White Snow, Red Card And Blue And White Fun As CD Tenerife Win At Salamanca

Like a bizarre new version of the A Team the Armada Sur minibus inched its way out of Madrid airport car park, B.A and the boys would have been making impressive weapons out of scratch but we would have settled for working out how to open the windows. Never mind, it was cold outside so we settled for snug and warm as we headed up north to the snowy hills on the way to Salamanca. The two and a half hours trip passed pretty quickly especially after we loaded up with beer at a petrol station stop, it was like christmas for them as we plundered the expensive cans soaked up with nosebags of crisps and doughnuts – well it’s good to have a balanced diet.

We had alaready lost Tolf at the airport, his residencia was out of date and a couple of hundred euros to book a new flight would have dwarfed the mere 10 euros we paid for the Ryanair return trip. There was a hopeful mood as the snow in the Salamanca fields became deeper and the mountain range glistened in the sun. Arriving an hour before the game we headed straight for the ground, parked up and hit the nearby bar, it was small and basic but we spilled outside as more and more CDT fans joined the pre match jolly with some good natured locals enjoying our songs and antics.

It got a lot colder inside the ground but we had a good spot just behind the goal close to the pitch with just a few stewards seperating the near 200 Tenerife fans from the touchline. It was an encouraging start, Bertran looked more comfortable and tested the home side early on with a raid down the right. Salamanca had lost 8 games on the bounce but surprised us with Moraton heading home after 25 minutes, making the most of a hesitant defence. Kitoko was making his debut in the holding midfield slot and looked strong and purposeful but Luis Garcia in goal had a few juggling moments to keep us on our toes. Pablo Sicilia is on hot form and on the half hour he rose majestically to head in an equaliser, bringing a noisy response from the travelling chicharreros.

Tenerife looked more confident and had the better of the second half, Alvarez came close to beating Bernabe in the home goal and Natalio wasted the best chance of the game. New striker Igor was on the bench but coach Tapia was in no hurry to use him, Sicilia is revlling in his new role as a goal scorer and after a poor attempt to clear from a corner launched himself at the ball and headed it into the net. The home fans turned on their team and coach as our fans grew louder with the players clearly enjoying the support. Salamanca responded by bringing on ex Pio Marcos Marquez, my how we enjoyed taunting him, even better as he was clearly riled by it. Holding on to a lead has been a problem and when Kikoto was sent off for a second yellow card after 79 minutes every tenerife bum was squeaking. Coach Tapia clamped down the defence by bringing on Melli and Juanlu for Alvarez and Nino and it did the trick, the final whistle spawned a crescendo of noise from our blue and white sector as the players and Canarian media flocked to share our joy.

Leaving the stadium in full cry we were rudely interupted by a small gang of home nutters armed with flares and home made batons but thankfully they were repelled by our more vigilant fans. Even that could’t dampen the mood, we regrouped and caught our mini bus to the Hotel Recoletos for a quick check in, change of clothes and out on the town. On the way in earlier we had already been impressed with the beauty of the viaducts general layout of Salamanca and with our local guide Juanma we combined sight seeing with drinking. It’s a big student city and had a vibrant feel to it, Plaza Mayor was a wonderful ornate and stylish centre piece and provided a great first floor window view froma posh bar restaurant where we watched the Barcelona game. A tour around the back streets around the cathedral impressed us all even in our lubricated state. Karen needed a toilet stop so we dived into a small non descript bar only to find it bouncing with Tenerife fans.

We knew this was the place for us as our feet stuck to the floor and they played some fine tunes including The Smiths. By this stage our original group had fragmented with some relocating nearer to Juanma’s family home. It was around 3am that I headed back to the hotel via a kebab shop, well we had to eat eventually. Poor Andy my room mate was serenaded by my gold medal snoring as I went into an instant sleep, elsewhere the night still had more surprises.