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Saturday 29th September 2012 ko 15.30

Czech 2 Liga

KF BANÍK MOST 0

FK BANÍK SOKOLOV 3 (Vaněček 24 Vondráček 39 Dvořák 59)

Att 525

Entry 60 Czk

Programme 5 Czk

Badge 50 Czk

Barbeque Spiced Sausage 35 Czk

From Kladno it wasn’t a long drive to Most, but we did get the chance to leave the world of motorways and faceless “Service” Stations and travel through small villages seemingly touched only by Tesco for the last 40 years. We headed north, away from Prague and its environs and soon arrived in Most.

Most is Czech for “Bridge” and during the Nazi occupation was renamed “Brüx” a corruption of the German word for bridge, “Brucke.” The town became a plant for fuel produced from brown coal, and a satellite from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp provided forced labour. As a result, the town was on the receiving end of Allied bombing, and was extensively rebuilt post-war.

A result of this is that the town has a very high proportion of its accommodation in the form of panel apartment blocks constructed of pre-fabricated, pre-stressed concrete, known colloquially as “Paneláks.” When I visited the Czech Republic 20 years ago they were an ugly reminder of the Communist era, but the Most Paneláks have seen extensive redecorating, and have proved to be ideal for the rolling out of large-scale broadband in the town.

In the midst of all this lies the Stadion Josefa Masopusta named after the town’s most famous footballing son Josef Masopust, who it has to be noted, only played youth football for Most! He did, however win the European Footballer of the Year in 1962. The Stadium, like Kladno in the morning, reflects Most’s stint in the Czech top flight in recent years. The drop to the second tier has made the all-seater capacity of 7,500 unnecessary, but the despite the low crowds, there was a real vibrancy about the place, despite the faded green seats.

That was mainly due to the Most “Ultras,” who have taken on programme production, and the running of the club shop, a garden shed behind one goal. A barbeque was ready for half-time, the bar did a roaring trade, and the band of “Ultra’s to my right in the main stand, shouted, sang, and banged drums for the entire 90 minutes. They deserved far better than the performance they got from their team.

A goalkeeping howler gave David Vaněček the opportunity to open the scoring with an easy header, and that lead was soon doubled when Zybněk Vondráček’s thunderbolt shot from 35 yards provided the highlight of our tour, let alone just the game. After the break Jakub Dvorák’s low shot put the game far beyond Most who looked bereft of ideas. We felt rather sad for the friendly Ultras, they deserved better. Still, another excellent tick, and so we made for the border, filling up the car again, once again making use of cheaper Czech prices.

We crossed the border, but as soon as the lights marking the change of country had disappeared behind us, an unmarked car screamed past us. In the rear window the lights flashed “Polizei! Stop” and we were led off the main road, to a secluded lay-by. Two plain-clothed officers showed us their ID,  and explained they were German border police and we were asked for our passports for checking. They asked what we were doing, so we explained our weekend, to a look of disbelief, not good when that look is on the face of a border guard! We were asked firstly whether we had cigarettes and alcohol, we had neither, and then Andreas was asked whether we had drugs or weapons too!

When that answer was in the negative too, Andreas was asked how he knew 4 Englishmen. That meant a long story involving Lee, and a St Pauli T-shirt, and the officer clearly came to the conclusion that our tale was so far-fetched it had to be true!He let us on our way, but not before Andreas asked him for the final score from Stuttgart (he didn’t know) and for a recommendation for a restaurant as we were hungry! He did recommend a restaurant, and when we arrived there, we mentioned him to our waitress. She responded, “Oh , Officer Michel, he comes in here for his Cappuccino!” You really can’t get a better recommendation than that!