Words by Paul Lewis
This game was the first of two successive local derbies at home for Adel Men’s 1st XI and attracted special interest, switched to an early Sunday start to avoid crowd trouble and for the benefit of worldwide TV audiences. And for the second week running the team were grateful for the hard work of volunteers from all sections of the club clearing snow from the pitch, ensuring that this fixture could go ahead.
Building upon last week’s excellent performance was the teams aim, and the team met this target by producing a second showing to demonstrate that they are not giving up on their promotion hopes. Increasing confidence on the ball and better quality pressing in the last fortnight has seen the team maintain momentum and keep pressure up on the Yorkshire Division 1 leaders.
Adel started strongly, moving the ball well and keeping their always dangerous opponents at bay. And the first goal was a ‘blink of the eye’ counter attack halfway through the first period. Kastelik moved the ball from left to right flank and Watkins. He combined with Purdy and Hemming, they supplied
Andy Reid Ben Hendley who had a simple finish. And it was a similar story for the home team’s second goal. Bishop on the right this time moving the ball forward to midfield, neat interchange up front and Mayhew on hand to slot home from Evans’ pass for his first of the season.
Shortly before the changeover, the students found a foothold in the game. Conceding a penalty corner is always frustrating and no doubt Kastelik will feel disappointed he didn’t do more to stop a shot to the bottom left corner of Taylor’s goal. Perhaps it was the pace of the ball that deceived him?
At 2-1 Adel knew that there was still a lot of hard work required in the second half. Much of the game was played in the central third of the pitch, with a surprising LUUMHC side providing stubborn opposition. However, a third goal arrived midway through the period when Captain Butterworth supplied the finishing touch to another flowing attacking move from Mayhew and Watkins. A nervy finish ensued when the students got their second goal. However, solid defending across the park meant that Adel saw the game through for a vital three points.
As ever the team will seek to build on that strong showing in their next fixture – a potential banana skin against bottom of the league Leeds HC 5th XI. There is always more to improve on and the defence will no doubt be looking for their third clean sheet, whilst the attackers will want to achieve more outcomes in the circle. No doubt Coach Walker will be seeking inspiration against his old club from this promising Adel team.
Thanks to the officials and the Ultras who support us home and away.
MoM – Watto. Part of the best midfield trio in the league.
DoD – Gwyn. Variety of techniques used in the match including stopping a team mates shot with his foot.