Antequero v Yeclano Desportivo, Saturday 15th April 2023, 6pm

Our week in Spain was mainly spent in the hills between Alora and Antequero. One evening we heard what sounded like wolves howling. I googled ‘wolves in Andalucía’ and learned that there are indeed wolf packs living wild in the region. Pretty good, eh? Some people aren’t keen on wolves, but I reckon that they are just like dogs and I’ve yet to meet a dog that didn’t get on with me. You just give them a treat and ruffle their fur a bit.

My Google search also revealed that there was a wolf park a few kilometres away in the direction of Antequero. We went along and had a look, although there was no fur ruffling allowed. The lady who showed us around confirmed that, if the winds are right, their nocturnal howling can be heard in the area that we were staying. The news came as a disappointment, as I was hoping that I’d see one walking past our cabin in the hope of being fed some sausages.

Anyway, we were back in the same area the next day for some football. It was a fourth-tier game between Antequero and Yeclano Desportivo. The hosts were fourteen points clear at the top of the table with just five games remaining and a win would clinch both promotion and the title. I learned from their website that they were expecting a sell-out and with the ticket office and ground opening an hour and a half before kick-off, we got there early.

There was already a lengthy queue when we arrived, but we were soon able to buy ten euro tickets for the uncovered stand. I turned down the option of a pig’s leg raffle ticket on the basis that with no wolves likely to pass our door Jen and I would have to consume the whole limb ourselves in the three days we had remaining.

El Mauli stadium holds seven thousand and quickly filled up. I suspect that a lot of the crowd weren’t any more regular attendees than we were, but were drawn in by the chance of being part of their team’s history and to catch up with old friends from their match-going days. There was a definite buzz about the place, but very little tension which is just as you’d expect when your team needs only a single point from their remaining five games. It wasn’t Leicester ’88.

Yeclano weren’t there to make up the numbers though, as they were in third place in the table with promotion hopes of their own, albeit via the play-offs. They had brought six fans with them and as many banners as well as a drum and a loudhailer. It was a friendly atmosphere though with no segregation and genuine banter between both sets of fans. The only involvement that the police had was to request that the Yeclano banners be moved so that they didn’t obscure some advertising hoardings.

Antequero were in green and white halves with black shorts and socks, with Yeclano in a sort of knock-off Milan kit. The first half was cagey with few chances apart from one home attack that required an impressive triple save from the visiting keeper.

The deadlock was broken by Antequero a few minutes into the second half, but Yeclano weren’t out of it and always looked to have a goal in them. It meant that the Cava remained on ice until a couple of minutes from time when a second home goal signalled the start of the festivities. It wasn’t my party and so on the final whistle I left them to it. As we drove away, we had to pause to allow an open topped bus to enter the stadium. Clearly it was going to be some evening.

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 )

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: