Sporting Saint Petersburg v Almaz Antey, Saturday 5th June 2021, 1.30pm

It was a last minute decision to pop along to the Stadion Krasniy Treugolink for a fourth-tier fixture in the LFL Severo-Zapad league. My new ground hopping App had revealed that there was a game scheduled five kilometres from our hotel and whilst kick-off was imminent, I was happy to arrive late and see whatever we were able to.

Stadion Krasniy Treugolink is in a park, with a river around three sides of the ground. Jen and I arrived about twenty minutes after the scheduled one o’clock start time and spent around ten minutes walking through the park to find the entrance.

Sunbathing seems a popular park activity in Russia and we noticed a few people lying around in just their underwear. I don’t think anyone in England would consider sunbathing without changing into a swimming costume, despite swimming not being on the agenda. Simply stripping down to a pair of baggy Y-fronts has really never struck me as an option when the sun is out.

In a stroke of luck we arrived at the ground just as the game was starting, some half an hour or so after the scheduled start. Maybe whoever was using the pitch beforehand wouldn’t clear off. The home side were in black and white with the visitors in a blue and white kit. It was Almaz Antey who took the lead early on with a tap-in that looked offside to me.

The ground had a capacity of two hundred and all the seats were down one side. The three rows accommodated all thirty-five spectators plus most of the subs who for some reason had abandoned the dugouts.

The first bit of drama came when the home goalie sent a clearance straight into the river. Jen and I had a good vantage point to see a fella try and tape around eight sections of pole together in an attempt to retrieve it.

In the second half a further ball was lost to the river on the other side of the pitch. My first thought was that it must have been difficult to see where that ball had gone as one of the subs spent a lot of time staring through the fence and bushes as if trying to locate it.

The sub was soon joined by a few more from the bench including his manager and they ignored the game whilst appearing to be trying to spot the ball. It was only when Jen and I left the ground at the end that we noticed the real reason for their interest. An attractive young lady was sunbathing around ten yards beyond the fence wearing nothing more than a flesh-coloured thong. The ball could have floated half-way to Moscow for all the interest that the subs had actually shown in it.

Back inside the crisis deepened when ball number three went missing and with no more on the bench a player had to be despatched to the club-house for further supplies. I initially wondered if he would be sent to a sports shop to buy some more but he was able to find extras somewhere inside.

The overall standard seemed quite poor, well below the third tier game we had watched the day before and probably lower than the fifth level games that we’ve seen in Moscow. There were plenty of missed opportunities for both sides and with ten minutes remaining the Sporting keeper was chipped to give the visitors a second goal and a deserved three points.

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: