Wednesday sent me on another field trip. This time to Blackburn via Bolton to experience the high-tempo football and electric crowd intensity of a women’s European Championship match.
Going to Blackburn, you’ll most likely switch trains in Bolton, 25 minutes North of Manchester. We (me and my friend Anna, who wanted to go to the match) took the opportunity to sightsee in Bolton as well. Unfortunately, both Bolton and Blackburn are rather boring old industrial cities in Lancashire, now mostly known for their Premiership football teams. But there are remnants of the industrial age, such as this big, covered market in Bolton:
One of the shops had something extraordinary on offer: A full life size wookiee!
I find it funny that they found it necessary to put up the sign advocating the “don’t touch” policy, since the whole expression that this particular hairy biped is conveying seems to be one saying specifically: “Don’t touch me, or I’ll gut you!”
Anyway, we made our way to the stadium, picked up our tickets and found our seats just in time for Kick-off. Unfortunately, the small contingent of Danish fans were sitting in the stand to the right of us, so we had no chance to mingle.
The game got underway, and the first half proved seriously boring, with little or few open chances and nervous play from both sides, lots of lost passes and late tackles. But at the beginning of the second half, England came out with a lot more determination, and quickly won a rather clear penalty:
Which they duly scored. 1-0 to England. The crowd goes wild.
Denmark was under serious pressure and soon afterwards England carved another opening in the Danish defence, but somehow managed to miss the goal from this:
Another 20 minutes passed, and it suddenly seemed as if Denmark realised what was at stake. They began battling and won a free kick at the edge of the box:
The Danish Top-scorer, Pedersen, curled the kick over the wall and under the crossbar for a superb equalizer:
And soon afterwards, Denmark managed to secure a winner through a headed goal concluding a nice passing move. The Danish players went mental:
All in all, a fun game. And Ewood Park in Blackburn is a surprisingly nice stadium, so now I can say that I’ve been to three English League football grounds (two of which were Manchester City’s)- a humble beginning for the full 92. Visiting all of them is a matter of pride for some hardcore football fans, and it is sure to bring you to every corner of England, even though most of the stadiums seem to look alike..