Sam was not letting go of that medal!

Sam was not letting go of that medal!

For the second and not the last time of the season, Adel travelled west over The Pennines for a late PB in Cheshire. before the game commenced Adel were treated, with an appearance from Sam Quek, GB hockey gold medalist. On the pitch beforehand, a quite remarkable game saw Bowdon snatch not just a equaliser, but also a winner with a kicking back in place against a devastated Olton & West Warwicks. 5-4 winners.

Bowdon Ladies were sitting top of the table with a 100% win rate through the early weeks of the league. Two years ago these teams finished with a huge 22 places between them in the North league, and with the Adel team missing eight of the regular squad through absence and an untimely training injury, the anticipation was for a tough game and it did not disappoint…

Adel were quickly put under pressure from the very start, the somewhat makeshift back four of Straughan, Love, Taylor and Gibson coping well with the early pressure, McCall kept the troops organised, asserting her own dominance where needed to keep the scores even. Bowdon however took the lead after 8 minutes, converting a penalty corner to take an early lead. Adel did not panic and the defence held strong once again, now allowing the midfield to come into the game. Adel now creating chances, early penalty corners not converted. Adel’s equaliser was not particularly textbook, however it still tasted good! A rebounded shot falling to Byers, who’s rocket reverse shot, looped and dithered as it meandered towards the goal, only to be helped on by Wood ensuring the scores were leveled as she opened her account for the season. Adel were now enjoying holding possession, Smith, Jones and Bickley in particular creating dangerous opportunities from the wing.  If the first goal was not textbook, the second epitomised everything Adel has worked towards over the last few seasons. Adel under pressure in their own 23m area, won possession and quickly the ball was sent out to Smith on the left wing, after drawing pressure she played the ball square to Captain Blyth in the middle of the pitch, who ran onto the ball and threaded a perfectly placed and weighted ball between the Bowdon full backs to Wood, who casually rounded the keeper and placed the ball into an open and unguarded goal.

As the half rolled on, both teams exchanged blows. Bowdon’s forward line of 4 meant that it was going to be and end to end game. Bowdon applying pressure from the right wing, a cross from the baseline casually deflected onto her own crossbar by Love, the twang of the ball meeting crossbar replacing the heartbeat of many watching from the sideline. Another cross from the right however, expertly deflected by the Bowdon forward and the scores went into half time 2-2.

The second half continued much in the same vein as the first. Bowdon pressing really high with their midfield and forwards, however their defence started to drop deeper, allowing huge amounts of space for the Adel midfield to operate. Sisters Blyth and Hesselwood driving forward from midfield, looking for the lead, Bowdon taking the opportunity to break back only to be denied by the resolute defence and some star saves by McCall. It was clear that the second half would not remain goalless. Bowdon grabbed the lead once again, rewarded for their pressure and Adel responded quickly in search of yet another equaliser. a quick change of formation, K.Blyth dropping into centre half, looking to make the most of every break and encouraging the ball forward. There were a number of chances to take the lead, some were unlucky not to find the net, and others were denied by Bowdon’s keeper, who made a string of excellent consecutive saves. With Bowdon pinned back, A.Blyth for the second week running, smashed an equaliser with around 10 minutes remaining.

Both teams continued to search for a winner, and both could have easily scored more goals, as the final whistle blew, it was accepted that this was probably a fair result for an entertaining and exciting game, which could have had twenty goals.

Many thanks to the NHUA and umpires, who were excellent throughout, the travelling support and Bowdon for being excellent hosts. A special mention for Lizzie ,who travelled to support, unable to play due to the two black eyes and stitched nose sustained at Tuesday training.

MoM- Double buns! Sammy Gibson with an impressive display at the back, calm under pressure and aggressive where needed. Sarah McCall, this time last season she had barely touched the ball, this season she is turning heads, with her great reaction saves and pink pads!

DoD-  Katie Love- Still yet to score her first Adel goal, despite being denied by the crossbar!

Next week sees the visit of Chester to Church Lane for a 12noon PB. Several of the players and coaching staff have previously worn the royal blue and look forward to welcoming old friends and relations to our side of town.









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