Football matches between traditional North Rhine-Westphalian clubs Rot-Weiss Essen and Preussen Münster rarely go without serious riots, due to the bitter rivalry between two camps of fans willing to step up. So it’s comforting that the hottest emotional duel in a long time will take place on Saturday at a distance of 70 kilometres. In the long-distance duel, both are about promotion to the third class. For Essen, it is the most important match in the club’s recent history, and you don’t know how the fans’ disappointment will unleash if Essen narrowly fails to rise for the third year in a row. “Our audience is more emotional than anywhere else,” says managing director Markus Oleg.
The last head-to-head duel between Rot-Weiss and Prussia three months ago ended in a catastrophic explosion: a fireworks throw from the Essen fans block halted the match shortly before the end – the score was 1: 1. Two players from the Prussia team suffered a severe shock, and Munster got Later on victory by the Court of Sports.
This is one of the reasons why the final showdown is happening now. Before the last day of the match, both tied for the lead in the Western Region. If Essen (vs Rott Weiss Allen) fails again and Monster (vs 1. FC Colin II) goes up in the end, this must ultimately be attributed to that firecracker throw, to the insane act of a previously condemned lone wolf from Marl, Which authorities did not attribute to the Essen fan camp.
The season lasts nine months and both have played 37 games. After 55.5 hours of League 4 matches, things will now be decided within 90 minutes. When it comes to goal difference, Essen is practically three goals ahead (two goals by difference plus more goals scored). The stadium on Hafenstrasse sold on Saturday to 16,500 spectators, and the Breussen stadium to 14,300, and both clubs may have sold twice as many tickets. If the case is adjudicated according to historical justice, Essen will have to win. Because while Monsters only play in the fourth tier for the second year in a row, red and white have been trying to leave the fourth tier for eleven years.
Recently, Essen’s misfortune has reached its peak. Two years ago, the season was called off due to Corona before Essen began his final spurt – instead, SC Verl stepped up as a Western representative in a touchdown against Lok Leipzig. A year ago, the sovereign Isners was languishing for a long time at the end of the season, and second-placed Borussia Dortmund was the beneficiary. Between February 2020 and February 2021, Essen was unbeaten for twelve months and had sent off Armenia Bielefeld, Fortuna Düsseldorf and Bayer Leverkusen in the DFB Cup. But to rise again narrowly missed and then hit the club and the fans.
Essen will fail for the third time – until a coach change the previous week
It could have been fear of a third unfortunate failure to promote in a row that convinced Essen officials to release coach Christian Neidhart and appoint their sporting director Jörn Nowak for just two games remaining of the season as team boss. “We wanted to define motivation again,” says Oleg, MD. According to Oleg, the move “worked well” in the 3-0 win at Rudinghausen last Saturday, “now it’s about doing the same against Ahleen”.
Monster were on their way to becoming the leader in the standings before they drew 0-0 against SC Wiedenbrooke last weekend and lost the top spot to Essen. “After that we had to shake ourselves up,” says Prussia sports director Peter Niemeyer. But now we’re going to put it all back together again. “Basically, the two traditional clubs, Bryusen Munster and Rot Weiss Essen, both belong to at least the third tier,” Niemeyer says. The contrast between the clubs in the regional league is generally great: “The third league has a different dimension and is a great motivation for us.”
Both clubs had their best times in the 1950s. Münster lost the German Championship final to Kaiserslautern in Berlin in 1951. Essen won the cup against Germany Aachen in 1953 and became champion against Kaiserslautern in 1955. In 1963 Bryusen Münster was a founding member of the German Bundesliga, but was relegated directly and never returned. Essen played in the Bundesliga for seven years, but was relegated for the last time in 1977.
Throwing fireworks three months ago no longer plays a major role for either club before the confrontation. “That was dumb for everyone involved, but now it’s shelved,” Niemeyer says. In Essen, they just want to decide after the season is over whether to sue the offender. If Rot-Weiss didn’t advance, the damage could be massive, six figures, maybe seven figures, but there would be nothing to gain from the offender anyway.
As they learned in Essen, promotion to the third degree is hard work. This week they had to fend off the last hole of Monster. One of the three representatives of SC Preussen fans sarcastically joked online: “On May 14, please throw fireworks at Ahlen players, but only if necessary and if you don’t find an Essen idiot; promotion will be celebrated in Münster.” This fan officer was relieved of his duties by Preußen Münster on the same day.