Adel’s last preparation game before playoffs commence was held at AWMA this Tuesday in the glorious evening sunshine. The visitors made the relatively short trip from Harrogate, using the game themselves as preparation for their upcoming EH Trophy final later this month.
Following a very successful season in the league winning 3rd XI, the team welcomed Abbie Taylor for her 1st XI debut. A gabble of support congregating in the dugout for this historic moment! The evening also saw a first return to AWMA for goalkeeping legend Carolyn ‘Nan’ Hurst, who has enjoyed a fantastic season with Harrogate, North and England Masters after frustratingly missing the previous season through injury.
It would be Harrogate who would enjoy the early possession, moving the ball comfortably and linking passes well, Adel would have to remain patient, at first tracking with little reward, eventually starting to hold some possession of their own. Early chances for each team few and far between.
Smith, C.Goacher and Straughan would start to find some spaces out on the wing, their possession and movement building confidence throughout the team. The Blyth duo starting to get in behind the opposition midfield, K.Blyth marking her return to full fitness with a reverse stick strike from a rather acute angle. 1-0 to Orange.
Harrogate reacted well to the setback and went about trying t find the equaliser. The defensive line of Taylor, H.Goacher , Love, Jeavons and Henry, alert and keeping the danger from the goal. Saves from McCall now coming more frequently as Harrogate found some small gaps. An attack from the right, and the ball may or may not have crossed the line, the umpire well placed to make the decision. 1-1 as the teams went into the break.
The second half saw a change in approach from Adel, Hesselwood stepped forward into inner and H.Goacher back into centre half. This adjusted lineup didn’t exactly payoff as Harrogate came out quickly and claimed a 2-1 lead. Adel would need to find more goals.
Minutes 50-60 approached this period of ‘Primal’ time has always been a good spell for the team, testamount to the hard fitness work by both the players and their trainers. Adel now enjoyed the majority of possession and the tempo of the game was lifted, half chances became more frequent and soon became full chances, K.Blyth rolling the Harrogate centre half and calmly finishing past the keeper. The team kept working and pushed on, Wood this time with an unusually orthodox finish for Adel to regain the lead. The final blow was dealt as a rebound from a great save was dispatched into the goal from H.Goacher. 4-2 the final whistle and more importantly everyone intact for the weekend’s fixture.
Many thanks to the home umpires Rich Poll and Steve Ball, the spectators who hopefully enjoyed the clear evening even though a little chilly.
So now it’s time. 1200 PB, AWMA, Saturday 9th April. See you there!