On a beautiful fresh, crisp and most importantly above freezing December day, Adel ladies’ 1st XI travelled to Cheshire to play currently EH Trophy holders Alderley Edge. The team hold fond memories of the last time these two played, however this time round Adel would hope to not need last minute heroics to seal victory.
Whilst Adel has the pushback, AE were quickly on the offensive firing their first shot wide after a mere fourteen seconds. Not content with firing an early warning shot, Adel were stunned by the youthful elite junior opposition who retained possession in the Adel half for the next ten minutes. Some heroic defensive work from Gibson, Straughan, Love, Hairsine and Fowden kept shooting chances down and those that presented themselves where dually rebuffed by McCall in goal.
Finally after a tough ten minutes, Adel ventured into the opposition half. A.Blyth carrying the ball forward and sending a ball crashing forward, Wood plucking the ball out of the air and running through one on one. The AE keeper charging with youthful optimism, the rest of Adel went for a hotdog safe in the knowledge they had a 1-0 lead against the run of play, Wood rounding the keeper and escorting the ball all the way to the goal line.
The goal would not change the run of play, AE pushed forward again and whilst Adel continued to defend resolutely, the midfield of Sisters Blyth and Bickley supported by Leadbitter began to creep a little further forward. 25 minutes gone and Adel had their second meaningful attack of the game, A rejuvenated Bickley, buoyed by a reverse stick slammer last week, danced through the area before delivering a killer pass to eliminate the goal keeper, Jones happy to put the finishing touch to a fine goal, even if again against the run of play.
The second half would be much more of a business as usual encounter. Adel pushed forward and finally brought meaningful service to the forward line of Wood, Jones, Wright, Gannon and Smith. AE chances reduced from a high press exerting maximum pressure.
As the game pushed into the closing moments, AE pulled the keeper in a last effort to find a goal. They were a whisker away from achieving just this. A ball from the left of the goal taking a nasty deflection, the ball sent skywards and then as McCall appeared to be lobbed, a desperate backwards dive for the ball, a flying infusion of pink and sky blue pastels, still not quite enough, but with a well timed fairy dust fart providing the necessary lift, the ball was touched over the bar with the very tip of the stick. 3 points in the bag.
With just about every game of the weekend going in favour of Adel, a jump up the table to third, with a game in hand. Now at the half way stage of the season, it is all to play for, with just three points separating second to seventh.
Many thanks to NHUA and the umpires who were of usual high standards. Alderley Edge were exceptional hosts and extra cake from Andy was a popular move. Final thanks to the travelling support and our guests for the day.
MOM- Sazzle McCall, I believe in unicorns if you do!