ADO 2 v 1 Excelsior
Yet another match where fans could buy two tickets for the price of one; and with ADO playing exceptional football a full house was there to witness what they hoped would be another exciting performance resulting in three more valuable points. At the start of play, ADO lay in the lofty position of 7th and Excelsior were placed in 12th with just two points separating them. After a god start for the Rotterdam club, Excelsior has lost their last three matches, so the omens were looking good for the home team.
The visitors were unlucky not to go in front after two minutes. Kubik lost possession by his own corner flag on the far right hand side of the pitch. Excelsior’s speed and accuracy of passing moved the ball diagonally down the entire length of the field. The ball finally reaching Guyon Fernandez who worked himself an opening and smashed a fierce right foot shot against the upright, Coutinho in the ADO goal wouldn’t have stood a chance if it had been on target
The following fifteen was a dire affair; I must have looked at my watch at least ten times, not believing how slow the time was dragging. From the moment the game kicked off it was easy to see that ADO was not the team I had been watching for the previous month. There seemed no urgency and passion about their play. At times they could not string together a move of two or passes.
Not until the seventeenth minute did ADO threaten the Excelsior goal. Some persistent by Immers on the right touchline got in a deep cross to Bulykin, who headed the ball down to Kubik. Kubik set his site on goal and fired. The ball was well struck but fizzed past the right hand post.
The packed stadium was getting frustrated with the players and it transferred to the players. In the thirty first minute the game exploded for all the wrong reasons. As a ball was played high in to the Excelsior penalty area, for some reason only known to him, Radosavljevic lead with the arm crashing his elbow in the cheek of the unfortunate Jordy Clasie who fell to the floor clutching his face. A melee involving nearly all the players threatened to boil over as tempers flared; thankfully it was all just pushing and screaming at each other. Amazing Radosavljevic only received a yellow card for that very dangerous challenge.
For the following fifteen minutes nothing of note happened apart from a lot of wayward passing and some very dubious tackling which went unpunished and thankfully no serious consequences.
As the half entered injury time, Excelsior were awarded a throw in on the left. A bit of head tennis as players from both sides tried to either clear the ball away or create an opening. The ball finally fell to the feet of Ryan Koolwijk, as he was about to shoot Derijck came through the back of him taking his legs from beneath him, easy choice for the referee, Reinold Wiedemeijer and a penalty was awarded. Tim Vincken took the responsibly and his penalty was perfection, drilling the ball low and hard in to the bottom left corner of the net giving Coutinho no chance, 0-1.
The half time whistle blew and ended a half lacking in finesse, but had created several hot talking points.
Excelsior kicked off the second half and almost doubled their lead. Vincken chased the ball down the left wing and got in a cross to the near post. Derijck headed the ball across the goal to where Benjamin Baltes was standing. He had more time than he thought and drilled in a low shot goal bound, thankfully for ADO, Derijck had returned to his position on the goal line and kicked the ball to safety.
Excelsior where on the ascendency and they kept coming forward at ADO. Fifty six minutes in and they again came close to extending their lead. Kevin Wattamaleo worked himself an opening just inside the ADO box. He picked his spot and only a fine flying one handed save by Coutinho kept the ball out, outstanding skills by both players.
ADO grabbed an equaliser in the sixty fifth minute. v/d Bergh had some time and space in the middle of the Excelsior half. His accurate pass picked out Bulykin whose first touch was superb giving Kubik a clear sight of goal. As Cees Pauwe in the Excelsior moved forward to narrow the angles; Kubik calmly slotted the ball under the keeper in to the net. Great play, nice finish and the stadium erupted in to a cacophony of noise, 1-1.
Two minutes after the goal a tussle on the far side of the pitch saw Kubik and Miquel Nelom scrap fopr the ball, it got out of hand as Kubik grabbed Nelom around the neck and dragged him to the floor, play had moved on but I watched as Nelom got on top of Kubik and from my position looked to punch Kubik straight in the face. When the ball went out of play the referee got his red card out and dismissed Nelom for violent conduct. The Excelsior manager soon followed for his constant protestations eventually got too much for the referee who sent him in to the stands. Excelsior was imploding.
Seventy two minutes played and ADO had a two man advantage. Verhoek plays a ball wide to Immers who looks up and spots Kubik running through the middle towards the goal. Immers ball is hit with pin point accuracy, just as Kubik is about to control the ball he is clattered from behind by Norichio Nieveld. Kubik clear through on goal with only the keeper to beat, a no brainer of a decision for the referee who showed the Excelsior player a red card.
With a clear two man advantage, ADO could smell victory. Somehow they contrived to get themselves in to a panic, and shots were flying in on goal from all angles and distances, none looking as though they were a serious threat.
As the seconds passed towards the final whistle ADO gave it one last full on attack as everybody pushed forward. Verhoek crossed a long ball in to the box from wide on the right. Excelsior’s defence could clear the danger and thirty seconds of panic pinball style football followed. A shot from Toornstra ricochets to Bulykin, he was off balance and his touch bounced away to Kum who fired another shot in. Bulykin agai found the ball in his possession as he scrambled to his feet. His touch knocked the ball to Derijck. In the midst of this chaotic madness Derijck showed ice cold calmness and gently lifted the ball across to Bulykin who this time tapped the ball in to the net, 2-1. Derijck took all the plaudits for the goal, his execution of that final ball in those circumstances was truly unbelievable.
The final whistle blew and the place went crazy, again the players after winning at home did a lap of honour, spending several minutes bouncing and dancing around in front of a jubilant Midden Noord. The bond between this team and their fans is so strong, a joy to watch professional footballer know what their fans mean to them.
This result pushed ADO in to sixth place in the Eredivisie, On the same points as the team in fourth spot. It is far so good this season. Next they face a stern test away to FC Twente.
The tram journey on the way home was fun, as the fans were singing their heads off, their new hero is the goal machine that is Bulykin and as fans left centraal station you could hear his name echoing throughout the station concourse, brilliant!
ADO man of the match: Timothy Derijck; Despite giving the penalty away to give Excelsior the lead, he played a pivotal part in the win. His goal line clearance and his calmness as he created the wining goal make him my man of the night.
Attendance: 14, 993