ADO 0 v 0 sc Heerenveen
ADO took on in form sc Heerenveen on Saturday night with the crowd hoping to see a huge improvement from ADO’s last two outings. Since last weekends dismal display against NAC Breda the rumour mill has been hard at work in the national and local media about Maurice Steijn’s position at the club. It is unfortunate that these kinds of things arise to unsettle the club, but after a terrible run of results and performances questions are now obviously going to be asked; and the best way to shut those up in judgement would be to put on a good display and earn three valuable points.
A good crowd of over 12,000 was inside the stadium and wow did they make a noise. The atmosphere was amazing. The support on all sides of the ground was there for the players to respond to; and respond they did.
Yet again ADO was without many first choice players, yet this time around the younger players that were in the team stepped up to the mark and was there to be counted and relied upon. A new face in the team was Kenneth Omeruo, a Nigerian player on loan from Chelsea, whom played like he had been at then heart of the defence for ages and they were rock solid, something ADO had been missing throughout the season. Is the pairing to stabilize the ADO backline?
The display put on by the ADO team against the high flyers of Heerenveen was in total contrast to their last two outings, both of which were lack lustre to say the very least. This time there was a passion and urgency about their play. They closed down quickly on opponents. The defence hunted in a pack giving the Heerenveen forwards no time to settle and pass their way around. As the game continued the fans saw some pride in the play and the volume of support increased substantially.
The game was end to end but very few clear cut chances for either team. The first two chances fell to Heerenveen in the final five minutes of the first half; both falling to Luciano Narsingh. The first after he was put through in on goal with only Coutinho to beat. Coutinho won the battle of nerves and saved at the forwards feet. Two minutes later Narsingh again finds himself in the penalty box, this time Kum slid in at the last second to get the ball away, great defending.
ADO came flying out of the blocks in the second half and almost got themselves ahead. Toornstra swung a cross in from the right and Smolarek got his head to the ball only to see his effort go wide of the near post.
In the seventy first minute John Verhoek replaced Smolarek. Verhoek made his way into the penalty as Toornstra sent over a fre kick. Verhoek beat the defence and his header just went over the bar.
The game lacked major highlights, but it was a match of high tempo and free flowing football, a great game for the spectator to get engrossed in.
At the final whistle the players were greeted by a rousing cheer. The first time in ages they walked from the pitch to a standing ovation, the looks on their faces were so much happier than last week. The fact is that this was also the first game this season that Heerenveen had not scored in, so that just shows how good a defensive display it was.
The point earned keeps the side just above the relegation play-off places. They are still in trouble, yet if they can continue to perform like they did on Saturday and improve as the top players return, all bodes well for our local club.
Attendance: 12, 079
ADO man of the match: Christian Kum. A captain that led by example, immense combative performance.