On Saturday ADO Den Haag played their first friendly of the pre season inside their own Kyocera stadium. The game as a spectacle was ruined by the hurricane like weather conditions, high winds and heavy rain. Despite the game being free to season ticket holders, the crowd was small as the sensible supporters stayed away and indoors.
As far as friendlies go, it was not a bad encounter. Neither team held back in the challenges and the trainers of Veria had to come on to treat players several times.
The wind proved difficult in the opening minutes and the Greek side took advantage of it, taking an early two goal lead after ADO had gone close thanks to header by Roland Alberg.
The first goal came after five minutes. A long throw in saw the ball whipped around by the gusts of wind, it was misjudged by everybody, finally Sotirios Balafas got a touch to the ball to knock it home, bizarre, but 0-1.
Eleven minutes in and Veria doubled their lead. A strike from distance was diverted passed Martin Hansen in the ADO goal by Balafas, claiming his second lucky goal. 0-2.
ADO then began to battle back, mainly coming down the wings, yet the quality of crossing was bad, even allowing for the wind, ADO should have got more shots on target.
In the Twenty first minute the home side were robbed of a clear goal. From a cross, Alberg placed a powerful downward header goalwards, the ball squirmed under the keeper and crossed the line, I know, I was behind the goal line. The keeper dragged the ball back. The assistant referee didn’t see it, unbelievable. The ADO players surrounded the referee, but to no avail.
Just before the end of the half Danny Bakker almost got a goal back. A scramble inside the area saw the ADO youngster smash the ball towards the goal from the centre of the penalty box, forcing the Veria keeper Jonatan Lopez Perez into a great block.
In the second half the visitors changed their wet white shirts into a blue and red top. This half saw ADO totally dominant, as Veria FC were happy to sit on their lead and keep ten men behind the ball. Despite the possession, ADO struggled to make an impact on the mass defending.
It was looking as though 0-2 would be the final score, but in the ninetieth minute ADO were awarded a very dodgy penalty as Gervane Kastaneer threw himself to the floor after the slightest of touches, if any contact at all. But as ADO were robbed of a goal earlier, karma struck as the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Swansea loanee Kenji Gorré placed the ball down before smashing the ball home, 1-2.
So ADO last their third friendly in a row with one more to play before the season starts. Henk Fraser the trainer has a lot of work to do on the training pitch. Yet this game proved a good work out for his side.