Widnesians are ready to fly the flag

Aus den „Widnes Weekly News“ Jun 26 2008 (mit Berichten über die sportliche Begegnung zwischen Haltoner und Marzahn-Hellersdorfer Fußballern)

Widnesians are ready to fly the flag

by Dave Bettley, Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News (hier seht ihr das Original)

FOOTBALL: England may have missed out on the European Championship finals in Austria and Switzerland, but Widnes Football Development Forum are to fly the footballing flag on the continent this weekend.
They will be taking a town representative side to Germany for a ground-breaking ‘international’ against the Marzahn-Hellersdorf first team from the borough’s twin town in Berlin.
Having received the invitation, Halton Borough Council asked the Forum if they could get a team together.
Mick Millea, of Halton Borough FC and the Forum, said: “The invitation was taken with a full enthusiasm by all the clubs.”
Each club has made a donation with players and staff paying money towards the trip.
The Forum have also applied to the town-twinning committee for a grant while Moorfield S&SC held a race night fundraiser.
The travelling party also includes seven forum members and Councillor Phil Harris, executive board member for sport.
They travel out tomorrow (Friday), returning on Sunday. The match is on Saturday (ko 5pm) on an artificial pitch in the host town’s stadium.
Millea added: “It is hoped that this can become something of a regular event, with the forum offering an invite for the Marzahn-Hellersdorf team to play in the Widnes Cup competition or similar.
“All of the players are excited of representing their town in such a match – the first for open-age football for a long time, if it has ever happened at all.”
A friendly against Widnes Bayer FC on Saturday at St Michael’s DH saw the Forum side win 2-0 with goals from Tony Wynne and Nick Ellis.

The squad is Mark Heggarty, Michael Holland and Tony Wynne (all St Michael’s); Mark Southern and David Buckley (both Halton Borough); Matthew Dando and Gary Wood (both Moorfield); Nick Ellis and Richard Hughes (both Halebank); Mark Stanton and Kevin Gould (both Cronton Villa); Karle Kneale and Paul McGuinness (both Avon Athletic) and Village’s Adam Simm.

Widnes Weekly News Jul 3 2008

Twin town tour triumph

by Dave Bettley, Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News
FC Marzahn 4 Widnes Town Team 5

WIDNES Football Forum’s representative team conquered Europe by winning this invitational fixture on a sweltering evening in Halton’s German twin town. A last-gasp goal by Adam Simm settled a thrilling contest in favour of the tourists who were treated to a highly-enjoyable weekend as guests of the people of Marzahn-Hellersdorf, Berlin.
The game was played in the local stadium on a newly-laid artificial surface which played extremely well. Marzahn’s five-man midfield struggled to contain wing-backs Tony Wynne on the right and Nick Ellis.
Ellis’s self-won fifth-minute free-kick picked out two-goal man-of-the-match Mark Stanton – to head his first past a stranded keeper from six yards.
Within 10 minutes, Marzahn were level as forward Kuhnlene fired home another set-piece at close range. A couple of attacks from the Widnes side saw Wynne fire in three consecutive shots – all turned away. From one of the rebounds, Karl Kneale’s shot skimmed the bar.
On 24 minutes, the hosts took the lead – skipper Lehman’s through-ball being picked up by Hauphman, who fired low right past Matt Dando. From the kick off, Stanton’s outrageous shot from halfway hit an upright and went out for a goal kick.
The 28th-minute equaliser from Ellis’ run across the 18-yard line was reward for scorer Wynne whose right-foot volley thundered into the net.
Widnes regained the advantage 10 minutes after the break. Kevin Gould’s free-kick from just inside the opposition half picked out Stanton to head home – his blindside run into the box, coupled with Mark Heggarty’s dash the opposite way, causing confusion.
Marzahn made it 3-3 from a 65th-minute corner, Leminski unmarked at the back post to fire past Mark Southern, who had taken over in goal.
Widnes took the lead yet again on the 77th minute. Stanton, running back from an offside position, made no attempt for the ball and Wynne ran onto Heggarty’s through ball to lob the oncoming keeper. The shot came back off the top of the bar but Heggarty beat the keeper and last defender in the air to score.
With time against them, Marzahn attacked at every opportunity. With just a minute left, captain Lehmann sent a left-foot volley past Southern.Widnes dropped but not for long. There was still time for right-back Gary Wood’s wonderful right-foot cross from halfway to evade Marzahn’s defence and land for Simm to calmly volley home on the turn.
Only one caution – for a clumsy challenge in the dying minutes – showed how sporting the occasion was despite both sides wanting to win.
At the end of the match, all the Widnes players swapped shirts with members of the opposition.

Reaction and pictures from Germany next week.

Link zur Originalseite

Widnes Euro stars

Jul 10 2008, by Dave Bettley, Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News

Amateur footballers returned in triumph from a representative game in the borough’s German twin town of Marzahn- Hellersdorf. But not only did they beat the host club in a nine-goal thriller, they met with warmth and hospitality which will long be remembered.
MANAGER Ronnie Hough reminded players in the Halton squad – put together by Widnes Football Forum – their tour of Germany was history in the making.
No matter what the result, he said, they were the first team of Widnes amateur footballers to represent the town since 1974.
Hough, who had been part of that predecessor team, as it turned out saw his charges earn a 5-4 victory against Marzahn FC.
But the thrilling game was just part of a memorable weekend.

From the moment Petra Wermke – twin-town committee president, speaker of Marzahn-Hellersdorf’s Assembly and main interpreter – met them at the airport, the travelling party couldn’t have felt more welcome.
The three-day trip began on the Friday, a bus ride taking the Widnes players and officials to their hostel in the village of Falkenberg.
With central Berlin just an hour’s return trip by rail, there was plenty of time before the day was out for sightseeing – and visiting the Brandenburg Gate and the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament.
Saturday saw the main event – the match which marked the unveiling by district mayor Dagmar Pohle of impressive new sports facilities in one of Halton’s twin towns.
The opening ceremony began at 10am – the ground well within walking distance through an urban park.

Mick Millea, Widnes Football Forum secretary, explained: “There were lots of speeches followed by a release of balloons by local schoolchildren.
“The band then appeared after playing through the streets surrounding the ground.
“They even managed a rendition of God Save the Queen for our visiting party, who sang along. This was followed by the German national anthem.”
Halton councillor Phil Harris presented a cut-glass vase and paper weight – both bearing the Halton crest – to the host Mayor and football club and Hough a silver salver to his Marzahn counterpart.
All the touring party received albums, commemorating Berlin and its history.
In early evening, the teams defied sweltering temperatures to lay on a highly-exciting and competitive match.
Both sides led but Widnes earned the verdict, thanks to two goals each from MoM Mark Stanton and Tony Wynne plus Adam Simm’s winner.
The entertainment continued into the night.

Millea added: “We were wined and dined into the small hours by all the officials and players of the Marzahn club.
“About 200 people were entertained by a live band on a covered stage and at the end, there was a major fireworks display to music.”
The following morning, the touring party took time to relax before heading for the airport – their winners’ trophy safely tucked away.
They had appreciated the support from Halton Borough Council and its sports development team in organising the venture, Cllr Harris and Petra Wermke who had looked after them so well.
Millea said: “All the thanks go to the players and officials of the Marzahn club and also the people of Marzahn and Falkenburg.
“The players and officials were treated with the greatest respect and hospitality which would be nice to reciprocate given the opportunity.
“The visit could not have gone better.”