Words by Paul Lewis

Grimsby 1st XI 3:1 Leeds Adel 1st XI

“I never thought of losing, but now that it’s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That’s my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life.” Muhammad Ali

Part 3 of 4: To the victor go the spoils

This is the match report your author didn’t want to write; the one that describes the moments when Adel’s chances of success this season were taken out of their own hands. Following two successive and impressive home victories, Adel took to the road for their penultimate fixture of the year. The first of two long away trips saw the promotion hopefuls head to league leaders Grimsby.

Hill’s pre-match blowout was one of the few highlights of a subdued day for the Church Lane side. Perhaps the team were focussed on their family responsibilities with a number of the squad heading home to be with their loved ones on Mothering Sunday following the game.

The match itself was a tense affair. Adel threatened early on, but Grimsby established a high pressing game that denied space and time. As the half wore on the home side counter attacked with pace and worked hard to get numbers up the pitch. Grimsby took the lead through a scrappy penalty corner that Adel will be disappointed not to have cleared. On the stroke of halftime, Adel gained a lifeline with a penalty corner equaliser, the Solihull Xavi adding to his tally for the season.

During the change of ends, Player-Coach Walker encouraged the team, asking them to maintain their undoubted efforts but to add in the high standards of quality they demonstrated previously. However, it was Grimsby who seized control of the match. Adel’s errors allowed a number of chances for the home team, Walker proving himself on numerous occasions. The threat was coming from the Grimsby wide players and this proved decisive as an attack down their right led to the second goal. Adel again showed character to rally, seeking penalty corners and opportunities of their own. However with five minutes left on the clock, Grimsby put the game beyond Adel. The league-champions elect proved their class with a solid reverse stick shot, Walker disappointed to be off balance, but took the wind out of the Adel sails.

Adel continued to battle until the final whistle, but the hard working Grimsby side saw out the game. This contest was fair and even, and on occasions such as this you have to give the victors due respect. Grimsby are almost certainly the best team Adel have played all season and took a deserved win. They seem likely to secure the Yorkshire Division 1 crown next weekend.

For Adel, it is not a case of returning to the drawing board, but instead making the most of the opportunity to learn from the game and travel to Lincoln next week as a side united and determined to make the most of the final game of the 2014/15 season. Sport can be a cruel mistress and Adel need to ensure they win their final game to keep up the pressure for the second automatic promotion place. There is still a sliver of hope that if some unlikely results are favourable Adel will be promoted. And is that not why we play sport? To hope.

Thanks to the officials and the Ultras who support us home and away.

MoM – Player-Coach Walker. Kept the score respectable however it is little consolation given the result.

DoD – Hill. Though it could have been anyone outfield realistically.