The game was one ADO had to win, if not, the crowd would be turning on the club, its players and its management. Everybody was hoping to see a reaction following on from last weeks disaster away at PEC Zwolle.
In a freezing stadium ADO struggled badly to play any sort of decent football. It was a very disjointed game, no ebb and flow to it at all, two pub teams in action was about as good as it got. Despite there being four goals, it was not great viewing. All the goals coming in the first half, and ADO having to come back from 0-2 down.
In the thirteenth minute Excelsior took the lead. They broke down the right hand side, no tackles were even atempted. The ball was fed to Luigi Bruins, there looked to be no danger as he was quite far from goal. Yet he was allowed to move forward before unleashing a powerful shot into the far corner of the net, giving Martin Hansen no chance, a really great finish, 0-1.
The visitor were the better team, at periods they were guilty of time wasting, even so early in the match. Yet when they did break forward it was former ADO player Ninos Gouriye who was creating trouble, twice forcing the ADO keeper into smart saves. ADO just were not in this game at all.
In the thirty fifth minute Excelsior extended their lead. A corner from the right was headed to the edge of the area, Gouriye ran in and smashed the ball into the net, another good finish, the crowd went silent before they started to target the ADO players for their lack of effort, 0-2.
A minute later ADO responded. A free kick on the right was floated to the far corner of the penalty box by Roland Alberg. Mike van Duinen controlled the ball instantly, he took aim and hammered the ball into the roof of the net past former ADO favourite Gino Coutinho. No celebrations, ADO rushed back to get things restarted, 1-2.
ADO began to liven up and started to move the ball well. Now they were forcing Excelsior backwards and in the fortieth minute got back on level terms. A long looping ball by Aaron Meijers was headed on by Michiel Kramer, the ball fell to Gianni Zuiverloon, his strength gave him the edge and he blasted the ball into the net, this time the players celebrated, the fans could breath again, 2-2.
The second half began with ADO keeping the Excelsior players waiting on the pitch in the icy wind for a few minutes as they delayed their return to the picth for as long as possible, mind games by Henk Fraser, the ADO manager.
ADO started the brightest, but both teams were struggling with their attacking play. Just after the hour mark, Excelsior had a great chance to go back in front. A long clearance by Coutinho was misjudged by Vito Wormgoor, the ball ran away from him allowing Gouriye to chase into the area, Gouriye’s shot was good but Hansen was equal to it and saved Wormgoor’s blushes.
ADO still looked defensively weak, a lack of communication looked to be the problem, as time and again Gouriye was able to threaten the ADO goal, Excelsior were the better team going forward. Coutinho was the quieter of the keepers, yet was forced to make a good save at his near post following a strong volley by Zuiverloon in the eighty third minute.
The clock ran down with not much action, the final whistle was greeted by loud jeers from the stands, it was a game ADO were expected to win, but in the end were lucky to hold onto a point.
ADO Man of the Match: Mike van Duinen, ran himself into the ground for the club.
ADO TEAM: 1 Martin Hansen, 2 Dion Malone, 3 Vito Wormgoor, 5 Wilfried Kanon, 6 Thomas Kristensen, 8 Aaron Meijers, 9 Mike van Duinen, 10 Mathias Gehrt, 23 Roland Alberg, 29 Michiel Kramer, 51 Gianni Zuiverloon