ADO v VVV Venlo

ADO 3 v 0 VVV Venlo

What a great period it has bee for ADO. The new years fixtures have so far seen ADO gain maximum points from the post winter break, including the stunning victory to League leaders PSV Eindhoven last weekend. Saturday night saw ADO flying high in fifth place take on VVV Venlo, currently one from the bottom of the league in seventeenth place. On the way to the stadium I spoke to a few supporters, all of them expecting a goal fest. The stadium was a complete sell out and the atmosphere electric and the expectation high.

From the kick off ADO pressed forward trying to force an early break through. Yet despite a lot of huffing and puffing, ADO could not get a clear sight of goal. This changed in the thirty second minute, Verhoek playing the ball forward to Kubik on the right side of the field. His ball to the far side of the penalty box found Toornstra, his control was quick and needed to be as he quickly confronted by five Venlo defenders. His speedy nimble footwork managed to create space for a shot which was well saved by the quick reactions of Kevin Begois in the Venlo goal.

After a foul by Derijck in the thirty fifth minute, Venlo were awarded a free kick near the corner flag. The ball was swung in deep and headed clear by ADO new boy Chiro N’Toko only for Michael Timisela to lob the ball straight back in to the heart of the ADO box. Several players tried to get their head on the ball and it came out 22 metres to where Robert Cullen was left alone in plenty of space. His shot was a fierce drive that had Coutinho well beaten, but unfortunately for the Venlo team, the ball smashed against the cross bar and away to safety.

In the thirty eighth minute ADO again came down the right side of the pitch. Several balls in to the box were easily cleared by the Venlo defenders.  This was until the ball fell to the feet of Verhoek, who after a few steps unleashed a rocket of a left foot shot that almost knocked Begois over, some how the keeper managing to force the bal away. Great shot and save.

At half time it seemed to me that the ADO front line was lacking any real urgency. Yes they had had their chances, but something just not clicking. Bulykin, despite having a lot of freedom didn’t appear to have much interest in trying to hurt the Venlo defence.

The ADO manager John van den Brom certainly earned his money during his half time talk, as straight from the start of the second half ADO looked like a completely different team. There was a flow and purpose about their approach.

Only a few seconds in to the half and Kubik get the ball wide on the left, after beating Timisela twice he whipped in a cross cum shot. The keeper lost the flight of the ball and despite his efforts, the ball hit the front of the cross bar before being put in to touch. This got the volume increased inside the stadium.

In the fifty third minute a long kick by Coutinho was helped forward by Immers. Bulykin and Kubik had a quick interchange of pases before Kubik broke free. His cross in to the penalty box was perfectly weighted for Toornstra to run in and side foot the ball home in to the back of the net, a great fluid move, 1-0.

The sixty third minute and ADO were awarded a penalty. Immers crossed the ball in towards Bulykin who was on the penalty spot.  As he chest controlled the ball, Venlo defender Maya Yoshida had his hands around Bulykin’s body. There was no appeal from the ADO players, and everybody looked dumbstruck when referee Pieter Vink blew his whistle and awarded the spot kick. Bulykin too control of the situation, short run up and despatched the ball right footed low in to the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 2-0.

Straight from the restart and Venlo almost pulled a goal back. A long ball forward fell to the feet of Ruud Boymans, as Coutinho stood up to him, he fired in a hard shot that hit the body of the ADO keeper before going out of play;  good chance for the visitors.

With seven minutes to go ADO play some excellent fast flowing one touch football from defence in to attack. Bulykin the recipient and resulted in him in a one on one with Begois. Bulykin kept his composure and as Begois closed him down, Bulykin dinked the ball up and over the keeper high in to the back of the net: Great team goal and superb finish, 3-0.

In the final few minutes of the game, Venlo pushed forward and threatened the ADO goal on two occasions only for Coutinho to deny any consolation goal. In the final minutes another new ADO player came on; Jordy Brouwer who was signed from Liverpool made his debut for the club.

At the final whistle the crowd erupted, the chants of “We are going in to Europe” echoed around the Kyocera stadium. The managers’ name was chanted repeatedly, acknowledging what a great team he is putting together. There is definitely a strong bond between the management and the players right now, something I had not seen in previous seasons.

ADO man of the match: Toornstra; ran all night, full of energy and skill that ran the Venlo defence ragged.

 Attendance: 15,000 sell out.

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