ADO 0 v 0 VVV Venlo
By the look on the faces of the fans in and around the Forepark Stadion, things looked glum for ADO before a ball was even kicked. Even the warm sunny weather didn’t help with the atmosphere either. Before this weekends games, ADO languished in 17th place in a league of 18 after a 3-1 defeat last week to the league leaders FC Twente. Every game is now turning in to the proverbial must win cup final. VVV Venlo sits in 12th position, seemingly safe of relegation at the moment, but with three defeats in a row, it looked like a good time to be playing VVV.
A larger than normal sized crowd; created an amazing cacophony of noise as ADO kicked off for the first half. The family section looked sold out and the noise the kids were making was fantastic. From the outset the ADO players were up for this game. They chased everything and harassed the visiting teams’ players, giving them little or no time to settle. It was clear that ADO had a plan of attack to beat VVV. Wave after wave of attack went down the right wing. VVV had no answer to ADO’s tactics. They tried zonal defending and man to man marking, but ADO just tore through them. Within the first fifteen minutes, if this had been a boxing match, it would have been stopped to protect VVV defence from more punishment. They just could not deal with the onslaught.
Despite all this first half pressure. ADO only managed one real threat on the VVV goal. In the thirty sixth minute, some good interchange of passing between Ammi and Verhoek allowed Verhoek to whip in a low cross towards the near post. ADO’s Jans Toornstra was in early and directed his shot goalwards, unluckily for him, Kevin Begois in the VVV goal did not have to move as the ball slammed against his shins and went out for a corner.
The referee blew for half time and the players were cheered off by a happy home crowd. They had certainly showed willing to fight for the cause. The effort and possession however did not result in the clear cut chances needed to break the deadlock.
VVV got the second half underway and were immediately disposed by a still hungry ADO midfield. As the entire ADO forward line and midfield raced forward to apply that extra push, only a bit of drastic defending by VVV’s Gonzalo Garcia could put a halt to the attack. He gave away a free kick on the edge of the penalty after shoving over Luijckx from behind. Ricky v/d Bergh, ADO’s free kick specialist placed the ball and lined up his options. His kick was struck with power and almost perfect direction. Begois was forced to dive to his left, but was nowhere near the ball. Luck was on his side as the ball smashed against the cross bar.
For the next twenty minutes ADO huffed and puffed and totally dominated the opposition, but as in the first half, the final ball just wasn’t arriving to the strikers. On the rare occasion it did, the ball was blasted high and wide. The unfortunate side to this game, considering ADO’s desperate situation was that after the seventy minute mark, ADO seemed to say, ok, we aren’t going to score and stopped trying. It was boring, lazy football; it was a chore to watch it. Even the home support caught the lethargy. The famous Haagse Kwartiertje was a damp squib compared to its usual boisterous bellowing from the stands.
When the final whistle blew after four minutes of added time (where those extra minutes came from is beyond me. Maybe it was just a sadist referee prolonging the torture of the afternoon) There was no boing from the crowd. It was a surreal end to the game. Yes ADO gained what may prove to be a valuable point, but they had VVV there for the taking and never forced that final ball home. It is going to be tough for ADO now. They are certainly making the end of season run in very interesting. Did I say a point gained? I meant two points dropped. ADO really need to work on their finishing or I can see the play offs coming to make it a real nail biter of a finish.
ADO man of the match; Luijckx, a real battery boy, never stopped throughout the game and chased every lost cause, great grit and determination.
Attendance: 12, 584