Friday, September 25, 2009

Next stop Rojales

Rojales, pronounced "Ro-harlez", was the next stop on Santa Pola's bi-weekly Costa Blanca tour. Thankfully it's only thirty minutes away, it wouldn't have done to travel for hours and then endure, what was, a pretty mediocre ninety minutes of football.

First things first though, the match won't take long to describe, Roharlez is one of those small inland towns very popular with the Brits and others in Spain which, in spite of the influx of large numbers of different European residents, manages to retain it's unique Spanish charm and character. A picturesque eighteenth century bridge spans the Segura river, which, during the heat of high summer trickles it way through the town on it's journey to the sea at nearby Guardamar. To the south of the town are four sets of cave dwellings, one hundred and fifty odd years of age, the most popular is El Rodeo, which these days houses exhibitions and small craft shops for local artesans.

Unfortunately, the skills of the resident artists weren't transferred to the nearby football pitch on which Thader de Rojales and Santa Pola ground out a goal-less draw. To be charitable Santa Pola weren't at their best and had goalkeeper Julio to thank for keeping the Thader forwards at bay. Deep into the second half, the game had nil-nil written all over it, you can kinda tell can't you? The home side did manage to prod the ball over the line fifteen minutes before the end, but our eagle eyed referee spotted something everyone else present missed and to the evident relief of the thirteen travelling fans, the 'goal' was chalked off.

Typically, having talked Santa Pola and their prospects for the season up, today was the day a friend of mine Derek Bevan, a scout for West Bromwich Albion FC, chose to come and see them. With a sterling effort Del boy managed to stay awake until five mintues before the final whistle, he later assured me he always leaves before the end "to beat the traffic." I couldn't help thinking this time he meant to say monotony!

It seems as well that without a pen or camera in my hand I might not be the greatest football watcher, if so, I apologise to the English bloke and his son who's view I kept interrupting by pacing around, arms folded, during an anxious last ten minutes. Sorry mate!
I don't think I swore.
Full time Thader 0 - 0 Santa Pola
PHOTO: Jose Fran Molina in a natty pink shirt

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