A very tired and weary Leeds Adel ladies team met early Saturday morning for what is the furthest away day of the season, whilst there may have been some very tired looking eyes, this was more than compensated for with the arrival of the birthday girl Jacs, her pink hair and birthday balloons somewhat matching her rather over-cheery manner. Good help who’s car she would be traveling in…..oh! The squad of fifteen players, one coach and six die hard fans set on their way along the M62.
The squad regrouped at KC stadium, warm up complete, the game commenced in glorious sunshine.
Adel quickly settled and took full control of the game, all signs signalling that this would be another comfortable victory. Hull offered very little going forward, the rotating defence of Henry, Barson, Byers, Love, Warburton and Hopper, rarely tested in the first half, McCall happy to collect the ball from the odd long dumped pass out from the back. The chances were coming in ever increasing frequency at the other end, however the final finish not as on point as in previous fixtures. The game lacked flow throughout, some interesting challenges stifling the talent of H Goacher, Hesselwood and A Blyth in the middle. The perception of what is five yards, stopping play out on the wings, both teams unlucky to be penalised, tape measure calibration clearly required. The midfield intensity maintained with the introduction of Gibson, marking her first cap with an immediate impact, finding space by threading through some lovely weighted passes, Smith and C Goacher, taking the chance to take a run at the defence, K Blyth and J Wright hunting for the elusive first goal. Further melees followed and it was C Goacher who finally made the breakthrough. A deserved lead, however Adel wanted more. Clearly frustrated by the poor finishing, Henry decided enough was enough, up step the right half, with a cool finish on halftime to double the lead. One shot, one goal, fantastic stats for the crowd favourite!
The second half would prove one to forget for the team chasing the league title and promotion. Frustration led to lack of composure, which in turn led to hockey we last saw in October. In trying to force play, Adel looked less and less likely to score, Hull on the other hand, bundling not one but two chances into the goal to level scores. Adel pushed on with no lack of effort, the Hull goalkeeper making some fine saves to keep her team with a chance of a result. McCall chipping in with one of her own, taking out the player and getting the ball! With Hull sitting deeper and deeper, the decision was made to pull the keeper, Coach Baxter not present t it would be an interesting end to the game. Hull sensing they could snatch a win, and move closer to safety at the bottom of the table pushed forward, Gibson as kicking back, making the necessary saves. Unfortunately Adel could not claim the victory themselves.
A frustrating day for Leeds Adel, however there are some positives to be taken from the game. Ten games unbeaten, A good debut performance from Gibson showing she will be a valuable addition in the middle of the park and yet again a fantastic performance Smith who’s recent performances show the maturity she is gaining with her considerable years.
The league remains wide open, with next week’s opponents Driffield taking three points from Ben Rhydding in difficult conditions on Sunday. Four games to go…….
Team: McCall, Byers, Barson, Warburton, Henry, Love, Hopper, C Goacher, A Blyth (c), Hesselwood, Gibson, Wright, K Blyth, Smith, C Goacher
Goals: C Goacher, Henry
MOM: Double bun week! H Goacher: Another composed performance, calm on the ball, strong through the challenge and even a touch of attacking flare. Smith: Second award in as many weeks, another fantastic display of attacking hockey and mega work rate. Saving her best for the business end of the season!
DOD: Coach Ransley: Every great coach needs a good assistant, with the calming influence of Baxter missing, the toys went out the pram! Water bottles everywhere and a full on sulk.