Sheffield Hallam HC 4th XI 1:3 Leeds Adel HC 1st XI
The well organised side was thrown into late panic on Saturday morning as Watkins was involved in an accident, Kastelik was requested to leave his premises (for unknown circumstances), and the ever late Portnell was… well late as Snakes Pass was closed during the middle of Saturday morning. Two of the three did make it to Abbeydale unscathed, which isn’t bad as one man once said.
In a Jekyll and Hyde setting at Abbeydale the Oranje side took their latest victory. The Jekyll is of course the beautiful Olympic pitch, and the Hyde is the yet redeveloped changing rooms. This did not distract from the professional job that the men from Adel knew they had put in.
As the game started it was evident which part of the pitch most of the game was going to be played in. The ever solid home Hallam defence picking off passes, in which behind them stood a confident and athletic goalkeeper. Misplaced passes and a story of nearly chances summed up the first half.
The defence was, for the large part a spectator as Hallam ventured out of their half once or twice with little threat other than the odd rare mistake from personnel involved. The stats didn’t lie, but the one that mattered most was 0-0.
In the second half the team were sent out with strong directions to improve their final third performances. Whilst the team were on top, Portnell must have forgotten that Will Powley now played for Sheffield as he played a simple pass from the left hand side straight to the Former Adel man’s open stick. Hallam punished as they countered with effectiveness and cooly finished into the bottom corner away from the sprawling Walker.
The Solihull Xavi was left to replace the divot taken when showing his frustration, whilst others were a little more vocal.
Where the Adel of old may have self-destructed in this situation, the new character of this side shone through. In the last 20 minutes the impetus was with Adel. A move from back to front as the ball was quickly played around the back and expertly weighted from Mayhew to Purdy. Purdy showed penetration in getting into the D who found the unmarked Norman to slot past the Hallam ‘keeper. Relief from Adel and Norman, who now moves ahead of Walker in the goal scoring charts.
As Adel searched for a second, the game became more open with both teams creating chances in search for the third goal of the game. It eventually went the way of Adel, and came from a penalty corner, with Kastelik out indefinitely Purdy has stepped up in style converting from the top. A huge sigh of relief echoed around the side following Evans solid deflection. He showed good commitment in getting on the end of a Andy Reid Ben Hendley ball, although later honesty revealed that he merely tripped!
Good news followed as Airedale were held by Leeds, and Grimsby beat Harrogate which makes for an interesting end to the season. Back to home comforts next week as Adel welcome Airedale in a 1st v 2nd place in the Yorkshire Div 1.
Thanks to the officials and the Ultras who support us home and away.
MoM – Mayhew. Utility man in solid form
DoD – Portnell. For that pass, and the card that followed. At least he wore shoes, for once.