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The snow glows white on the mountain tonight,
not a footprint to be seen.

 

The actual reality was it was a bit nippy (and I’m the southern softy remember!).

Halifax made the journey across West Yorkshire, hopeful of keeping their unbeaten record in their last nine league outings since mid September (since they last underestimated Leeds Adel),  A full strength Adel squad of 15, the return of assistant manager Baxter (with two young groupies) Adel were prepared, warmed up and fired up were never going to be an easy opponent, and when the final whistle blew, it turned out their best chance of staying unbeaten would have been if the pitch had been unplayable.

Adel started with what is becoming an all too familiar trait, blasting the opposition with a furnace of fast, aggressive and unstoppable hockey, Halifax trying to look cool under pressure, quickly melting like snow(wo)men in the beautiful Adel sunshine. Another onslaught attack, resulting in Adel’s first penalty stroke of the season. It was not to be this time, as the ball sneaked past the post. A setback, not a disaster, Adel continued to press high and continue their dominance, reward quickly coming their way with not one but two quick goals.

15 minutes gone, the umpires stop the game to ask both captains if they are happy with the playing conditions (a pre agreed move). An opportunity to crawl away perhaps? However Halifax now coming into the game, showed the character that has served them so well this season, and quickly dismissed this opportunity. The decisiveness of the captain, rejuvenating her troops, quickly crashed home a short corner, ending an Adel clean sheet that has stood for over four hours of match time. Game on!

Adel were rotating well, the interchanging of the forward line Parson, Goacher (C), Blyth (K), Smith and Wright managing to maintain the intensity of attack. A knock here and a knock there, plenty of options available and attack after attack pushing the Halifax defence, supported by a midfield of captain Blyth (A), Hesselwood, Goacher (H) and a new face stepping up from the back Love, who playing a new position against her old club, may have found the pressure overwhelming. However proven by several MOM votes, rose to the challenge and continued the Adel midfield dominance, even an old Halifax player on the sideline (Mum) admitting orange is her new favourite colour! Another effective attack building from the back and through the midfield, attackers high and wide, defence pushing up to offer depth to the attack, determination rewarded with yet another goal. Halftime 3-1.

If the first half had been about the attack (supported by the defence), the second half was all about the defence (supported by the forward line). The ever changing second half defence of Barson, Byers, Henry, Warburton, Hopper and Love remaining energised and resilient, whilst very much supported by Goacher (H) sweeping in front of the defence as Halifax’s usual high press game, came further and further forward. Adel coach Ransley making technical tweaks, as his assitant Baxter barked orders. The game starting to become scrappy, testament to the importance of the game for both teams as they look to step up to North Div 1. The Adel defence has a proud record this season, the best in the league, the few opportunities falling to Halifax, comfortably dealt with by McCall in goal. Another consistent and confident performance by Adel’s No 1. Parson and Goacher (C) selflessly pulling the Halifax defence back and across, patient but eager for Adel to break and seal the three points. The opportunity took some time coming, and there may have been some back post antics more fitting for You’ve Been Framed, but the effort paid off with ten minutes to go, a fourth goal settling the nerves of the coach and the excited fans gathered along the sideline.

An important result, three important points and a display of dominance against a very good opposition. Next week, top of the table clash, local rivals, Ben Rydding, away, 10.30 start…….

Let the storm rage on!
The cold never bothered me anyway..

Robert Lopez, Kristen Anderson-lopez for Disney’s animated film ‘Frozen’

 

Adel: McCall, Warburton, Henry, Barson, Byers, Hopper, Love, H Goacher (VC), Hesselwood (3 goals), A Blyth (C), C Goacher, Parson, K Blyth (1 goal), Wright, Smith.

MOM: Clare ‘Sammy’ Hesselwood. Awful penalty! Followed by a 65 minute lesson of attacking flare, tough defending and decisive finishing.