Saturday saw 9 senior games with the mens 4s once again suffering due to the opposition not being able to raise a side. A hastily arranged knockabout game for the 10.30 slot at least ensured a big crowd were present for the following 2 games featuring our ladies and mens 1st teams.
The game at High Noon was the showdown between Leeds Adel and City of York with the home team assembling a squad of 15 and Paul Lewis kindly stepping in as Head Coach for the day. Sadly he was joined on the bench by injured skipper Katy Blyth but the Adel ladies looked to be up for the match from the start of the game. Adel took the lead half way through the first half when Anna Blyth deflected in a penalty corner strike but this seemed to stir York into action and they scored 3 goals in the space of 5 minutes before half time to completely turn the game around, perhaps taking advantage of Adel reorganising their formation. The 1s could consider themselves unfortunate, and did not get the rub of the green with some decisions (we had better not go into detail about the York keeper kicking the ball away when at least 3 yards outside the D and not being penalised for anything).
Half time could have seen Adel shell-shocked after the York goal blitz but in the first 10 minutes of the second half Adel created several chances to draw level but could not quite apply the finishing touches required in front of goal. The defence were now looking rock solid again with Sammy Gibson dominant alongside the returning Lindsay Fowler and debutant Sophie Powley who settled in well and showed composure on the ball. Catherine Henry and April Fowden offered width to create several opportunities for Adel to press forward with the strong running down the right from Jess Richardson and Cesca Akerman and Jaclyn Smith and Jenny Wright on the opposite flank. The usual work rate, strong ball carrying and battling spirit from Clare Hesslewood and Anna Blyth in the middle of the park was cruelly curtailed towards the end by a foot injury to Anna that looks to keep her accompanying her sister on the sidelines and then a green card for Clare for not stopping for the umpires whistle that few people had heard.
York had extended their lead despite several valiant saves from Sarah McCall and the 4-1 scoreline with a quarter of the game remaining looked a little harsh to everyone watching. But this team does not go down without a fight and the strong forward running of Rosie Baker together with the cool composure on the ball of Sophie Lancaster meant that Adel kept on pressing forward in the last 10 minutes. With Woody providing a constant goal threat and Jacs mazy dribbling skills they combined to pull back the scoreline to 4-3 and despite some late hopes from penalty corners the final whistle arrived with Adel in the ascendancy but time just running out. The team are still seeking that first elusive win but if they play with the same commitment and fighting spirit as they did in the second half on Saturday it cannot be far away. A huge thanks to Paul for filling in on the sidelines as the search for a permanent coach continues.
The ladies 2s were looking to seek revenge over York later in the day when they travelled across the A64 looking to maintain their strong start to the season and keep the top spot. In another 4-3 result, Adel were the victors with another spirited performance and the 2s continue to push for promotion after a couple of seasons as runners up in the Premier League. With several player stepping up from the 3s to cover those stepping up to the 1s, the strength in depth and competition for places is apparent.
The 3s under new leadership of Grace and Emily travelled to Slazengers and came back with a share of the points and a 1-1 draw but sadly the 4s and 5s were both on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline although both teams had a couple of cracking games played in great spirit by all accounts.
The mens 1s were looking to maintain their 100% record (but are still not top due to Bradford also being 7 from 7 with a better goal difference) against Grimsby and an early goal settled the nerves for players and spectators alike. However, Grimsby looked to threaten on the counter with some pacy forwards and an equaliser gave an indication that Adel were not going to get things all their own way. But this side is made of stronger stuff, play with pace and a high tempo, plenty of movement off the ball and have goal threats from all directions. Phil Bayford soon bagged another goal to retake the lead and in the second half he completed his second hat trick of the season with further goals from the usual sources of Ball (whose arrival midway through the first half in his work attire showed his commitment to the cause), Moorhouse, Purdy, Harris and Watkin. The 8-2 final scoreline was still not enough to turn around the goal difference over Bradford who won by a similar margin and the game on 25th November at Adel between the top 2 looks to be worth turning up to watch in what promises to be one of the deciding games of the season.
The 2s took the long road to Lincoln and came back with a 4-1 win over Lindum 3s with goals from “in form” Buller, Stroomer and Bishop to keep up their promotion push and the 3s bounced back after the disappointing defeat the previous week to overcome Ben Rhydding 4s 3-0 with goals from Harry Ellis, Sam Jackson (who snuck a game in between umpiring duties and assessing the potential changes to the pitch surrounding areas and fencing project) and mens coach Hendley.
Perhaps the most pleasing result of the day is best saved til last with the 5s making the trip to Abbeydale to take on Hallam 8s. A youthful squad ran out 4-0 winners with all 4 goals coming from under 16 players. The fast improving Max Holley bagged 2 goals, Matty Snow continued his goalscoring streak and Joe Greer scored the goal of the day with a solo dribble which also secured him man of the match. With the 3s keeper Sholto (age 15) and 5s keeper Mikey (age 14) both keeping clean sheets, the Adel Goalkeepers League looks to have a strong future ahead still.
Sundays under 16 match reports are already written up and show the success of our juniors this season with many of them already making excellent progress in the senior sides. Thanks to all the junior coaches, umpires and parents for their support and encouragement. The under 14 age group go into battle in the EH cup in a fortnights time