Captain Rich was keen to have some recognition of the three games that led up to this one, as successive DotDs have failed to provide any match reports. The game against Ramgarhia was typically tricky and disappointingly finished 1-1. The next game against City of York 5s wasn’t much of a contest, so much so that we reverted to a three-man defence, and ended with an emphatic 7-0 victory. That formation was maintained against a stubborn Wakefield side but we saw them off with a good 5-0 win.
Doncaster Away – an ADU report:
Smarting from a 2-1 home defeat to there promotion rivals back in November, the Adel fans were disappointed to see the papers filled with more talk of off field issues instead of their new formation or consecutive clean sheets. Yet again, Andy ‘It’s MY WiFi’ Boag had been papped looking more than a little worse for wear the evening before a crucial league fixture. The matter was made worse for the Adel faithful when social media sources revealed the pictures were leaked by none other than the 2s vice-captain, Sam ‘The Snake’ Jackson.
With tensions high and pressure mounting, the Adel boys met in the changing rooms to discuss tactics. Arriving early, Rich ‘007’ Partner had sneaked into the opposition changing rooms to have a sly look at there match plans. Aiming to match the Doncaster system and continuing the formation that had proved successful in there last two matches (and definitely nothing to do with the fact that we only had three defenders), the skipper opted for three at the back. Eyebrows were raised when Bobby ‘The Tasmanian Devil’ Bhogal was placed out on the left wing, owing to his abilities to ‘track back’. However, after a stirring team talk (#doitforg), the tangerine army were ready for battle.
The game started at a frenetic pace and it was Adel who got the upper hand early on. After finding their shooting sticks in recent weeks, some slick passing from the forward line ended with James ‘Or Is That Boag’ Florance slotting home to give Adel the lead. However, that lead was short lived, as Donnie went up the other ended and breached ADU lines almost immediately. It was all square once again.
The game continued to be competitive and both sides gave it their all in an effort to break the deadlock. But it was Adel who managed to do so when more good work from the attack saw a shot blocked on the line by a Doncaster chest and there umpire had no choice but to award a flick (although you wouldn’t have put it passed him). Bhogal stepped up to emphatically launch the ball just under the keeper’s armpit to restore Adel’s lead.
However, recent Thatcherite decrees from attacking minded players had damaged the once impregnable ADU. Things were drastic, with Tim ‘Get A Job’ Brazier sent to Poland to try and find work after SMEGMA action had seen him laid off and Dan ‘Perky’ Perkins pulling out at the last minute due to pressure from rival unions. As a consequence, the ADU were forced to call on ailing member Jim’ Made Of Glass’ Cockburn and an unknown goalkeeper (who really wishes he was Ed Crocker) for this encounter. And with usual stalwart Tom ‘The Aerial Picker’ Ibison severely hampered by illness caused by months of working down t’ pit in substandard conditions, it was left to ADU figurehead Ed ‘What A Tackle’ Crocker to repel the advancing Doncaster hoards. He was able to heroically volley one effort wide of goal, but was unable to thwart a couple more opposition attacks which gave Donnie a 3-2 lead at halftime.
Frank words were exchanged at the break as Adel searched for a way back into the match. Sham ‘Jackson’ Ahmed was switched to a deeper role which allowed the Adel fullbacks to mark much tighter. And this tactical switch paid almost immediate dividends when Adel’s high pressing game saw them win back possession in the opposition half and get the ball forward to Ed ‘The Matty Brayshaw Of The 2s’ Holford. He unleashed a tomahawk into the bottom left corner from the top of the D and things were knotted up at 3-3.
This was turning into a goal fest – a real treat for Adel’s travelling spectator. But we were only half way through the drama. So frantic and exciting was the next phase of play, that nobody could keep track of the events. However, after conclusively inconclusive discussions on WhatsApp, all we know is this:
- They scored two dubiously awarded short corners
- Flo scored our fifth goal
- Holford tomahawked another one in, this time from a short corner (I can’t stress how hard he hit it – he was chuffed)
- The order in which these events occurred are unknown and will baffle scholars for years to come
After all that, it was definitely 5-5 and what Adel needed now was a cool head. A calm, assured presence who would bury the next chance presented to him. A player of wit, charm and skill who would rise to meet the occasion. Unfortunately for Adel, what they got was Andy Boag.
After some more creative link up play, Boag found himself in the D with a chance to shoot at goal. Taking all the hours he had spent watching YouTube clips into account, Boag figured the best way to beat a keeper was to shoot at a keeper. Mystifyingly, this tactic didn’t work but Boag was given a chance to redeem himself from the rebound. However, rather than learn from his mistake and aim the ball at an empty bit of the goal, Boag tried to double bluff the keeper by continuing to shoot directly at him. Again, his shot was repelled but this time up into the air. Incredibly, with the ball bouncing, Boag slotted past the goalie at the third time of asking with a textbook half volley. Adel were in the lead again.
Then came the defining moment of the match and the one that will go down in the annals of history. With Doncaster’s young ace winger baring down on goal from literally metres inside the Adel half, Ibison was left with a choice. Should he let his opponent skip by and level proceeding once again? Or should he, bravely, nay courageously, nay heroically, fell him and suffer the likely consequences? Fortunately for Adel, he opted for the later and was duly shown a yellow card (the first of a storied career). But crucially, the score remained as it was. In fact, almost certainly spurred on by this act of unselfishness, Boag linked up with Paul ‘Tis But A Scratch’ Horsey, who slotted home coolly to double Adel’s advantage.
Doncaster tried with all their might (and their umpires too) to get back into the contest. But the Adel boys were in no mood to lose this one. The ADU were now back in force and repelling attack after attack, charging down drag flicks, making tackles on their own goal line and generally being great at defending.
When the final whistle sounded, the men in orange punched the air and patted each other on the backs. It was a hard-fought victory, made sweeter by circumstances, and put them in a much stronger position to push for promotion after Christmas. But that is a fight they will have to win without their skipper, as he will be attending to the impending birth of his child in the New Year.
To celebrate such great news, the 2s arrived early to the Christmas Social for a brutal fines circle. Bewildering maths was thrown around to calculate fines, bamboozling even the most intelligent of KPMG workers, and everyone involved was thoroughly rinsed of there cash. However, that cash was then duly spent on untold bottles of Jager and pints of beers (or in some unfortunate cases, fruity cider). Some G&Ts may also have been bought. And did Jim buy a bottle of tequila? Things got hazy. But a good night was had by all and the 2s are looking forward to their push for the promotion places when play resumes in 2017.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all from the Men’s 2nd XI!
A report by Tom Ibison