ADO 3-0 Willem II
It was an odd journey travelling to the Stadium on tram 3. Instead of being full of boisterous fans and others larking about, there was a different atmosphere totally from the normal journeys from Centraal station. There was a subdued mood amongst the ADO fans, many keeping their thoughts deep inside their minds. What was the reason for this behaviour? Simple; the match against Willem II of Tilburg was a true three pointer. ADO have quietly slipped down the league table despite at times playing some good, attractive football. Tonight however, before kick off, the league table showed that ADO was in 16th position out of 18. Willem II was in 17th, only one point behind and having also played one game less. The game was a must win for the home side, anything else would be a complete and utter disaster!
The teams walked out in to an ice cold Forepark Stadion. Thankfully the quiet that surrounded the stadium prior to the match disappeared as the home support cheered them on ready for the battle that lay ahead.
Before the kick off, there was a presentation to Ricky van den Bergh on his 200th appearance for the club. He got a great reception as he is one of the fans favourites.
ADO kicked off and from that moment you could see which team was up for the challenge. The home side midfield were chasing after everything, even balls that looked to be lost causes. In comparison, Willem II just seemed to have no taste for the match; they sat back and looked drained even after two minutes. I do not think that their fan following helped them much, I counted several times and there was a total of only 43 visiting supporters, and they were quiet as a mouse. Not great considering this was a real relegation scrap.
Five minutes in and after plenty of ADO pressure, they get their first real opportunity. Kum playing a simple ball to v/d Bergh who in turn hits a long ball forward to Buijs who found himself totally unmarked on the corner of the penalty box. With no Willem II defenders near him, I think he got a little over excited and he blasted the ball over the bar.
Bosschaart intercepts a long pass from Willem II and immediately sets up an attack. He shows some good individual skill to make himself some space and finds Santy Hulst on the right touchline. He plays the ball back to Buijs who hoofs the ball high up the pitch towards Milic. As Milic is about to control the ball he is fouled by Danny Schenkel. The ball is placed dead centre of the goal 20m out. Ricky v/d Bergh hits his shot with not much power, yet the defensive wall completely disintegrates and the ball squeezes through and in to the back of the net. That is 1-0 to ADO after fifteen minutes.
For the next 15 minutes ADO were so dominant in their hunger, that Toornstra, Milic, v/d Bergh and Soltani seemed to have been the freedom of the pitch by Willem II’s midfield. Finally though, Willem II actually put some decent passing together. A cross was headed out by the ADO defence and fell to Jan-Arie van der Heijden. His connection with the ball was not great and his long range effort did not trouble Zwinkels in the ADO goal. After that chance the Visitors had their tails up for a period.
Thirty three minutes played as Aerts makes a long clearance from the Willem II goal, the ball headed forward by Frank Demouge. The ball falls nicely to Gerson Sheotahul, quick feet allowed him to play in Said Boutahar. Flicks the ball inside and fires a left footed shot goal bound low to Zwinkels right hand post. The keeper just scrambles across in time to put the ball out for a corner. The resulting corner kick was placed perfectly towards the penalty spot and an unlucky Danny Schenkel saw his powerful header cleared off the line by hitting the chest of a relieved Toornstra.
Thirty eight minutes in and v/d Bergh collect the ball in space near the half way line. He chips the ball forward in to the visitors box where it is met by the heads of the defence. Ball comes out to Toornstra who knocks it wide to Buijs. The cross is met by Milic whose header just goes straight up in the air and causes confusion. After a bit of pinball football the ball finds its way to Soltani on the edge of the area. His hard drive is deflected by a brave defensive block by Demouge, the deflection causes the ball to loop up high over the keeper and Aerts watches agonizingly as the ball hits the crossbar and is eventually hacked away to safety.
In to the first minute of first half injury time and Willem II are awarded a free kick after a foul by Derijck on Demouge. It is in a dangerous area and Zwinkels is screaming to get his defenders organised. Boutahar floats the ball in to the danger area. A scramble ensues and the ball falls to Demouge. From the tightest of angles he guides the ball powerfully towards the near post; some how Zwinkels makes a miraculous block from close range. In all honesty, I doubt he knew anything about that save.
The half time whistle blew and as the teams left the field, ADO supporters cheered wildly and you could feel as though a weight had been lifted from their shoulders.
The second half was all ADO. I think the fight and energy of Willem II was left in the changing rooms, they offered nothing at all for the whole second period. ADO ran them ragged throughout.
Fifty six minutes and ADO get the second goal they deserved. v/d Heijden is muscled out of possession by v/d Bergh. The ball is played wide to the right and Hulst surges down the wing. Once level with the penalty spot he crosses the ball into open space. v/d Bergh following up from his initial challenge meets the ball with power and only a stunning left handed save by Aerts pushing the ball in to the air prevented an easy goal. Unfortunately for Aerts and Willem II the only person to react quickly to that save was v/d Bergh who got his head to the ball to make is 2-0 to the home side.
From a long free kick in the ADO half, the ball is nodded on by Milic to v/d Bergh. It was then a straight race between him and Marlon Pereira. The attacker was looking though he was about to win the race and score his hat trick goal. At the last second, as v/d Bergh was about to pull the trigger, Pereira make one excellently timed sliding challenge clearing the ball away for a corner. The crowd called for a penalty. Not a chance, is was text book tackling. The corner is taken by v/d Bergh and it is cleared out to Bosschaart who quickly lays the ball off to Milic. A ball inside the box is picked up by Kees Luijckx. His individual skill left Demouge and Bas van Loon for dead. Two touches and he was at the goal line. With presence of mind to look up, he played the perfect ball into the run of Hulst who planted the ball firmly in to the back of the next; 3-0 to ADO.
A minute later Ricky van den Bergh was substituted and replaced by Knopper. As v/d Bergh left the playing area, the whole of the main stand gave him a standing ovation, the first time I have seen such an ovation for a substituted player in two seasons I have been at ADO.
Rest of the game was played out quietly. Willem II seemed to have no interest at all in making a fight of it. If I was their manager or a fan, I would have been totally disgusted with their attitude throughout the entire match. If this was their usual display, it explained their 43 followers being so quiet.
AS the final whistle blew, “Liberte” was blasted out of the sound system followed by “You’ll never walk alone.” As I left the stadium I walked past the supporters’ club house which was rocking, “Liberte” thumping the freezing night air. Now all ADO have to do is keep performing the way they did tonight. Best performance of the season so far and three vital points gained. Not safe from relegation yet, but a good start!
ADO man of the match: Ricky v/d Bergh. On his 200th appearance played like a human dynamo, plus his two goals, top performance.