Words by Coach Ransley

It’s been a while since the last write up for the ladies 1st XI. The Christmas break has passed and general holidays and festivities seem a distant memory. Adel signed off 2016 with a comfortable home victory, beating Didsbury Greys 5-2, Wood and Jones picking up a brace each and the fifth from A.Blyth. The game also saw an impressive debut in goal from Abby Cook who brought her fine form from the 2nd XI. After the long Christmas break, the team recorded their 4th straight win with a 1-0 victory against Whitley Bay 1.5 XI. Hesselwood grabbing the late winner after a lengthy absence through injury. Last week the team suffered defeat at the hands of rivals Ben Rhydding, going down 2-0 in bitter conditions. Ben Rhydding deserved their victory and the result has kept the chasing pack close together, meaning at the moment every point counts in the chase for promotion.

This week Adel travelled the very short distance to Harrogate looking to rebuild after last week’s disappointing result. Harrogate themselves would be looking to recover after shipping nine goals to a team with an average age probably not much higher than this, also on the previous match day away to Alderley Edge.

The game started at a frightening pace, both teams showing a determined effort to make an early breakthrough. Whilst the Adel forwards of Gannon, Jones, Smith, Wright and Bickley applied immediate pressure to the Harrogate defence, Harrogate’s midfield and attack would show some speed and strength in breaking against the Adel formation given half a chance. McCall called into early action as she pounced onto an early one on one, everyone relived to see her win the ball and the Harrogate player able to return to the game from a tough impact. Adel’s line of inners, Blyth, Hesselwood and Blyth were creating their own chances, and it was A.Blyth who broke the deadlock, converting a short corner with a fine low strike. Adel continued to build pressure, Smith picking the ball up wide on the left, passed one, passed two, three and four, umpires waving play on as the defence threw in some poorly timed challenges, finally entering the area a little lift over the keeper, the lead doubled with a fine solo goal, Smith clearly showing her excitement with the classic ‘aeroplane’ celebration.

Harrogate would grab themselves a goal back before the break, not undeserved and the game went into the break 2-1.

The game restarted from where it left off, fast paced and exciting. The Adel defence now settling, Love and Gibson solid in the middle of defence, Fowden and Straughan, speedy and yet hardy from half back positions. Harrogate’s chances now minimal and Adel continued to pile pressure at the far end. The high press causing all sorts of problems for Harrogate, who resorted to trying loopy balls over the top, Leadbitter happy to collect and send the ball back on its way goal bound, Adel finally getting their third as Hesselwood put the final touch on a well worked attack. Adel would go close again Gannon and Jones particularly unlucky as the Harrogate goalkeeper made some great saves to prevent them joining the list of goal scorers. Much to the delight of the baying crowd Hesselwood and Bickley picking up green cards simultaneously, a nervous two minutes of playing with nine players, however the score never changed.

The game played out to full time, Adel happy to collect the maximum points allocation for the fixture. The result leaves the team well placed with just two points separating positions two to five in the league and still another eight fixtures to play. Next week the team welcome one of these placed teams as the host Bowden at Church Lane. 

Many thanks to the travelling two and four legged support, NHUA and the well-travelled umpires. Finally Harrogate for a well hosted and competitive game. 

MoM and DoD for Jaclyn Smith, for a wonder goal and a terrible celebration, the beaming smile summing up the day.



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