ADO v Wilem II
Despite the freezing temperatures and treacherous conditions there was a decent sized crowd of hardcore loyal supporters to witness ADO’s final home game of the year. With ADO taking on bottom of the league Willem II and after gaining a superb point away at Roda JC last weekend, thanks to yet another strike from the Russian hit man Dmitry Bulykin, expectations amongst ADO fans were very high.
I suppose you can’t blame the players from either team for the performances they put in. To play on such a night would be difficult for anybody. ADO knew they had the beating of Willem II from the kick off. There was no pressurizing at all and no urgency. The game in fact was dull.
Eleven minutes in to the game and Willem II score their first of their three goals of the night. Yes an ADO player did not even make the score sheet. Toornstra received the ball in central midfield and immediately played a superb first time reverse pass to Kubik whose charge goalwards was thwarted by a great timed interception by Arjen Swinkels. Kubik took the corner on the right hand side and crossed the ball deep into the danger area. A headed clearance came back out to Kubik, his pass back to Verhoek gave the ADO player time to look up and swing in a hard low cross to the edge of the six yard box. The Willem II player Niek Vossebelt attempted to clear the ball with a low diving header, unfortunately for him it ended as a spectacular own goal as the ball hit the back of the net leaving his keeper Niki Maenpaa helpless.
The own goal seemed to have an adverse effect on Vossebelt as he needlessly gave the ball away in the twentieth minute. Immers took control and played the ball left to an unmarked Bulykin. His drive and determination in going forward was not matched by his finish, as the Russians shot passed the far upright and out for a goal kick.
As for the rest of the first half, it was a non event. The supporters took pleasure passing the cold evening by bombarding stewards with snowballs, so much so that announcements where made telling them to stop it.
Second half started with the visitors showing a bit more appetite for the game and in the fifty first minute got their reward. Willem II was awarded a corner kick on the left. Lars Hutton crossed the ball right in to the centre of the penalty box. A late run in to the area saw Bart Biemans arrive completely unmarked to power a bullet header in to the back of the ADO net, sloppy defending by the home team, 1-1.
Before the game restarted, Bulykin was replaced by Danny Buijs. Bulykin looked to walk off in some discomfort, hopefully that is nothing more than a bit of cramp!
Straight from the kick off, Verhoek got the ball and went straight down the right wing to fire in a cross. Buijs’s first touch of the game saw his shot cannon back off the foot of the left hand post and rebound off the back of Maenpaa, from where I was sitting the ball looked to have crossed the line. Play continued and the ball went back out to Verhoek, this time the cross was driven in hard and low. With Immers coming in at speed, a Willem II defender thrust a leg out. The ball his is knee and flew in to the back of the net. Veli Lampi had a look of heart break on his face as he watched the ADO players celebrate; Verhoek getting all the congratulations, 2-1.
The rest of the game died down considerably after the goal. ADO was happy to allow Willem II to keep possession. On a couple of occasions they could have been made to pay for this attitude as twice in a ten minute spell Coutinho was forced to make saves.
Thankfully for all concerned and after four minutes of added time, the final whistle blew. The crowd cheered and the players went across to the Midden Noord to celebrate. This resulted in a large scale snowball fight breaking out between the players and the fans before both sides applauded each other. A great way to finish what was a lack lustre night, but the result meant everything.
ADO man of the match: Wesley Verhoek, a constant threat through out and a tireless work horse.
So the first half of the season has surpassed the highest expectations of everybody involved with ADO Den Haag. What does the second half hold? Will ADO be able to keep their top players like Bulykin, Verhoek, Buijs and Derijck in their squad, fending off interest from teams both home and abroad? Will they be able to tempt some better players to the squad to improve their chances of sneaking in to a Europa league spot? Yes! A European place is within ADO’s sights. The team’s performances and spirit have bee excellent so far, will it continue? With the exuberant and boisterous home crowd behind them, it is in my eyes a possibility that many would not have dreamed even thinkable only four moths ago. You could witness ADO claim a European place! You could witness ADO history in the making. Make 2011 your time to become an ADO supporter!
To make you aware, there are only two games next year that require club cards, and those games are against Feyenoord and Ajax. So if you want to see these two top matches, go to the stadium and get yourself a club card sorted. Costs 5 Euros which can be deducted from the price of the next ticket you buy, so basically…it is FREE!!
That is it from me now until next year. I wish you all a merry Christmas and a Happy New year!