Throttur Reykjavik v IB Vestmannaeyjar, Wednesday 29th May 2013, 6pm

0 - opening shot

For the final game of the trip I saw IBV again, although it was their men’s team this time. They were playing Throttur, one of the second division Reykjavik teams in the last thirty two of the FA Cup.

We’d arrived back in the capital earlier that day after a drive through Pingvellir National Park. It’s the site of the old Icelandic Parliament, which is pretty much just a pile of rocks. They wouldn‘t have spent much time debating the small print of the budget once it started raining I imagine.

There was also the old execution site, which seemed to consist of a deep pond. I suspect there was a lot of talk about treading water techniques in Icelandic jails in the olden days. There was also the inevitable waterfall.

They've got loads of them.

They’ve got loads of them.

Throttur’s ground is right next door to the national stadium in Reykjavik and it’s easy enough to find. In fact I’d been staring out at the floodlights for days from the apartment that we’d stayed in earlier in the week. Had I not had to return to our hotel to pick up the wallet I’d forgotten or selected a car park that required me to walk almost the entire circumference of both stadiums then I‘m sure I’d have been there in time for kick-off.  As it was, the game was twenty five minutes old by the time I reached the gate and handed over my 1500 kroner.

That's where you go in.

That’s where you go in.

IBV is the team that David James has been turning out for, although I’d noticed that despite having played in the first four games of the season he’d missed IBV’s game at the weekend. Once inside I checked the keepers and neither of them were him. I checked again as I know he’s prone to changing his hairstyle, but if either of those two were him then he’d changed his head as well.

There was a small covered stand that extended maybe twenty yards either side of the half-way line and then a short further section of uncovered seats. After that the crumbling terracing extended around to the corner flags and curved around behind the goal for a bit. I’ve no idea how old the stadium is, but if it had been built in the 1920’s then I’d be confident that the stand and terracing were original.

Old school terracing.

Old school terracing.

Second tier Thottur were in a Stoke strip, whilst top division IBV were in a funny sort of blue. Maybe the shade that car manufacturers might call cobalt. Or maybe not. I’m not too clued up on that sort of thing. I once had a car that I’d describe as dark blue but when the light caught it in a certain way it looked green. Weird, and a nightmare if you wanted to touch up scratches.

My late arrival meant that I’d missed a goal, with IBV already one up. The home side almost equalised on the half-hour when Sveinbjorn Jonasson had his free-kick and two follow-up shots saved by whoever was standing in for David James.

That's the main stand.

That’s the main stand.

We reached half-time with still just the one (unseen) goal in it.  There were maybe three hundred fans, with most of them migrating from under the covered stand to congregate by the tea hut at the break. It looked as if the majority of them knew each other well. There were a few people wearing IBV colours and everyone seemed to know them too.

At few minutes after the re-start Thottur were level. A half volley from the left corner of the penalty box beat the IBV goalie at his near post. He seemed surprised by the shot. Maybe it was David James with a new head after all.

Random action shot.

Random action shot.

Conceding a goal seemed to spark a bit of life into the visitors and they went close with a header on the hour that needed a good one-handed save from the home keeper.

Throttur managed to hang on until ten minutes from time when IBV eventually regained the advantage through Gunnar Guomundsson, who I understand used to be a character in It Ain’t Half Hot Mum.

The view from miles away.

The view from miles away.

The home fans were encouraging their team on with chants on “Throttur, Throttur“. I believe it originates from the traditional Icelandic epic poetry. The resistance was broken though and the bloke from the jungle concert party added his second soon after.

Englishman Ian Jeffs added a fourth for IBV before Vioir Porvaroarson concluded the scoring in injury time for what was a flattering five-one victory.

Final Score.

Final Score.

The home players and fans quickly cleared off whilst the IBV players celebrated with their supporters. That was it for me. I’d seen five games in a week, involving teams from the top four divisions plus the women’s league.

Iceland is definitely my sort of place, especially for watching football. The ramshackle grounds, low attendances, mixed weather and breathtaking backdrops make it pretty much perfect.  I’ve no idea if I’ll be back again someday to see some more, but I’d like to think so.

One Response to “Throttur Reykjavik v IB Vestmannaeyjar, Wednesday 29th May 2013, 6pm”

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