Friday night in Arnhem and a baptism of fire for ADO’s new man in charge Henk Fraser. After the dismissal of Maurice Steijn following on from one of the worst footballing displays I have ever seen ADO produce, ADO had to lift themselves to take on high flying Vitesse in their own stadium.
The first half was mostly uneventful. Vitesse having 75% of the possession, yet with that much control ADO’s goal was never really under threat. The ADO defence were looking well marshalled and dealt with the home sides forwards with relative ease.
When ADO did get the ball they proved to be more than a handful for their hosts. In the seventh minute after a free-kick by Coutinho, the ball bounced up nicely for Roland Alberg to fire in a long range looping shot just over the bar.
Mike van Duinen was playing better than he had been for weeks and was active all over the midfield, amazing how the appointment of a new manager can inspire players to a higher level.
In the final minute of the half, Dion Malone stole the ball just inside the Vitesse half, he got into a good position to cross the ball; Alberg was unmarked as he ran into the danger area, but Malone’s ball went nowhere near him, wasted opportunity.
ADO got the second half off to a flyer. Danny Bakker slid in to force the keeper into a fine save. The reply was almost instant, Vitesse charged up field, they moved the ball well, thankfully Coutinho was alert and out off his line quickly, pushing the ball away, allowing defenders to get back in number.
The tempo was getting faster as the half continued. The first great chance for Vitesse was in the sixty third minute, a long range shot almost caught Coutinho out as the ball bounced just in front of him, Gino managing to get his fingers to the ball to put it to safety.
ADO almost got themselves in front in the sixty sixth minute. A smart move down the left saw the ball come inside where Alberg and van Duinen combined to work space for Bakker, his shot was goal bound, but Vitesse keeper showed amazing reflexes to keep the goal intact.
The game got a bit heated and a series of yellow happened in quick succession. Tommie Beugelsdijk living up to his reputation as a tough tackling defender as he sent a winger almost into orbit.
For the final twenty minutes of the game, Vitesse were in total command. ADO sat back and soaked up the pressure with almost siege like mentality. The ADO goal was not really threatened in normal time; however there were an added five minutes still to be played extra.
Twice Vitesse came close to snatching a winner, firstly hitting the post and then an effort just clearing the bar. At the final whistle there was relief by all of the players and staff. This was only their second clean sheet of the season. A great first point for Fraser. This game there were signs of heart, spirit and fight, something that had been missing of late. Long may this good work continue.
Team: Coutinho; Zuiverloon, Wormgoor, Beugelsdijk, Meijers; Malone, Holla, Bakker (76. Van Haaren); Schet, Van Duinen, Alberg (90+1. Kanon)
ADO man of the match: Vito Wormgoor, a treal powerhouse display.