Ladies 3s welcomed Horsforth on a suitably blustery, rainy and cold late afternoon. Coming away from the last four games of having clean sheets – Adel knew that they needed to treat Horsforth with caution, and not to let it fool them or become complacent just because they were at the bottom of the league. They did in fact have a great win against Barnsley the week before – the only team that Adel has lost to so far.

With some players missing this week, Adel had to rearrange themselves from their usual positions, and with the whistle blown to start – the team knew it was going to be a long seventy minutes. It took a while for Adel to settle down, with play mostly in our attacking D. Chances kept coming, with balls overloading the keeper – but each time the ball was saved or went wide. It took about fifteen minutes of Adel to keep pressing and working together to finally get the breakthrough – a mistake made by the defence allowed Adel to make it 1-0.

Adel still found it difficult to settle with chances going begging, and rushed passes going straight to Horsforth to capitalize on.

After another ten minutes of back and forth, Adel once again managed to overload the keeper with Adel having many players in the attacking D – 2-0.

Towards the end of the first half, Adel’s play began to become scrappy – something that they are all too aware of after the loss against Barnsley. An unfortunate incident where the umpire believed that the ball was deliverately stopped before the line by a player in the Adel defence – a penalty stroke was given. Adel Ladies waited on the half way line all holding their breath. The Horsforth player flicked the ball wide. Half time came as a relief.

After a quick half time chat – Adel knew that the second half was not going to be easy. Adel needed to adapt to the situation to make the game work for them, and they had to keep battling through. The team were all conscious that players were missing for the game, but nevertheless the Adel 3s were still strong enough to deal with Horsforth. The game plan was simple: keep pushing forward and working together as a team. Unfortuantely, due to a player in the Horsforth becoming unmarked in midfield – she managed to get a breakaway and lead the ball into their D and score. Adel carried on, knowing that they had to try and think of a different game plan. The ball was transferred to the wings from the back, and again a stray player picking up a loose ball that made its way slowly down towards the Adel defence. The ball managed to deflect and hit the backboards – score was now 2-2.

It was safe to say, no one in the team was happy at this point, but this was now the turning point that Adel needed to decide they were not settling for a draw.   The team decided to push higher, to stick to their areas, and put as much pressure on the defence as possible. This lead to a short corner, taken with pin point accuracy by Vicky to Emma that rocketed to the back of the goal. Adel weren’t finished there. Once again, balls were worked beautifully from the back by Abbie, Carrie, Nat and Anna – that led to a ball into the D again – goal scored. Final score 4-2.

The team worked tirelessly, especially in the final fifteen minutes to outplay Horsforth. This effort has helped by many of the team turning up half an hour before training to work on their fitness together. A real team effort today by all on the team. Horsforth certainly made it difficult for the team, but everyone kept going.

Some interesting things to take away from the game is knowing that sometimes as a team things you practice together don’t always pan out how you would like during a game. However, everyone got their hockey hats on and realised that they needed to adapt play to suit them in order to control what was going on in the game. This in turn changed to suit Adel as time went on. It was a difficult day at the office, but if Adel can turn it around like today and win as a result, then it’s a positive lesson learned.

All the ladies battled when it was vital, and made sure that they dominated the game to win. Shout out to all the team who ended up playing in different positions on the pitch, and worked well together when it was needed.  Also, to Anna’s dad coming to always support, as well as Amy’s dad shouting advice from the sidelines to keep the teams spirits up!

MOM – Sarah Polglass for a cracking game as centre half!

Here’s to a difficult away game at Hull next week. Adel have made no secret that they don’t travel particularly well, but the tide has changed – and Adel 3s are ready to do battle next week to come back with another win. ATID