Middelfart Stadion, 3.Division, 10/4/23
Founded – 2015 (as a sole Football Club). 1900 as part of Middelfart Gymnastik & Idræts Klub
Nickname – N/A
Honours – 3. Division – 2022/23
Random Fact – Christian Eriksen started his career at the club
Sometimes you get lucky with stuff and football can fit into that . Heading to Middelfart for this match was one of those times. What a fantastic experience. A 50 minute train ride from Esbjerg after some boring stuff and I was out of Jutland and in the next Island of Funen. With little time to spare I had to head straight to the ground without any touristy stuff. After finding out I could not pay at the gate and had to download an app to get in I got the full wow factor of this marvelous little ground. It’s a simple ground with one terrace on the wing but on the eye it was a cracker. Surrounded by trees and seeming to be dug down into a wood, I was immediately a fan of this place. This was even more so after I got speaking to locals who greeted me and thought I was a bit mad to choose a fourth tier game when there was a top flight card on. It’s all about distance though and it was close enough to Esbjerg for me to make it on time. But the trusty Aberdeen tourie worked its magic and got conversations going with the very affable locals.
A few years back when the Aberdeen fanzine The Red Final was in production I wrote a piece in it on teams with funny/strange names. This came off the back of a trip I took to Switzerland in which I went to see Young Boys. However in this piece I mentioned Middelfart. Now here I was at Middelfart watching them against Young Boys, the Silkeborg version and not the Swiss giants from Bern
As I tucked into a sausage and beer the game kicked off in the warm sun .I really didn’t have a clue what to expect in terms of standard. Having watched top flight, second tier, third tier and even down to the twelfth tier and not seen any bad games I should have known this would be a good enough watch. It was exactly that too. Good football played on the deck with some good players on show. There was a lot of action too. First moment of note came when Balle had an early effort cleared of the line by a home defender. It was at this point I noticed the daft numbering of the Young Boys team as I noticed the centre half was 1, then I looked at the keeper Lindhart who was seven. Unusual. Keeping on the theme of unusual, the Middelfart shirts all had different front sponsors. Both teams created chances but nothing to test either keeper. It was end to end with mid-table brown clad Young Boys arguably the better side in the first half. Its could also be argued that the should have had a penalty in the opening forty-five when Peter Nemec seemed to be barged in the box. But it was a half they ended by breaking the deadlock when Sunne Balle rose to head home a corner on 44 minutes. A good header but the keeper seemed to go down in instalments. A good ending to the half but nothing like what was incoming.
HT 0 v 1
Half times seem weird without a kick about these days. So it treated myself to another sausage and pint which was accompanied by some more chat from locals. This also threw up the best sign that I have ever seen in a toilet. Not that I search out toilet signage frequently
After a decent opening period I was looking forward to the second half. I didn’t expect what was coming though. The game continued in the end to end fashion but it was the home side who had the ball in the net next. After some good work in the box a cross found William Akpan wide open to tap in from ten yards. But Young Boys weren’t giving up their fight for promotion and re-took the lead via Peter Nemeth who struck an effort across goal and out of reach of Radza in the Middelfart goal. This with eighteen minutes to go. The hosts sent on subs to try and change things. One of which was Lester Hayes who the guy next to me said he will score. Which he did but not before Marcus Berthelsen scored direct from a corner. A poor goal to give away from Young Boys. Especially in the dying moments of the game. It was clocked at 94 minutes. Then incredibly in the 96th that man Hayes ran on to a ball over the top to finish what was an incredible late showing from Middelfart. A great ending to what was a great experience overall. Top club Middelfart, people and ground wise. Then it was a brisk walk to the train station to get back to Esbjerg for game two of the day. Sometime fitba just makes sure everything is great. This was one of those days. A truly fantastic footballing experience at a wonderful ground.
Entrance – 68 DKK (approx £8)
Attendance – 233 (Rough Head Count)
Pie – Sausage and bread 40DKK (Approx £4.70)
Pint – Albani, Stadium Bar 40DKK (Approx £4.70)