The Eredivisie match between Heracles and Groningen at the weekend seemed set to be a bit of a dull affair: both teams are mired in mid-table as the end of the season approaches, with no chance of either relegation drama or European qualification to brighten things up.
As the first half-hour passed goalless there seemed little prospect of things getting more interesting - but then the 8,430 fans who made it along were treated to an irresistibly heart-warming moment as a gorgeous kitten invaded the pitch in the 33rd minute.
The mischievous moggy - estimated at about a year old by our in-house cat experts - took to the turf at full tilt, sprinting around the penalty box and up and down the touchline before almost running headlong into the net.
He managed to stop himself before tumbling in, unfortunately, robbing the fans - who were chuckling away merrily - of the chance to see him try and climb the rigging in the goalmouth.
For the home fans it was the last thing that made them laugh all afternoon: Heracles let in two second-half goals to end up losing the match.
- Sports & Recreation