Metallurg Vidnoye v Kvant Obninsk, Tuesday 15th June 2021, 6pm

The train from Saint Petersburg got us back into Moscow at three o’clock and as I was off work for the day it meant I had an easy opportunity to get along to a six o’clock game. The traffic at that time of day was busier than normal as a ‘non-working’ week had been announced as a covid response, meaning that everyone was out and about all day and not just during rush hours.

Even so, I had time to drop my bag and Jen at the flat and head off in a taxi to the Stadion Metallurg in Vidnoye for one of the games in the final round of fixtures in the third tier Professional Football League.

The covid restrictions had impacted upon the game and spectators were not allowed in the main stand. It made little difference to those who had turned out to watch as everyone just lined the four feet high perimeter fence and watched from the other side of the pitch.

I suspect that it made little difference to the spread of covid either with people bunched up in a way that was less likely if they had been in seating distanced from each other.

There wasn’t anything resting on the match with Metallurg sitting third from bottom of the table but safe from relegation. Visitors Kvant were a place above but couldn’t be caught. One of the sides was in red with the other in white and maroon but I had no idea which was which. Usually this is resolved when someone opens the scoring but as I couldn’t see the scoreboard I was destined to remain in the dark regardless.

Even if I had been able to see the scoreboard it wouldn’t have helped as both sides were struggled to get shots on target, never mind into the net. Mid-way through the second half the thunder started and with no cover available I called a cab and cleared off. A bit of online checking revealed that it finished up as a 2-1 home win.

That’s it for the third tier for this season. It’s a strange league. The security is as strict a a G7 summit despite it always being free to get in and t falls under covid restrictions despite generally fewer people watching than would travel on a bus or eat in McDonalds. It has provided some decent entertainment though despite not ending on a high.

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