ADO Den Haag travelled away to NEC Nijmegen on Sunday in a real relegation battle. ADO before the kick-off were third from bottom, in the relegation play-off spot, NEC were in last place, a win would see them go above ADO, so a tense game was expected.
A nervy start from ADO saw them relieved in the open minutes when the linesman ruled out a goal for off-side. After this both teams settled into a high tempo game, ball going end to end, no tension of relegation showing from either side.
In the seventeenth minute NEC were awarded a penalty after Holla impeded a NEC forward The foul was clearly outside the box causing fury amongst the ADO players, so much so that van Duinen was shown a yellow card aswel as Holla. Zwinkels, in goal for the suspended Coutinho flung himself low to the left to make a great diving save.
Thirty one minutes played and NEC took the lead. Malone gave away a free kick 21m away from goal. The kick taken by Conboy was perfectly bent around the wall low into the bottom right hand corner, 1-0.
Inside a minute ADO were awarded a penalty. Danny Holla placed the ball on the spot before thumping the ball into the back of the net, 1-1.
ADO found themselves a goal behind again in the thirty fifth minute, some wonderful quick interplay saw NEC work the ball inside the penalty were Vermijl placed his shot wide of Zwikels, 2-1.
The second half saw a different ADO, unfortunately not in a good way, their confidence seemed to have disappeared. The openness of play in the first half became a closed game with no expression or desire to get forward. The second half was easy for NEC.
In the sixtieth minute Zwinkels was called upon to make a fine save from a close range header by Higdon.
The build up to the third goal by NEC was strange to say the least. They were awarded a free kick, much to the annoyance of Beugelsdijk, who in frustration blasted the ball into the dug out breaking some of the perspex. ADO obviously rattled about how the game was going. From the free kick The ball seemed to hang in the air for ages before van Eijden looped a header over Zwinkels into the back of the net, 3-1.
ADO almost got it back to 3-2 after van Haaren played the ball across the NEC area, the goal was gaping as Gouriye got his shot completely wrong, not even close to hitting the target.
In the final moments of injury time Zwinkels yet again pulled off a fine save, changing direction in mid air to palm the ball away to safety.
After this result and others around them, ADO Den Haag find themselves in last place. Things needs to change attitude wise in these vital games against teams in the lower league placings. ADO are really in danger if things do not improve quickly.
Starting eleven: Zwinkels; Zuiverloon, Beugelsdijk, Wormgoor, Meijers; Malone, Holla, Van Haaren; Alberg, Van Duinen, Gouriye
ADO man of the match: Zwinkels, kept the score line respectable.
Attendance: 10, 550