Having been pipped to play the opening game on the new pitch by the Ladies 3s, the Ladies 2s maintained their winning start to the season with a hard fought win over a strong Hull team, once the opposition had eventually navigated traffic problems on the M62 resulting in the game starting half an hour later than scheduled. This suited some Adel players who were sporting hangovers. Hull’s request to play four quarters was agreed by new skipper Hannah and this allowed a strong squad of 14 players to have rests, rotate positions and try out new roles in preparation for the league season ahead.
The new pitch still has a layer of sand that needs bedding in, but the surface was a great improvement from the old surface that currently resides in the overflow car park awaiting collection by anyone who wants to astro turf their back gardens. The first quarter was evenly contested with Hull having a strong midfield that Adel soon realised needed to be bypassed. This meant using the full width of the pitch and Jade in her new role as right back was often available to create attacks down the right wing with Megan and Laura ahead of her benefitting from the possession. However, Adel were unable to convert this possession into goal threats and the Hull keeper was untroubled. When Hull did press forward the experience of Nat and the strong tackling by Becky kept the Hull forwards at bay.
In the second quarter, the first reshuffle saw Robyn join the forward line and MJ moved across to right back to give Jade a well earned rest. Unfortunately, Adel gave the ball away several times in the first few minutes of the quarter and this allowed Hull to apply some pressure and test the Adel back line. Eventually, a break down the left wing from Hull could have seen a couple of decisions given Adel’s way but some appealing instead of playing to the whistle allowed the Hull forwards to break into the D where they scored from the second attempt despite brave blocks from Carrie and Lydia in goal. A minor setback was soon put right when Robyn’s fresh legs sent her on a mazy run into the D and as she rounded the keeper and looked for the ball to slot into an empty net Summers sneaked ahead of her and scored the first goal for the 2s on the new pitch. The goal showed the benefits of having fresh substitutes and this will be a benefit over the season ahead. Further chances continued to come from MJ down the right hand side as she was urged to press forward and create the overlaps.
In the third quarter, Adel continued to create more chances but a failure to convert a number of short corners was potentially going to be the downfall. However, it was apparent that the youthful legs of Megan and Emma were a major advantage to Adel as the Hull team tired in the latter stages of the game. Both Emma and Megan made great runs in the wide midfield positions and changed defence into attack in a short space of time. The tireless running of Sophie, Laura and Robyn on the forward line ensured several chances were created or converted into corners and eventually in the final quarter Emma’s strong running was rewarded with a well taken goal. A further goal from Robyn after some good link up play with Sophie provided some daylight to the scoreline and the impressive fitness levels of Sandra (playing her 7th game in 3 days) and Hannah and Sophie after their summer fitness training campaign was apparent for all to see. Its doubtful if any other teams in the league will be as fit and have the same strength in depth as this squad of players and with some players unavailable this week, the outlook looks rosy for a strong promotion push this season.
Hull did pull a late goal back but the final score of 3-2 was a reward for teamwork, fitness and squad rotation.
The incing on the cake (green on this occasion) was Summers baking extravaganza with a victoria sponge cake iced with a green and blue layer in the form of the new pitch – this will take some beating this season in the post match cake bake off, just like this team will take some beating on the pitch.