Archive for September, 2016

UKM FC v Melaka SAMB FC, Sunday 22nd May 2016, 4.45pm

September 4, 2016


After the previous week’s 9-a-side effort I was keen to see a proper game and what better than a third tier clash pitching the National University of Malaysia against the Melaka Water Corporation?

That morning we’d moved out of the hotel that we’d temporarily been staying in and into a house. A house that came complete with a permanently startled looking lizard.


The move didn’t take much doing as these days we’ve pared our travelling stuff down to a suitcase full each and so after lunch we drove north for an hour to the Stadium Mini UKM at Bandar Bari Bangu. It was free to get in and we took seats in the single stand that held around five hundred. Or at least it potentially held five hundred. The visit of the men from the Water Board hadn’t really brought the crowds out and the stand was almost empty.


Elsewhere in the ground we had a dozen or so travelling fans in a corner making plenty of noise with a couple of drums and another twenty spectators who had parked their cars on a hill on the opposite side of the pitch and were watching the game from there.


The teams came onto the pitch to the sound of the Champions League walk-out music. Very professional, although it did seem a little over the top. There was no time for the teams to settle as within the first twenty seconds the Uni goalie had brought a Water Board striker down in the box.

The penalty was successfully dispatched to put the visitors a goal up.


The lead didn’t last though and within ten minutes of going behind the students were level after someone poked the ball home during a goalmouth scramble.

I thought the standard was pretty decent, although I’ve no idea if the players really were all students or water board employees. Perhaps there were a few ringers on show. Regardless, the quality of play was a lot better than the Northern League games that I’d watched a couple of weeks earlier.


At half-time I bought a burger and a hot dog for a combined total of less than a quid. They were both quite good. They didn’t seem to sell many though and it seemed as if most of the crowd were content to wait and then eat the remaining stock cold when it was given away towards the end of the game.

In the second half the visitors took control and went ahead  with a header from a corner before doubling their lead on the hour when a quick break left the home defence all over the shop and the ball was knocked into an empty net.


The Water Board keeper made three good saves from chances where UKM should really have scored before letting a twenty-five yarder go through his hands and legs to reduce the deficit. That’s the way it finished.

Teluk Kemang FC v Bandar Sungala, Sunday 15th May 2016, 11am

September 3, 2016


The day after the promotion party and only twelve days after we’d left Australia, Jen and I went back around the globe to Malaysia for my new job. It’s a place that we’d visited before, during a Lunar New Year trip to Kuala Lumpur a few years ago.

This time though we are out in the sticks in the small town of Lukut. There’s just the one decent bar but it sells Tiger beer and lamb chops and I don’t need much more than that.

The drive to work takes me through some sparsely populated areas where monkeys sit under the palm trees and stray dogs loiter by the side of the road, causing my foot to hover over the brake. I saw a tortoise successfully cross the road the other day, albeit at a faster pace than I’ve seen one move before.

Not so lucky was a big lizard. A very big lizard. Big enough at three or four feet long to probably not be a lizard at all and to be something else entirely. Maybe his granny had got jiggy with  a crocodile. I imagine that this sort of road-kill will become commonplace before long but the first one was interesting enough for me to stop the car and take a photo. I suspect even the monkeys thought I was weird for doing that.


Port Dickson is the next town along and a little busier so for my first day off we decided to check it out. As luck would have it we stumbled across a football game at the Padang Merdeka stadium. Or rather, an entire tournament.

The stadium had a 3G pitch as I think they are known. Or maybe I’m getting mixed up with phones. Who knows? Anyway, it was artificial rather than grass. There was a big stand down one side and a smaller one down the other. Both were filled predominantly with players from the other teams.

The odd thing though was that it was only nine a side. It was a full-size pitch and each team had subs. Why on earth wouldn’t you just play proper football? The quirk in the rules meant that I couldn’t count it as a stadium that I’d visited under my own ‘groundhopping’ rules which require it to be a ‘proper’ game. I agonised for a while over whether watching a nine-a-side game was any different from watching an eleven-a–side match where both teams had suffered a double sending off.


In the end I concluded that it wasn’t a proper match and that it wouldn’t count. Although I suspect that my decision was heavily influenced by the thought that it would be easy enough to return in the near future and tick the ground off properly.

Teluk Kemang were in red whilst Bandar Sungala were in orange and blue. I only know the team names because I got a local lad to write them down for me. His act of kindness earned him a piss-taking from his mates due to him speaking English to me.


When we return for a proper game, he’ll no doubt think twice about getting involved. For what it’s worth, Bandar Sungala clinched the victory with a last-minute goal and I squashed no lizards either on the way there or on the way back.