This weekend saw the Mens 4s make the long awaited trip to Worksop who have been chasing us at the top of the table all season. With the 4s 3 points ahead of Worksop but with an identical goal difference, this shows just how close this season will be for us. A win would take us 6 point clear the top of the table whereas a loss would see Worksop draw level with only goal difference separating us.
The drive down the M1 was uneventful, sleepy Ben Carlin having his traditional pre-game nap (rumour has it he was at a house party the night before) and we all arrived on time for the game on rather lovely day with the sun out.
With some of our key players missing in the form of Nic Crocker, Matt Brown, and Andy Miles this game would be a lot tougher. A re-jigged formation of 3-2-3-2 gave us plenty of width and attacking options that we used to good effect on occasion throughout the game.
We initially started strong from the pushback, moving the ball through the midfield and making simple passes up the pitch. Soon Charlie received the ball who turned and played a sublime pass to Allan behind all the defenders who just needed to slot home for us to take us to an early lead. Unfortunately the Worksop captain and stand-in keeper came off his line quickly and dealt with the threat.
Worksop then began to find their feet and used their strong players in the middle to work the ball through our midfield. Despite this they didn’t have many clear chances until their first goal which was a straight shot to the top far corner of the goal. Adel turned the intensity back on and got a goal back from Matt Lilley with a nicely worked goal to take the scoreline level.
Worksop then snatched a second goal back just before halftime and despite some pressure from Adel and short corners we were unable to take the scoreline back to level pegging going into halftime. We came out in the second half strong, working the ball nicely up the pitch with our width and Charlie using his skills to work his way round players and hold up the play while support joined him. Despite this Adel weren’t able to snatch a goal back and after a strong 15 minutes the tables turned and it was Adel being pushed back. Most notable was senior Bob Sibley being carded. A Worksop player pulled out his lumberjack axe and nearly snapped Bob’s stick in two. An exclamation of shock escaped Bob’s lips to which he was promptly green carded for “mouthing off”. I’m not sure that the rules allow stick hacking but maybe the rules are different in Nottinghamshire? Who knows, either way he served his 2 minute ban with our resident cannon filling the hole in centre back.
As the game progressed Worksop managed to bag another couple of goals taking the score the 4-1. During this time a Worksop played flicked a ball right into the side of my knee which took me out of the game for a good ten minutes. Ben also took a full power shot to the foot but he simply walked it off showing me I should man up some more.
The final 10 minutes was advantage Adel but with a 3 goal deficit we knew it would be very difficult to leave with points. Charlie continued his goal scoring run by firing another goal in from the top of the D but the final whistle went shortly after and the game ended 4-2. A less than convincing 4th team performance despite, despite some good moments, where for large stints in the game when Worksop ran us over we found it very difficult to string our passes together properly.
Next week sees us take on Halifax in the final home fixture of the day. The reverse game was a hard away game where we went from 3-0 up to 4-3, but then won the game 5-4 showing that we have the resolve to win these
games when it matters and that’s something we need to get back in our remaining games along with our passing basics if we want to snatch 1st place from our title rivals.
MotM was a close tie between Lilley, Luke, Charlie, and Ben. Ben eventually took the medals home for a strong defensive game and taking a shot to the foot like a man. I walked away with DotD for taking a shot to the knee like a little girl.
With the 4s down to second place in the league on goal difference (our +45 vs Worksop +49) it’s going to be on a knife edge till the end of the season so if you’ve nothing better to do with your Saturday afternoon (don’t pretend you do) then head to Adel and give us some support from the sidelines.