see neither side relegated. And to be honest, while it was decent enough fayre, there was little to stir the passion for long periods. Marco Ordenewitz gave the visitors the lead early on, and for the majority of the game, Osterholz-Scharmbeck looked in control.

Nevertheless Bückeburg found it in themselves, through Tim Buchwald, but once Ordenewitz restored the visitors’ lead, it looked all over as a contest, particularly when Mahmoud Manah gave Osterholz-Scharmbecka 2 goal lead.  All that changed with introduction of the unfortunately named Bastian Schmälkoch with 2 minutes left. He scored one, missed another, and in stoppage time we were treated to home keeper Tim Engler coming up for a series of corners. His opposite number Ole Pasbrig made one tremendous save to keep another Schmälkoch effort out, and the game finished with even this cynical neutral wanting 5 minutes more!