After last week's exciting, yet disappointing draw at home to Roda JC, how would ADO approach this first away match of 2012?
The answer to that question was not good. NEC started with a game plan and stuck to it. They were happy for ADO to have the ball up to their own part of the centre circle and then faced them with a solid bank of two rows of four defending their area. This gave ADO lots of possession and time on the ball; unfortunately the visitors were unable to do anything with it.
Time and time again ADO attacks broke down through what looked like a lack of confidence in the side, maybe caused by all the rumours floating around the club and its players behind the scenes? Every time there was a sloppy pass or a fifty-fifty ball to be won, the home side pounced and attacked with pace causing ADO defenders to look totally out of sorts.
ADO did have their opportunities on the NEC goal, but the chances were wasted too easily by either wayward shooting or by a lack of nerve in front of goal to take an early shot instead of passing to a team mate in a worse position.
In the eighth minute NEC took a one goal advantage; Visser played the ball back to Coutinho who played the ball forward to the half-way line. The ball came straight back toward the ADO goal. Horvath lost sight of Genero Zeefuik whose incisive pass to Lasse Schone enabled him to despatch the ball in style passed the ADO keeper, 1-0.
NEC struck for a second time in the seventeenth minute. This time it was Schone who played in Zeefuik inside the penalty area; again Horvath lost his man and grabbed the forwards shirt, leaving the referee no option but to award a penalty kick. Yes he fell easily, but so does every other forward in world football. Schone took the kick sending Coutinho the wrong way, 2-0.
NEC score from the penalty spot
In the second half NEC could have easily hit ADO for another two or three goals, if not more. They were denied a clear penalty at one point and also their forwards lost their shooting boots and could not hit the target even though it seemed easier to score.
ADO’s best chance came in the fiftieth minute when Chery took a corner on the right and played it out to Wesley Verhoek, his right foot swept the ball with power and against the post and out of danger.
Defensive battles during an ADO corner
With fifteen minutes left to play, a sight that made al fans of ADO cringe. Wesley Verhoek crumpled to the floor in agony after a challenge by Kevin Conboy. The ADO winger was treated for several minutes before been carried off on a stretcher. Initial thoughts were that is was a leg break, this fear was unfounded, but reports are that he will go to hospital on Monday to have it checked properly.
W Verhoek is stretched off
J. Verhoek had a chance at the end to pull a consolation goal back, but was forced into an early shot and blasted the ball over the bar.
At the final whistle, the players trudged off the field looking deflated. Something is amiss it seems with some players. No idea why this should be the case, but hearts and not pumping with ADO passion. Only J. Verhoek, Toornstra and Vicento can claim to have busted a gut for those fans that travelled. Things need to improve quickly as high flying AZ Alkmaar pay a visit to the Kyocera next Saturday. The good news is that by then the transfer window will have closed and hopefully things will have settled down again. So get yourself a ticket and add your vocal support for the local team; your club needs you!
ADO man of the match: John Verhoek; put his body on the line for the club, battled throughout the whole ninety minutes.
Attendance: 12, 300
Next home game is on Saturday, 4 February against AZ Alkmaar; kick-off time is at 18:45. A club card is not required for this match. The ticket office is open on Tuesday 13:00 - 18:00, Wednesday and Thursday 12:00 - 18:00 and on Friday between 12:00 - 20:00.
Text & Photos by Neal McClimon