After the trauma of Eintracht Frankfurt’s relegation on Saturday came a little bit of light relief on Sunday. Frankfurt’s second club is FSV and it was to their Frankfurter Volksbank Stadion that I went to in order to see their 2. Liga match against Erzgebirge Aue, a club hailing from the east of the country.
Fußballsportverein Frankfurt, to give them their proper name, are a small team from the Bornheim district of the city and have done well on limited resources to stay in the 2. Liga for the last two seasons. On both occasions they finished in 15th place and will, for the first time ever, play in a Frankfurt city derby when Eintracht play in the same division from next season. Erzgebirge Aue, a former three-time champion of the old East German Oberliga under their old name of SC Wismut Karl Marx Stadt, are also a modest club and have done well following last season’s promotion from the 3. Liga. The game yesterday was a chance to secure fifth place in the table with Energie Cottbus and Fortuna Düsseldorf waiting in the wings in case of a slip up.
Once inside the stadium I gained a sense of nostalgia in the sense that I was standing on an open terrace behind the goal, something which has alluded me in England for many years. At the front of the stand was a lone cheerleader who, tried as he might, found it difficult to motivate the fans in the Südtribüne despite having the advantage of shouting through a megaphone. To be fair to him the football on the pitch wasn’t exactly a feast for the eyes and one was wondering if the players’ minds were already on their summer vacation ahead of the post-season. There was one moment which defined the first half and that was Aue’s opening goal which went in of the head off the unfortunate FSV midfielder Christian Müller. Erzgebirge Aue were 1-0 up at half-time.
The second half carried on in much the same vein, the only highlights proving to be each slurp of the cheap beer that was selling well around the stadium. What each person in the crowd of 4,011 thought about this game would probably prove negative with the exception of the travelling hoardes of supporters from Aue who had their second goal to celebrate with ten minutes remaining. Following more good work down the right side Robert Strauß crossed the ball for Jan Hochscheidt who ghosted into the box to put the away side 2-0 up, a margin which they never relinquished for the remainder of the game.
The Erzgebirge supporters unveiled a banner at the end of the game saying “Top Saison Männer!” which it ultimately proved to be as they cemented their fifth place spot thanks to the three points won on the final day. FSV Frankfurt, following a good start to the season, dropped markedly in performance as the season went on but not so bad that they had to worry about a relegation campaign unlike their more illustrious neighbours Eintracht. It will be interesting to see how the city takes to the derby next season.