ADO Den Haag were thinking themselves lucky, as after the transfer window, the side had kept all their major players. ADO’s position in the league table meant this game needed to see the home side gain three vital points and that’s exactly what they got.

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ADO got off to a blistering start, within ninety seconds ADO had the ball in the back of the net. A free kick into the area saw Erik Falkenburg head the ball into the back of the net. Referee Siemen Mulder turned to the Video assistant referee (VAR) for clarification and the ruled the goal out for off-side.

THe game soon became a boring affair. Both teams seemed to be hapy with a draw, something that ADO could well do without.

The second half saw the introduction of Elson Hooi to replace Melvyn Lorenzen. This lifted the crowd as the compact winger started to open up the Heracles defence.

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In the sixty fifth minute the stadium fell silent as thousands of sparklers and lighters were lit in commemoration of Harm Huttinga, ADO’s fans of the century, who lost his battle against cancer last week. A truly wonderful moment that once again showed what the Hague public think of their own.

In the sixty eighth minute, trainer Fons Groenendijk bought on Tomas Necid in place of Falkenburg. ADO finally having a big centre forward to aim for. The Czech’s introduction immediately cause problems for the visitors.

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Then in the seventy ninth and eighty ninth minute the big forward got two goals. Danny Bakker, who for me was man of the match was the vital link that earned ADO a valuable three points.

It was not a great game, but the result was all that was important. It is still very close at the bottom of the Eredivisie. Next week ADO travel to FC Emmen, a game ADO can not afford to lose.

ADO team: Zwinkels; Troupée, Beugelsdijk, Kanon, Meijers; Immers, El Khayati (90. Malone), Bakker; Lorenzen (46. Hooi), Falkenburg (68. Necid), Becker.

Text Neal McClimon, photos