Leeds Adel Ladies 1st XI entered the penultimate league weekend of the season with what appeared to be two tough away league games with Driffield and Huddersfield.

Driffield were the first opponents on Saturday and all the players managed to navigate their way through the East Riding, there was a definite feeling of spring in the air and the mood was confident going into the game. Both teams started brightly, however it appeared to be business as usual as the ball found the backboard, goal awarded to Adel, however honesty prevailed as the Adel team reported that it has it a foot in the buildup to the goal. C.Goacher would have to wait to open her account for the day.

The teams appeared somewhat more evenly matched from their previous encounters, Straughan, Smith and Bickley being pushed forward by the creeping half-backs Henry, Love and Hairsine. The Driffield keeper making some excellent saves to keep the score deadlocked. Driffield themselves pushed forward effectively. Jeavons and Byers stopping some early attacks, McCall dealing with any shots coming her way. Whilst Adel may have reasons to be aggrieved with the awarded short corner, it was confidently converted with a straight strike, Adel conceeding their first away goal in the league this season. 1-0 down and half time loomed.

The second half was a little more one sided, Adel pushing forward to try and get back the goal they needed, McCall left untroubled in the goal. Total midfield dominance from the trio of Hesselwood, Goacher and A.Blyth, the breakthrough would surely come. The Driffield keeper had other ideas, further reactions to save numerous one on one chances, as the game entered the last ten it was starting to get a little tense. Finally the scores were levelled. C.Goacher this time finishing with her stick, and the team jubilant to find the equaliser.

Something special was needed to finish this game off, A.Blyth breaking out of the midfield with a powerful run, past one player and then another, entering the area she ‘closed her eyes and tried to smash it as hard as possible’ (her words), the feintest of touches by Hesselwood and the sweetest sound of the ball smashing the backboard seeled the win and three points for Adel.

Sunday’s game would be a slightly different story….

Adel may have been concerned with injuries to K.Blyth and Smith before the game, meaning no regular midfield or attacking subs. Huddersfield flew out of the blocks, eager to chase the ball down, Byers and Jeavons taking control from full back, H.Goacher marshalling the midfield, A.Blyth and Hesselwood givien far too much room to operate. The youth of Straughan and Bickley outpacing the Huddersfield defence. Adel raced into a 2-0 lead, C.Goacher and Hesselwood adding to their tallies for the weekend. The third soon followed, Straughan this time joining the scoring party. Love joining the frontline, unlucky with her first shot of the season as it went over the bar. The team cruised into halftime 3-0 to the good.

The team were straight back into the second half, Hesselwood hitting the fourth, her second of the game and 24th of the season. More importantly for Adel it was the 100th of the league campaign, an early season target met with a game (and a bit to spare). Huddersfield had the occassional threat, now it was Byers and Gibson keeping chances to a minimum, McCall looking confident for the 17th clean sheet of the year. Halfbacks Hairsine, Henry and Love tackling tough and riding the occassional unpunished ABH assault. Rather than retaliate, Adel hit five and six. Straughan and C.Goacher adding thier 2nd goal each. Another six goals could have been added, the attack peppering the opposition goal.

The goalfest was rounded off by H.Goacher with a confident lift over the keeper. Love finishing the game at centre-forward, the only player that can claim she has played every position (inc GK) since her breakthrough into the team at the start of last season.

Many thanks to the umpires support and canines who attended either or both days. One more game to go to finish off the league season!




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