Words by Paul Lewis
Hull University 3 – 3 Adel
Missing a number of first team regulars, Adel returned from a tricky away visit to Hull with a point in the league, and a point to prove. This was the first of a number of forthcoming trips this season to England’s eastern wilds and it tested the mettle of Adel Men’s 1st XI. This match proved to be both a physical and mental examination as Adel twice battled back to secure a share of the spoils.
The first half was notably slow, perhaps an impact of the early morning start, long journey and new look formation. All across the park Adel players looked out of sorts, ceding possession in a unusually benevolent and frustrating manner. This led to an intemperate opening; officials seemed to miss obvious infringements, and Adel players were frustrated with themselves and each other.
It was under these circumstances that Hull Uni took the lead, a smart penalty corner routine outfoxed Lewis and Taylor, but they will feel that they should have prevented the goal into the Adel bottom right corner. The malevolent feeling of the match continued and Hull Uni scored a second from open play, bundling too easily through the midfield and defence, no doubt much to coach Walker’s frustration. Dehydration seemed to be a problem for some members of the squad, as did temperament and composure.
Halftime was a line in the sand for the Adel players. Walker, Butterworth and Hill addressed the squad stating that it was imperative for standards to improve, and that the game needed to be within the team’s own gift rather than relying on external influences. With the strong words ringing in their ears, Adel’s reinvigorated soldiers took to the battlefield for part two.
A much improved outlook was immediately apparent and the class of Boag, Hendley, Hemming and the impressive Norman in midfield began to show. Adel pressed, harried, and passed their way back into the game and were rewarded with two goals in three minutes midway through the second half, birthday boy Horse notching his first two for the season in typically emphatic style. This change in momentum was checked briefly as Hull Uni scored another penalty corner to regain the lead, even Lewis’ pair of knobbly knees couldn’t keep this one out.
As the match wore on, Adel were still in the ascendency but vulnerable on the break with only Hendley, Partner and Hill now protecting Taylor’s goal. However, Portnell, Grundlefinger, Butterworth and Horse worked in tandem to keep the attacks alive and managed to win another penalty corner. Maybe Hendley has been working on his guns in secret, but his effort with ten minutes remaining was reminiscent of his good friend Kastelik, and he flicked high into the net to equalise once more for Adel. There was still time for controversy as the home umpires allowed and then (probably correctly) rescinded Norman’s potential winning goal, and both captains brought out their handbags, but there was no further change to the score as it finished 3-3.
Adel remain unbeaten in the league this season and will look to come back from their week off with two successful home games in two days, which will include the return against Hull Uni. Much to work on as ever, but also much to be proud of as the season progresses.
Thanks to the Ultras who support us home and away.
MoM – Norman. A promising addition to the squad.
DoD – Portnell. Still refusing to wear shoes post-match.