Rochdale fresh on the back of a string of defeats went to Bolton with a clear plan and a few new strategies that they could employ. They also travelled with a straight 11 again so knew game management would be essential in this game.
Rochdale started by making sure they had a hold of the game and not allowing the opposition to get into a rhythm. As a result the passing from Rochdale was much crisper and faster and allowed the team to settle and attack with pace and aggression. Rochdale pressed into the opposition D and early on earned their first short corner. With a well prepared routine the ball was injected to the top of the D by Dean Close and a brilliant strike from Graham Broadley put Rochdale in the lead.
Play was starting to settle with the game being played at a high tempo, both teams getting shots off but Bolton got lucky with the ball striking Karl Wynn in the lower body and awarding them a penalty flick which they duly put away to level things up.
Again Rochdale took control of the game and were awarded multiple short corners with another set of well worked routines Bjorne Brauns once again got onto the score sheet slotting it past the keeper to put them in the lead again at 2-1.
Rochdale came out after the half time slowly and allowed Bolton straight back into the game with them levelling the score line at 2-2. Learning from last weeks defeat, Rochdale worked hard to retain possession and keep Bolton chasing. From a side line ball deep in their own half, Rochdale passed around the back four and up to Andy Meanock on the right wing who drove it up to Niam Willis. Willis ran at the D drawing out the keeper, enabling the slip pass to Brauns to put away his second of the game. All in all the entire move took 30 seconds to go from our back line to the back of their net, without a doubt the move of the game.
Bolton who were in search of their first win of the season did not give up, pressing hard into the Rochdale D, the Bolton striker was driven wide but managed to get a great strike off. With Robinson in the Rochdale goal unsighted by the packed D, the ball flew through the defensive line into the bottom corner. Once again it was game on.
Rochdale however were not ready to have another draw and definitely were not going to walk away with a defeat. Another move which, started deep in their own half, saw Rochdale pass the ball with speed and accuracy up to the Bolton D, where Brauns sealed off his hat trick and eventually give Rochdale a well deserved win.
Captain Karl Wynn ” Today was a great team performance and it was extremely gratifying to us all, to see the things we had discussed prior to the game having such an impact.”
The Atticus Man of the Match went to Karl Wynn for an inspirational captains performance.