This weekend finally saw the start of us catching up on our backlog of league games due to endless rearrangements with an away game at Rotherham on Saturday, followed by a game at Halifax on Sunday.
Saturday begun with Luke and Ross arriving late in order to pick up Tom’s breakfast. He’d obviously been taking some pointers from Ben Carlin that sleep is good as he was barely out bed to arrive In time. Safe to say he took the double fine for that! With sleepy Ben arriving and everyone else going direct we could get going immediately with a 5 star Greggs breakfast. An uneventful drive down the beloved M1 got us to the pitch under the November sunshine and a minutes silence was observed by both teams and the supporters on the side line before the game got underway. With Matt Brown and Greg both getting lost we had to drop the Cannon back to keep our back line solid alongside Bob Sibbers, Nic Crocker, and Ben Carlin. We also had a new addition in the team of the young Joe Greer stepping up from the 5s which strengthened our front line even more.
The game began strong from Adel as we pressed hard from the get go and made it difficult for the Rotherham midfield and attack to find any space in our half. On the occasions they did manage to get through, Nic and Bob were on top of it straight away and cut out the threat before it caused any issues. Chances for us to score were many but we lacked that bit of crispness to find the back of the net.
The most noticeable of our chances were two short corners in quick succession where Allan played a brilliant pass on both occasions to the back post where Matt Brown made the perfect run but didn’t lower his stick enough so the ball went straight underneath him. Eventually we were rewarded as the marauding Joe Greer drove along the baseline to pass the ball past the keeper where Tom could slot the ball home to make it 1-0. Milesy was called into action shortly after where he made a great stick tackle to cut out a Rotherham player who was through on goal. The half ended with Adel leading by just the one goal, we knew Rotherham would come out strong so we needed an early goal to make things easier for us.
The second half started and everyone had clearly turned up a gear. Several passes down the right side between Joe and Greg saw us build up to the top corner of the pitch. From there the ball was received at the top of the D, a quick pass to Allan who turned and slid the ball in the near post. 1 minute in and we had our early goal to give us breathing room. The game ended with only a few more chances coming our way with all the action being played in the midfield as a back and forth battle to push up the pitch. With 3 points in the bag we jumped back up the table to be in second place, missing the top slot on goal difference alone.
MotM went to Joe Greer for a cracking debut and DotD was joint between Allan for falling over and Ross for forgetting a towel. It ended up being given to Ross though, after a quick majority vote from Sam Ellis and no one else. Post-match fines saw some good funds get added to our pot also (although not quite on the same level as the 2s).
Sunday saw everyone making the trip to the picturesque, hilltop Halifax pitch down the M62, which was a nice change of motorway. Tom however was driving from Cambridge and managed to reach the northern ends of the midlands before realising he had left all his kit behind and Ross was late as he was partaking in the Remembrance parade in Leeds. At least no one got lost this time.
We managed to get a strong squad to Halifax for this game with only a few regulars missing. Milesy, Nic, Grindy, and Craig were all absent. Fortunately Sholto was able to come to the rescue for us in goal and we managed to shuffle our team round to keep our defence solid. Joe Greer was also making his second appearance for the 4’s, with him and Iain on our flanks we had some extremely good speed to use to our advantage.
The first 15 minutes of the game are a complete mystery as I was too busy driving over eating chocolate bars, but when I arrived we were leading 2-1 after going 1-0 down, apparently. A few minutes later, Brayshaw scored a tap in after Joe Greer made a brilliant baseline run (this happened about 3 times in total but Brayshaw only converted the one chance unfortunately)
3-1 at the halftime whistle and everyone started to relax a bit too much it seems. The second half started as Halifax fought back and scored a scruffy goal past Sholto followed by a rocket into the top corner. With the goals now a 3 apiece the pressure was really on Adel to claw back after letting this game get away from them. The pressure was too much though as Halifax scored another and went 4-3 up. This didn’t look good for the phwoars as we were looking at our first league loss in 27 games…
Adel fought back strongly using our 5 midfielders to play simple passing around the opponents. After some brief arguments, all of which involved Sam Ellis interestingly, and a certain defender nearly killing Ross, we got our head back in the game and snatched a goal back. The goal completed Allan’s hat-trick and brought us back into the game at 4-4.
Tensions started to rise in the closing minutes and the home umpire had to have a word with the captains to tell everyone to cooldown so as not to spoil what had been a great game of hockey. Berry was too busy looking cool in his shades and making all the right decisions to worry about little details like that however. The final minutes closed in and we thought we were going to share the spoils but then the cannon stepped up a slotted home a goal after several minutes of sitting in their D. Everyone in the team, the Adel team that is, went wild as all we had simply had to see the last couple of minutes and we would take the 3 points.
Our resolve held and the whistle went with the score 5-4 after a rollercoaster of a game. A result like this shows that we can go down against a strong team and still find a win to keep the mighty phwoars going as we look to remain unbeaten in the league for a second season.
MotM was a fairly unanimous decision to Allan for scoring his second hat-trick of the season with lots of mentions to Joe Greer for another fantastic display. DotD went to Luke, we all forget the reason why but our team is a democracy and he’s an easy target.
A final treat was the drive home with the sun setting behind us, bit of a breeze, nice music, it all seemed a bit poetic for everyone except Tom who was in a nail biting search for a petrol station. After wasting a lot of fuel that morning he practically had to coast to the petrol station so it was a good thing the pitch was at the top of a massive hill. After lots of bottom clenching for fear of running out he managed to cough into the station and avoid a potential revised DotD.
Our next fixture is an afternoon game against Slazengers at the Adel fortress where we look to strengthen our lead in the league and keep ourselves at the top. Onwards for the mighty phwoars!