Wednesday, June 2, 2010
In the words of Mannfred Mann's Earth Band............
Home in Elche to Pilar de la Horadada is a straightforward journey down the motorway until just south of Torrevieja where you join the N332 for about a twenty odd kilometre run south to Pilar. The quaint Ikomar stadium, home to the best grass pitch in Preferente football, is on the far side of town adjacent to a pretty scruffy and small industrial estate and easily accessed by using the main drag through the pueblo and just keeping going. Easy that is when there aren't roadworks that compel you to use a rabbit warren of back streets. In this order, three things then happened, I got completely lost, had a major row with a burly Spanish motorist and eventually arrived at the ground irritable and fed up.
I can kind of see the reason the big old Spanish bloke was a tad pissed off, I, without meaning to, (you never do), completely missed a stop sign and almost t-boned him at a junction I wasn't familiar with. Normally in that scenario, the combination of holding your hands up and employing a pathetic looking face tend to work and the other party drives of muttering a bit. Not today though, our heated road exchange ended with me asking the nobber a question and then answering it for him, something like...."Hablas Inglés? entonces Fuck off"
I could have guessed it was going to be one of those afternoons and so it proved on the pitch. A strange looking Santa Pola line-up, missing a host of regulars, (I won't bother advancing my personal conspiracy theory), were never really at the races and on a hot, hot Sunday evening slipped to their worst defeat of the season after one of their poorest performances of the campaign. Somewhat oddly, Santa Pola led by a goal at half time, that, and the combination of a few choice words from coach Domingo Grau during the break, ought to have been sufficient to rouse the guys from their lethargy. It never happened. Santa Pola sleep- walked their collective way through another dismal forty five minutes of football, conceding four unanswered and extremely good goals in the process. For the second time in 2009/10 'Pola lost to a decent Horadada side, today going down 4-1 whilst never really looking like taking anything from the encounter.
I've been to the Ikomar at various times this season and last and you always know what you are going to get, a warm welcome from a very friendly football club who deserve their onfield success. One thing that's always puzzled me is the attitude of one or two of the local Brits who gather to watch. Today, I thought The Reds were excellent and could have won by far more than three goals, despite playing as well as they did, all I heard from one or two English voices close to me for virtually the whole game was complaints. Curious.
Oh, and by the way, I was wearing different clothes agains!!