Friday 8 August 2008

FC Levadia; Kadrioru Stadium, Tallinn, Estonia.

On the day I was fortunate enough to arrive in Tallinn there was a European Champions League qualifying round match between FC Levadia, and Drogheda United; with the men from the Republic of Ireland leading by the odd goal in three from the first leg.

This was also the stadium that staged the famous 'game that never was' between Estonia & Scotland in a European Championship qualifier back in 1999.

This four page programme was free with admission, though they did run out before kick off. Luckily I was there early enough to get one.

150 Estonian crowns to get in. About eight quid, the same as Dulwich Hamlet! And this was expensive, compared to Estonian domestic matches!
(This actually isn't my match ticket) The man who searched me & ripped mine, gave me a junior one, which didn't mention the opposition on it, and had 50 EEK on it, without mention of the opposition, so I borrowed my mate Larry's one, to photograph it!)

This is the entrance, ticket booths, and through gates. No actual turnstiles.

Is it an Englsih thing? We always snap these signs when at foreign grounds. Something to do with the 'no guns' emblem perhaps?

Not so much a club shop, as a club table!
Doing a roaring trade with the away fans, as well as us English visitors.

This was my first view in the stadium, the open seating down one side. But I going to walk clockwise, taking you round to the main stand.

Despite being in the open air there's still a designated smoking area!

Stepping back ,to get a snap of the main stand, through the trees.

Before heading there, I look back towards the entrance from inside.

A few people stood behind here during the game, but you're a long way from the action behind the goal.

The beer stall was busy, and ran out in the first half!

Presumably Estonian for 'keep off the pitch'!

looking into the main stand.. and the sun!

We sat on the right hand side of the stand, here the teams greeting each other before kick. You can see the majority of the one hundred and fifty or so away fans from Drogheda on the far side.

Looking across into the main stand.

Another look over at the main Drogheda support.

And down at the beer stall in the corner, and back behind the goal.

The game kicks off.

A decent socreboard, probably from the days when they staged Estonian internationals, prior to the A. Le Coq Arena being built.

The UEFA & Fair Play flags flying. no anti racism one though...well this is eastern Europe! ;-)

Half time, and this is behind the main stand, as I start to go for a wander, taking you around the rest of the stadium.

A home fans agrees to pose for me!

Presumably not used for home games!

And I didn't see these vechiles in action either!

A look back down the main side.

Another sight of the scoreboard in the far corner.

Again no sepctator facilities behind the goal, and a long way from the pitch.

Portadown may be in Ireland, but the other country!

My personal pick of the visitors' banners.

Same colours, shame about the link up. I hate west ham!

Half will change in the second half.

Behind the goal were some houses. Here some locals enjoy the good weather. How can you live next to a football ground, and not take an interest in a big game? Bizarre..well to me anyway! ;-)

That is one BIG scoreboard!

Looking across to the other side.

Passing the Drogheda fans, on the open side.

There's always one in a bloody Guinness hat!

Time for the second half, must get back round to my seat!

This shows just how far away you are if you choose to stand behind the goal!

A last glance down the open side.

Our little crowd from Dulwich Hamlet are sat in that open bit of the stand opposite.

Oh dear! Quality shorts mate!

Looking towards the goal, and this is the ACTUAL goal! Levadia 0, Drogheda 1...for the only goal of the game!

Here are my fellow Dulwich Hamlet fans!

Not long to go, and whoever that player walking off is, hasn't been subbed, but red carded.

This team bus was parked in the car park outside.

And that was Levadia! A thoroughly enjoyable match, though not the highest standard. I really do feel that a top Dulwich Hamlet performance could have defeated either side. Not that my opinions will bother the drogs, who now play Dinamo Kiev in the next round! I wonder if they'll be up for it, or will they 'chicken' it! ;-)
And on that 'groan' we end our tour of this ground!