Coming into Saturday’s fixture, average Adel Ladies’ 1st XI averaged 7 goals scored per game, averaged 0.25 goals against and most importantly averaged 3 points per league game.
The pink army of Boston Spa were anticipated to be a different class to previous opposition, and the game that ensued proved this theory…
Before proceedings commenced both sides took a moment for the sad news of the passing of Elly Sheard, a former player who was taken far too early following a brave battle with cancer. Adel very appreciative of the kind words from umpire Scott Riley and Boston Spa for taking the time to stand and reflect as a hockey community.
Both teams started as brightly as their respective kit, early passages of play not necessarily producing the chances for either team. The defensive line of Henry, Jeavons, Love, Byers and Gibson being tested much more frequently than they are accustomed too. McCall called into early action to make several open play and short corner saves.
At the other end Straughan and K.Blyth were starting to torment the Boston Spa left half, finding some space in behind to attack the baseline, the breakthrough not coming immediately.
It would be Boston Spa to make the first breakthrough, scoring with a back post finish following a strong strike across goal. Adel for the first time in 12 games were behind. This was soon to be rectified, the introduction of Wood to the forward line grabbing her ninth goal in just four games with a tidy reverse stick placed shot having rounded her marker. 1-1 half time.
As so often the case, Adel flew out of the blocks for the second half. Goacher, A.Blyth and Hesselwood dominating the middle of the pitch, Bickley and Smith on the left starting to find space, Adel dominating the play in all areas, it would not last so the breakthrough was vital. Smith drifting on from the left wing, rather than receive the pass across the top of the area, moved swiftly to get her head over the ball and rifle a slap shot from the full 16 yards into the bottom right corner. 2-1 and things were just starting to warm up. The space was starting to open at the top of midfield, and as A.Blyth ghosted through the defensive line, she could only be stopped by something more suited to Twickenham than AWMA. The appropriate stroke awarded, converted comfortably by Hesselwood for her eight of the league campaign.
Adel’s resolve would now be tested. Boston Spa creating pressure and not folding as others have previously. The last 20 minutes a much more even encounter, and the risk of conceding again was very real. As Adel looked to seal the victory with another goal, Boston Spa claimed their second and a nervous last five minutes felt like fifty. The final whistle, a sigh of relief, the match a reminder of how tough this division can be.
Many thanks to the umpires and vocal supporters, helping the team to victory.
MOM- Jacs Smith- Fantastic goal to compliment the work rate which is never lacking.
DOD- Woody- Late amongst other reasons!