Ground: Mourneview Park
Visits: 1 (0 for a Glenavon match)
Date: 17th July 2014
Match: Linfield - AIK 1-0 (Europa League)
Attendance: 1 741
In Ireland league matches are normally played on Friday evenings. In combination with UEFA-matches (and thereby league matches being moved) I had the possibility to watch five matches in Ireland/Northern Ireland before flying to Scotland for Celtic vs KR. My trip started on Wednesday evening with a flight to Dublin. The flight arrived at Dublin airport shortly after 11pm but I was actually at my hotel in central Dublin before midnight, sometimes things go really smoothly. My plans for which Europa League match I was going to attend on Thursday evening changed several times but in the end I decided for Linfield vs AIK. Linfield are from Belfast play at Northern Ireland´s national stadium, Windsor Park. Since Windsor Park are being rebuilt at the moment Linfield have to play their Europa League matches at Mourneview Park in Lurgan. Northern Ireland was to be my 30th country I´ve seen football in and knowing AIK would bring a decent away following I didn´t min going to Lurgan for this match.
My train left Dublin Connolly at 11am and 2 h 15 min. later I was in Belfast. There were plenty of AIK fans in the train but that was no surprise since this route was the best one if you live in Sweden. After checking in at my hotel I had something to eat and drink before making a sightseeing tour of central Belfast. With all the British (and Northern Irish) flags in the area around my hotel I realised I stayed in a loyalist area of the city. There were some impressive murals to look at as well. Anyway, I went back to my hotel for a short rest and then boarded the 17.01 train taking me to Lurgan. Mourneview Park is the home of Glenavon but this summer Linfield play here as well. I was outside the ground around 6pm and tried to find out where to buy tickets. For this match the home team were in the normal away section while AIK were in the main stand, confusing! I decided to sit with the home supporters in the North Stand. Mourneview Park has stands on three sides of the ground. The North Stand has 2 000 seats and is the biggest stand. The main (South) Stand is elevated but has some restricted views but I guess the view is still ok from there.
AIK brought 250 fans to Lurgan this evening and as usual they were vocal for most of the 90 minutes. The Linfield supporters, who packed the North Stand, did their best to support their team as well and for a 2nd round qualifying match in the Europa League the atmosphere was very good. Not the best of matches though. AIK hit the post in the second half but apart from that it was a disappointing performance from the team in black. Linfield didn´t create many chances but in the 87th minute they found the net, 1-0 to Linfield and an uphill task for AIK now. After the match I hurried back to the train station. At 22.45 I was back at my hotel where I quickly fell asleep. Tomorrow I go by train, via Dublin, to Cork. Two matches over the weekend for me in the Cork area before heading towards Dundalk on Sunday.
Pictures from Belfast
Belfast, view from my hotel room
Apparently I stayed in a loyalist area....
Pub with AIK fans
Pictures from Lurgan and Linfield vs AIK
Pub with AIK fans
Mourneview Park, away entrance
Mourneview Park, home entrance
Linfield fans at half-time
View of play
Banner (Linfield have 51 titles)
View of play
View of Mourneview Park