Ground Number: 1227
Saturday 23rd September 2023
Saturday 23rd September 2023
FC Tallinn 0-2 Flora Tallinn U21
FC TALLINN - A BRIEF HISTORY
FC Tallinn was established in November 2017 and originated out of Lasnamäe, the most populous district in Tallinn of which the majority is Russian-speaking. The club was created after FC Infonet's merger with Levadia left Lasnamäe with a lack of football teams. The club entered the Estonian league system in 2018, starting in the sixth and lowest tier of Estonian football, IV liiga. They were runners-up to Maarjamäe Igiliikur earning promotion to the 5th tier. They then won the III liiga E title in 2019 to seal another promotion. The 4th tier II liiga N/E was next up and the club finished as runners-up to Tallinna JK Legion II in 2020 by the narrowest of margins - head-to-head results. 2021 saw their first season of non-promotion as they finished 4th in the tier 3 Esiliiga B. They put that right last season, winning the title to seal promotion to Esiliiga A.
The club represents Lasnamäe, the most populous district of Tallinn. The district's population is about 119,000, the majority of which is Russian-speaking. Local housing is mostly represented by 5–16 stories high panel blocks of flats, built in the 1970–1990s. The district lies in the eastern part of Tallinn. In the east it is bordered by the Pirita River; in the north and northwest, a limestone escarpment (part of the Baltic Klint) separates Lasnamäe from Pirita and Kesklinn. The district is situated on a flat limestone plateau that lies 30–52 m above sea level. The highest point in Lasnamäe is the Sõjamägi Hill at 54 metres above sea level.
On the second day of my trip away, it would be another new country for me. Estonia had been favoured as it was just across the water from my Friday night in Helsinki. It was doable by ferry and best of all there were plenty of games in Tallinn to make my trip worthwhile. An Eckero Line ferry was booked and cost me an excellent value £21.45 for the 2-hour 15 journey. Both ports were near enough to be walkable from my respective hotels and football grounds so it seemed like a good deal. I also found some decent bars long before I was due to arrive and researched FC Tallinn's history a few days before once I'd confirmed that the fixtures had not changed. They certainly had enjoyed a rapid rise up the Estonian football system.
It was once more an early start for me on Saturday, with my alarm going off at 6.45 and despite having over six hours sleep, I was still quite sleepy. I had a shower which made me feel better but there was a brief moment of panic when my ferry ticket said 07.00 departure due to being in the wrong time zone briefly, but it soon corrected itself. Being a minute before 7, I'd have been stuffed. I left at 7.20 and was there well in time for my ferry. It took a while to board and eventually, we were on. It was very busy so I waited for the queues to die down before getting a breakfast of lingonberry juice and Mocha cake. The service was a bit cramped which meant you had to hunt for a seat but WIFI was free. There were limited USB sockets and plugs but I used my power bank. Overall, it felt like what I imagined a cruise would be like with onboard entertainment. I almost finished two of my blogs meaning it'll just be a cut and paste when I get home, plus sorting photos. I did consider bringing my laptop but didn't fancy carrying it everywhere if I couldn't drop my bag.
It was a rainy welcome as we came into Tallinn. Thankfully it died down a bit once we left but it was still drizzly. I sought shelter in a bar called Mikeller Viru which was in a shopping centre. An Estonian cider Mull Poolkuiv was pretty decent though on the pricey side at 7.50. From there it was to a grocery store to pick up snacks and drinks. It had started raining again so I headed to my room. I was lucky enough to be able to check in just before 2, using the room for a shower and to charge things up. I've always liked Ibis hotels and this was another decent one, good value for money. It was around a 35-minute walk to my first game with me getting there at 3.10. There wasn't anything for sale and entry was free.
FC Tallinn were 5th whilst Flora II were in 3rd. Both were in decent form with the hosts recording a 2-1 win over Alliance in their latest game. They'd also beaten Paide II 7-1 as well as winning 3-2 at JK Tabasalu. However, they'd drawn 0-0 at FCI Levadia II and lost 5-0 at Nomme United. The visitors had a similar record, they too had drawn 0-0 at FCI Levadia II in their latest game. They'd had a 7-3 win over JK Tabasalu in the game before that, beaten Elva 2-0 and recorded a massive 13-0 victory over TJK Legion II. Their sole defeat in the last 5 came in a 2-1 reverse at Viimsi. was starting to feel the effects of two short nights of sleep in a row and a dull game didn't help. Flora took the lead on 30 minutes when a player followed up on a shot the keeper could only palm away. Flora were well in control with FC Tallinn restricted to chances on the break. The hosts finally started playing around the hour mark, having as many chances in a minute as they had all game. They had a few more chances but it was 2-0 on 80 minutes when a cross wasn't cleared properly and was dispatched from close range.
Lasnamae Sports Park to give it it's English name is a fairly basic venue. Just one side is available to spectators, this comprises two rows of bench seating, which is partially covered. Toilets and a vending machine are available in the building adjacent which is where the players change.