A visit to White Hart Lane for the first time Gillingham had played my second club, Tottenham, since November 1982 – back when Spurs won 4-2 at Priestfield in the League Cup third round. This time the scoreline was an even more one-sided 5-0, but playing against top Premier League opposition it’s the experience that matters more than anything else. Gillingham sold out their 3,000 allocation so I sat with the home fans – and had a good look around a classic ground before it is demolished to make way for the new stadium.
West Ham beat Slovenia’s NK Domzale 3-0 in a Europa League qualifier – the first game since the club moved from Upton Park to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.
Trip to Brussels with a detour on a quiet day to see some German football. It being a Friday night, the one match taking place was Schalke 04 v Hannover 96 in Gelsenkirchen – some 160 miles away. The enclosed, indoor stadium feels like it would have a capacity of around 50,000, but thanks to the standing terrace at one end the attendance was 61,646. Schalke 04 won 3-1. The atmosphere throughout the match was impressive, especially from the visiting Hannover fans and the home supporters behind the goal at the opposite end.
The next day we headed back to Brussels and took in another game in nearby Leuven. Oud-Heverlee Leuven are the minnows of the Belgian Pro League, but they managed to record a 5-1 win over fellow relegation prospects KVC Westerlo.
Schalke 04 vs Hannover 96
Oud-Heverlee Leuven vs KVC Westerlo