For the second week running, the Mens summer league team had to fight back from a poor start in order to sneak a narrow victory over Airedale last night.
In the absence of usual skipper Ransley who was washing his hair prior to his night out to celebrate his birthday, Phil Bayford led the team and he led by example with an early goal following good approach work down the right hand side. Instead of using this as the building block to go on and extend the lead, Adel chose to take the foot of the gas, play static half paced hockey and as a result Airedale took the most of the opportunity to score 4 swift goals and Adel looked to be all at sea. Fortunately the pace of Portnell and the experience of Rogers was summoned from the bench and they led a fight back with three Adel goals before the interval. Irish Dave sporting a Dutch top continued his scoring trot with a well taken goal after some swift passing and better movement off the ball from the Adel team. This was followed by Andy Portnell finishing off another swift and direct passing move with a well struck shot from the edge of the D and the equaliser came from a quality drag flick into the top left hand corner of the net from a Will Powley penalty corner strike that left the keeper grasping at thin air.
Once again the experienced Simon Taylor pointed out the error of the Adel ways and the second half saw Adel continue where they had left off from the first half. Cooky had a simple tap in to an empty net for the 5th goal but the real credit should go to Irish Dave’s clever stickwork and perseverance in the D as he wiggled clear of around 4 Airedale defenders in a tight space to set up the goal – one Airedale defender was heard to shout “just bring him down” in his frustration but you half expected Dave to still get up and pass the ball even if chopped to the ground.
Airedale were not giving up without a fight and pulled back another equaliser but Adel regained the lead when a well struck reverse hit cross by Rich Partner (now there’s a phrase that has never been seen on the internet before…) was deflected past his own keeper by an Airedale defender. A few minutes later, a foot on the line saw Adel awarded a stroke and the usual bun fight took place to decide who was going to take it. With skipper Ransley absent (and he also missed his last flick), Bayford (who also missed his last flick against Presty,…) and Powley debated who should take this one but Gwyn Evans confidently strode forward whilst the others argued the toss. His confidence was soon wiped away as his weak flick was well saved by the keeper to leave Adel clinging on in the last few minutes. Despite appeals for a flick, a few late penalty corners and some brave (as well as illegal) tackling by keeper Tom Taylor, Adel were relieved to hear the final whistle and secure another one goal victory margin to preserve their 100% record.