Words by Paul Lewis
Adel 2 : 1 Grimsby
Giving their finest team performance of the season, Adel Men’s 1st XI took all three points as they played host to table topping Grimsby.
The squad availability went from feast to famine in the space of seven days – a bare minimum twelve making themselves available for potentially the most difficult clash of the season to date, with Coach Walker making his goalkeeping debut for the side. However, the home side looked bright and started well against the league leaders, Captain Hill’s words of past glories no doubt ringing in the players’ ears.
The twelve were soon eleven as Hendley suffered a recurrence of the hamstring issue that has been troubling him over the last few weeks. This meant a change of shape for the team as they reverted to a mid-nineties 4-4-2, much to Hill’s enjoyment, Taylor (Snr) stepping into rightback.
A stalemate persisted for the entire first half. Adel couldn’t convert their corners and Grimsby’s one chance resulting in a goal ruled out for dangerous play in the build-up. There was more encouragement from the wise old heads of Adel at halftime, and a determination to make the most of the opportunity against this tough opposition.
Grimsby arguably started the second half strong however did not muster many chances on the Adel goal. From their first short corner of the second half Coach Walker spectacularly saved a drag flick destined for the top right hand corner of his goal.
This seemed to lift the hosts as they seized the upper hand. Horsey scored the opener with a trademark strike, and Adel continued to push forward. Their reward was a second as Watkins broke the Grimsby rearguard and combined with Horsey to round the goalkeeper, giving Adel a strong lead.
The competitive game was then punctuated by a yellow card apiece for each side as the midfield battle was kept in check by the umpires. Grimsby were clearly aggrieved by their position in the game and began a fight back. Coach Walker again keeping out a penalty corner strike, but that was in vain as he and Taylor couldn’t combine to keep another corner out. The final ten minutes seemed to last an age for Adel as both sides competed fairly and strongly. Hendley was forced to return to the fray as Boag suffered a head-wound victim of his own stick in a tumble. But until the final whistle the side in black managed to persist and resist Grimsby, securing the best victory of the season to date.
If ever there was a lesson in how to play as a team and give your all, this was it for this season.
Thanks to the officials and the Ultras who support us home and away.
MoM – Shared, with notable mentions for Coach (or is it now Player-Coach?) Walker and Taylor Snr.
DoD – Boag. Sadomasochism resulting in too much claret on the new pitch.