I’ve seen football in seven different countries, but today, I attended a match in County Fermanagh for the first time, as Linfield visited Ferney Park, home of Ballinamallard United.
It was an early start, travelling by supporters bus and arriving in the town just after noon, having lunch in a local bar before heading to the ground just before half two.
The locals were more than welcoming, a representative from the club even coming down to welcome supporters having lunch in the town.
Ferney Park is a nice wee ground, the ideal Irish League ground, with all the right features for the perfect away trip. There was no segregation, with supporters having the option of sitting in one of the three stands, or standing.
All the seats were taken by the time I arrived, but I wasn’t that bothered, as I prefer to stand behind the goal where Linfield are attacking.
Got a good view in both halves, the phototaking was a mixed bag. Got some good ones, but a lot of awful ones.
Linfield played well (ish) and won, which was nice. Even created chances. The second goal came from a well worked free-kick. It’s almost as if they are planning tactics and set pieces in training.
Knowing the route, I may travel independently next time when Linfield are scheduled to be in Ballinamallard in March, the day after Northern Ireland face Russia. In comparison to the travelling done by the Russians that weekend, a wee jaunt to Fermanagh isn’t that bad.