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FC St. Pauli travel south this weekend to take on fellow promotion chasers FC Heidenheim. Both sides will go all out on Sunday (kick-off: 1330 CET) to stay in contention with the leading group – and put a smile on their supporters’ faces.

When the Boys in Brown go up against FC Heidenheim, some of their supporters will have been out and about for more than 11 hours. The Fanladen coach, for example, sets off for Baden-Württemberg at half past two on Sunday morning. With this in mind, Jos Luhukay’s side will be going flat out to ensure their travel-weary fans can start the long journey home with a smile on their faces. But that’s not the only reason!

Previous trips to Heidenheim have not gone well, to put it mildly. Frank Schmidt’s side may be relative newcomers to the second division, but in four short years the Voith Arena has become something of a nightmare venue for St. Pauli. Every game we have played there has ended in defeat. That doesn’t have a good ring to it, if we’re honest, but the Boys in Brown have never been ones to let the statistics get to them. They are always capable of springing a surprise.

And things are a bit different at St. Pauli now in any case. Admittedly, the first half against Arminia Bielefeld last week was still a bit iffy. The second, though, was fun to watch. When you mix effort with desire and add a pinch of football, a second half like the one against Arminia is what you get. While there was to be no second goal for the Boys in Brown after aerial powerhouse Ryo Miyaichi had restored parity within minutes of the restart, they were able to leave the Millerntor with their heads held high.

Ideal prerequisites, then, for stocking up on the nibbles and drinks, adding a portion of optimism and plenty of good music, and setting off on the long trip south. For at Heidenheim the 1,500 travelling fans can expect to see a set of players determined to get back on track after five games without a win. To do so, they will run, tackle, attack and hopefully score as well to send the supporters back to Hamburg with a smile on their face. Come on Sankt Pauli!

Photos: Witters