Sunday, 25 September 2011

Ängelholms FF 2 v 0 Åtvidabergs FF

Monday 19th September 2011
Swedish Superettan
Ängelholms Idrottsplats, Ängelholm
Admission: 100 SK
Programme: Free with admission
Attendance: 1,524
Match Rating: 4

With no games in the vacinity of Copenhagen being played this evening, I decided to head into Sweden for my football fix, for an attractive looking top of the table clash in the second tier of Swedish football.

To get to Ängelholm involved a 40 minute train ride from Copenhagen to Helsingor, followed by a twenty minute ferry crossing to Helsingborg, and finally a twenty minute train ride north to the pleasant small town of Ängelholm, with the stadium about a twenty minute walk south of the town's train station. The Ängelholms Idrottsplats is rather basic with a running track between the spectators and the pitch. There is an all-seater stand straddling the half way line, and on the other side are two narrow uncovered terraces either side of the half way line, with temporary looking uncovered sructures providing additional steps for standing. Only hard standing is available behind either goal, and as this is behind the running track, the distance to the pitch from these areas make these areas unattactive to watch the action from. A basic four page programme is available on entering the grounds, giving all of the basic information for the match such as league table and squad lists.

Unlike the Danish football league season, which is only a month and a half old, in Sweden they are at the business end of the season, with teams in the Superettan having just six games left in the 30 game season. Tonight's match would be between the two sides who look favourites to fill the two promotion places to the top-flight Allsvenskan. Tonight's visitors, relegated to the Superettan for this season, led the table going into tonight's game, who in turn were three points clear of third placed GIF Sundsvall. After a wonderful run that saw them unbeaten in the league from mid-May until their last game last weekend, at home to neighbours Landskrona. Åtvidabergs have also been in great form, unbeaten since late July and won their last four games.

The match started evenly, but it was the home side who opened the scoring on 19 minutes, with a very good shot by Jonas Lindh from just outside the box beating the keeper's dive. Eight minutes later and Åtvidabergs almost got back on level terms when a curling shot from 18 yards out struck the post. After an entertaining and well balanced first half, it was the home side who held a slender 1-0 advantage, but both teams looked capable of scoring.

Persistent drizzle accompanied the second half, during which the game could have swung either way, both sides having good chances to score, but it took until seven minutes from time for another goal to be scored. It was the home side who scored it, to surely secure the three points in this vital encounter, when a long cross to the back post was played across goal and was tapped in by Sebastian Andersson. This seemed to break the visitors, as Ängelholms has two great chances to score a third, although Åtvidabergs then had a piledriver tipped past the post, and then a header from a corner was cleared off the line. 2-0 was how it finished after a game that was interesting without ever really catching fire, and result means that Ängelholms now assume leadership of the league and ensures a very interesting finale to the season, with third placed Sundsvall also winning 5-0 tonight to keep in contention.

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