RBC Berlin 1-5 Berliner SC – Sunday 14th October, 2018
AOK-Landespokal Berlin 2018 – 2nd Round
As the most celebrated and significant religious festival you never knew about, the ‘Tag der Amateure’ (the German equivalent of the UK’s ‘Non-League Day’) had football fans around the country heading to their nearest Sportplatz on Sunday, presumably to take in some good old ‘proper’ football and grumble about how the ‘game has gone’ at the top levels. In Berlin, this Holy Day coincided with the second round of the Landespokal, a competition notable as an opportunity for one Berlin club to qualify for next season’s DFB-Pokal (the German FA Cup).
Though, for security purposes, the Bloody Hell team are rarely in the same place at the same time, on this special day a few of our number headed out to Marzahn for what was likely to be, on paper, a one-sided contest. Berliner SC of the Herren Verbandsliga (Berlin Liga), the sixth tier of the German football pyramid, against RBC Berlin, a dominant force in the standalone Verbandsliga Freizeit. RBC had come through a qualification round and the first round both on penalties against Herrenliga opposition to reach this stage, suggesting nerves of steel and no little ability. Then again, when the league your opposition play in has a sponsor, you know you’re mixing it with the big boys.
The launch earlier in the day of Issue #01 of the new BHM digital magazine (check it out if you’ve been hiding under a rock and haven’t had a look yet) was an obvious second cause for celebration.
The game settled into a familiar pattern almost instantly, RBC sitting back as the superior passing and movement of the Berlin-Liga outfit had them under pressure from the off. Burly striker Patrick Scholler cut a lone figure up front as the RBC midfield was pressed right back onto the toes of their back four. SC’s first big chance was headed wide by centre-half Dominique Leitner, but it was only a matter of time before the gap in class manifested itself in goals. The breakthrough came on 13 minutes as one of several sharp passing moves yielded the opener, a cool low finish from SC frontman Max-Fabian Woelker
. It suggested the start of a landslide.
There then followed two moments that perfectly encapsulated the spirit of amateur football which, as anyone who has watched a Sunday League striker down a can of Fosters at half time before coming out and immediately caressing a bicycle kick into the top corner can testify, can quickly veer from the ridiculous to the sublime.
A rare RBC foray forward resulted in a corner which was flicked on straight to Scholler five yards out. Somehow the target man endeavoured to head wide, and the enthusiastic RBC following was deflated, their big chance seemingly gone.
Scholler had other ideas. Two minutes later he was again isolated, chasing a long ball over the top with the attention of two SC defenders. A quick touch over the defender’s head (think Gazza over Colin Hendry at Euro 96) was followed by a sublime volley from 25 yards out into the top corner. It was real Goal-of-the-Season stuff, yet was somehow missed by Bloody Hell supremo and Chief Photographer Ben Ferry who was apparently pre-occupied as the goal went in (rumours he was attempting to take a selfie with a Bratwurst are unconfirmed, although if the man can pull that off with a long-lens then all the power to him). Luckily the Spreekick cameraman had no such distractions.
For eight glorious minutes, we had a cup tie. Sadly, the simplest of through balls allowed Woelker to slide SC back into the lead and the game pretty much resumed normal service from then on. Omid Saberdest added a third shortly before the break, effectively killing the game.
Oasis’ Noel Gallagher was once questioned about the reason behind his combustible younger brother Liam’s seemingly permanently angry demeanour, and responded by describing him as ‘like a man with a fork, in a world of soup’. The RBC coach Ronnie Range seems to encapsulate this aspect of the Mancunian rock ‘n’ roll frontman perfectly. Sent from the ‘stands’ for abusing the officials during the Holger-Blichmann-Pokal final in June despite watching his team cruise to a 3-0 victory, his touchline manner unsurprisingly remained ‘outspoken’ throughout this chastening afternoon for his side. Truth be told, no amount of shouting encouragement or ranting at the ref could help his side make up the gap in class on show here but, to their credit, RBC remained fully committed right up until the final whistle.
Nonetheless Saberdest added a fourth after the hour mark and Radovan Stojanovic rounded off the scoring on 71 minutes, both goals the result of the same calm, slick passing that defined the SC display. A 5-1 victory in the end, but ultimately this collision of polar opposite ends of the Berlin non-league scene proved enjoyable and appeared a productive distraction from league football for both camps, despite the scoreline.
So the Landespokal loses it’s only Freizeitliga representative for this year, with RBC returning to the world of rolling subs, substitutes-cum-linesmen and bibs-to-avoid-kit-clashes next week. It’s more cup football for them, however, in the form of the Holger-Blichmann-Pokal Freizeitliga cup, as they take on SFC Friedrichshain FZ I. For SC, it’s back to Berlin-Liga action as they travel to TUS Makkabi on Sunday. The ‘Tag der Amateure’ may have passed for another year, but the action never stops!
RBC Berlin – Rickmann, Albrecht, Lingelbach, Dobbrunz, Range, Kunz, Strel (C), Tomaschitz, Schröder, Scholler, S. Röthig (Subs: Feller, Uhlig)
Goal: Scholler 22’
Berliner SC – Yokokura, Arndt, Arnst, Leitner, Önal, Ngo, Saberdest, Matkovic, Jahnke, Woelker, Höfler (Subs: Murakami, Silic, Maaß, Zagmouz, Stojanovic)
Goals: Woelker 13’, 30’, Saberdest 39’, 65’, Stojanovic 71′