Rochdale faced up against Bury 2s, a local rival, but 90 minutes before the game were dealt a massive blow by losing one player due to unforeseen circumstances and wouldn’t get their 11th player until well into the 2nd half. The team knowing this would have seen a draw as a good result.
Rochdale started with the pushback and settled into the game quickly and had a few early chances coming from both forwards. Unperturbed by the missing man, Rochdale worked not only well together but played smart and were soon the dominant side in the first half. It wasn’t long before the pressure being exerted by Rochdale led to a wonderful bit of one touch passing play between Aaron Hunter, Dean Close and Graham Broadley ended in a goal for Close, the Rochdale captain.
Towards the end of the first half Bury did add some pressure to the Rochdale defence of Liam Nutter (full game debutant), Dave Marlow and Karl Wynn but, all stood strong with some excellent saves from Brian Robinson the Rochdale goalkeeper.
The half time team talk was a very positive one with lots of positive thinking and with the clear aim to settle the game down and finish the it off with one more goal.
With this clear aim the entire team once again worked hard to make it all come together. Hunter, successfully found the back of the net to gain the all important 2nd goal to ensure that Rochdale’s lead was a more comfortable one. Not long after that goal Close slotted another goal away to make it 3 nil and at this point the game looked settled.
However Rochdale were not finished. Close got another chance to score and waited for the Bury keeper to commit to a move and once he had he just coolly placed it into the goal to score his first hat trick of the season and to really seal the game. Rochdale didn’t stop after this and Hunter once again found the back of the net to make it 5-0.
Testament to Rochdales play was when thier 11th man eventually turned up and started to play Bury thought that we had made a substitution without taking a player off until the umpire informed them that they had only been playing with 10 players.
Captain Dean Close said “The team today played better than I have ever seen them play. The fact that we were so dominant with 10 men for the majority of the game goes to show the character and talent that is present in the team and is by far one of the most satisfying wins we have had to date.”
The man of the match was Dave Marlow