Leeds Adel 3s returned to the Division 4S top four for the first time in two weeks as an inspired performance from the Captain (making it 5 goals in 5 games) proved decisive against University of Leeds 3s.
His first well-crafted deflection gave the hosts a lead that survived to half-time as Leeds Uni continued to waste half-chances at Fortress Adel
One of these chances was eventually taken & Rob Higgins saved a controversial P-flick but Mattinson’s second deflection, less extravagant than the first just after HT turned out to be the decision winner. Leeds University, who had won 2 out of 4 games this season, could easily have taken something from the game but wayward finishing alongside tremendous defending and keeping from Rob Higgins resulted in the 3s maintaining their 100% home record. Higgins also had to be alert to keep out a late Uni effort but, while Leeds Adel will be concerned by their vulnerability under late pressure, the result and the three points were paramount. With a two week break, their next game not until the 15th November when they are away to Lincoln Roses 3s, the captain will hope his side, which is gelling well, can consolidate their form to ensure a continuation of their record at home.
Adel had begun in buoyant mood, making early inroads down the left with stalwart Sean Hewitt and Ben Lipfriend doubling up on a rather unhappy Leeds Uni winger, but the opener arrived courtesy of a delivery from the opposite flank. After many a free hit from a reintroduced Ant Poll, and a few short corners, the hapless Leeds Uni left winger could only clear Phil Bayford’s J-run pass resulting a crash ball from the right wing onto the outstretched stick of David Mattinson to apply a fine, finesse finish into the inside of the right side netting from just inside the top left of the D.
Up until that point, Leeds Uni’s attempts to build attacks had floundered around their front 3 with them being short of support from midfield, but they posed more of a threat after falling behind. However a combination of great defending from green carded Scott Wardle, Mel Ghaly (on his debut), and Sean Hewitt and outstanding reflexes from Rob Higgins meant Adel went in at the break with a deserved 1-0 lead.
The second half continued in a similar vein to the first half, with much of the play being around the half-line with quality finishing lacking from Leeds Uni and poor touches from the interchanging four forwards of Leeds Adel meaning the first 15 minutes of the second half were scrappy. Adel soon took the game by the scruff of the neck with another composed finish from the captain. After yet another uni half-chance a 16 was taken by Scott Wardle, passed through the midfield of Carl “I wear ridiculous hats” Agar-Brennan, Jim ‘can anything get past him?’ Cockburn and the workhorse Paul Bramley to Rich Bingham, who launched another strike into the D. Here, another deflection was sought which trickled past the keeper, hit the post, but because of the amount of spin on the ball trickled over the backline.
At 2-0, despite 8-minute rolling subs, and the captain trying to give himself an aneurysm, the Leeds Adel team started to tire, and after several short corners, the umpire awarded a controversial P-flick after the ball struck a foot just in front of the line despite there being a player clearly behind him. The Leeds Uni forward (who later was actually from their 2s) stepped up and Rob Higgins pulled off a marvellous save to his right to truly deflate the infighting Uni team They did eventually score but Leeds Adel held out to secure another vital 3 points in their promotion push.
FT: Leeds Adel 3s 2 – University of Leeds 3s 1
MoM- Rob Higgins – outrageous, sublime goalkeeping to keep out the P-flick and also flexibility to keep the Leeds Uni attack at bay
DoD – Ed Fuller – “please can you turn up on time for a match?!”, “can you even track back?!”
Special Mentions: Jim Cockburn, Phil Bayford for playing despite having a niggle or coming back from injury and Rich Bingham
Leeds Adel supporter:
“The win is very important, you can imagine that. We played a very good first half with attractive football. We conceded again a goal from a set play.
“But OK, I am very happy that we hold the result until the end because it is very difficult to play against a team who have more interchanges than us but also younger legs!. I am very pleased with the attitude of the players.”