For the final game of 2015 ADO Den Haag played away to sc Heerenveen. The players and staff would have been feeling the pressure after last week’s disappointing performance against Excelsior. So now could they see the year out with a win?
ADO were unable to put out their normal team. Keeper Martin Hansen was out after breaking his little finger in training; thankfully ADO have a very reliable replacement in Robert Zwinkels. Captain Roland Alberg was out due to suspension. Thomas Kristensen was dropped and in came Timothy Derijck and Mathias Gehrt.
The match itself was not the greatest of adverts for watching live football. Both teams failing to make any real purposeful moves forward. ADO’s defence were working much better than of late and no crazy individual errors.
In the ninth minute ADO were very lucky not to be reduced to ten men. A long ball forward allowed Heerenveen’s Sam Larsson to break forward. Dion Malone was close but not close enough. ADO’s keeper, Zwinkels came rushing from his goal and lept knees first into the the attackers chest, totally flattening him. Everybody was expecting a red card to be shown, however referee Pieter Vink was in a generous mood and only showed a yellow card, Zwinkels very lucky.
It was not until the twenty eighth minute that the first real chance on goal came about. Vito Wormgoor fouled Joey van den Berg. The free-kick was 24m from goal and taken by Marten de Roon. It was a stunning strike, ball hit hard going towards the top corner, the shot was matched by the flying one handed save by Zwinkels, great action.
In the next five minutes Zwinkels was at the centre of everything, a fine save from Mark Uth. Then when a cross came in, he misjudged his punch and the ball eventually went to safety. Then another save from a long range effort. The ADO keeper certainly coming back into the side with a bang.
First half ended with ADO riding their luck at being able to leave the field on level terms, no strikes on target, overrun in midfield, but the defence was strong, if not quite giving the ADO fans heart attacks.
The only point of note in the opening fifteen minutes of the second half was a melee of players pushing and shoving each other in the ADO penalty box after an incident involving Michiel Kramer, frustration for the home side boiling over.
The game was dying a death until the seventy ninth minute. A long cross field ball found Mitchell Schet, he cut inside the area towards the goal line, he hit the ball hard and low as Mike van Duinen came running in, the forward made a good connection, but the Heerenveen keeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt made himself big and blocked the shot.
In the third minute of six minutes of extra time, yet again Zwinkels came to ADO’s rescue. A low one handed save, diving to his left prevented Uth from claiming a late winner for the hosts.
I was not a great game, but it was a valuable point earned away from the Kyocera. At the end of the game the ADO players went across to their supporters and threw their shirts in to the 100 strong support. Mike van Duinen even jumped the fence and walked up the steps of the home fans, so he could reach across to the ADO support. The Heerenveen fans welcomed him and helped him get through, a nice way to end 2014.
ADO man of the match: Robert Zwinkels, stood up to everything, made vital saves and controlled his defence.
ADO team: Zwinkels; Zuiverloon, Wormgoor, Derijck, Kanon, Meijers, Jansen, Malone; Gehrt, Kramer, Van Duinen.