The second round of the cup commenced on Sunday with Rochdale taking on Didsbury Greys with hopes of sailing through with a win. The game started quickly with Rochdale’s grit and determination evident from the first whistle however; fatigue started to set in as they failed to get the ball around the opposition’s keeper. With half time drawing close, Rochdale knew they needed to score. Roisin Pickering used her well-practised skills down the right wing to continuously send the ball into the D, with Kie Leech working tirelessly in the middle and the defence able to support by pushing deep up the pitch, there really was nothing left to do but score. Katie Burrell at the back post to get that tap in but the efforts were unsuccessful and it wasn’t long until the umpire blew the whistle, signalling half time.

The second half saw Jennie Ransome make her season debut into the middle and was joined by her daughter Sarah on the right wing, hassling the Didsbury defenders and applying pressure throughout her play. Minutes into the second half it was clear this was a well-thought out decision as the fresh legs picked up the pace. After Beckie Moon intercepted a ball down the right wing, she passed square to Nikki Monghan who swept it to Dionne Collinson on the left. Leech received the ball from Collinson before sending it to J Ransome in the middle. Ransome used her stamina to tire the opposition’s defenders before passing to Pickering who expertly sent it home with a fast strike – which no amount of skill could stop. A brilliant display of team work with excellent, well thought out passes throughout the pitch. However; it wasn’t long before Didsbury launched an attack. Rochdale’s defence stood strong whilst keeper Sam Partington organised her unit with fantastic communication. Sadly despite the relentless effort of the defence it wasn’t long before Disbury sent one home and the score line became 1-1.

The game ended 1-1 meaning the outcome would be determined by penalty flicks – something Rochdale has varying success with. Leech, Pickering, Burrell, Collinson and Monghan were picked to take on the challenge, hoping to replicate the success they had in the last round which also ended with penalty flicks. With Pickering, Burell and Collinson scoring and three of the Didsbury team scoring three, it was time for sudden death. Leech was chosen to start the sudden death round and despite a very skilful flick into the right hand corner, it was saved by the opposition. Although this was a disappointing end to a challenging game Rochdale were proud of how far they had come and wish Didsbury all the best in the next round of the cup.

Defender Gill Owen: “We played our socks off today and we should have secured a win in the game but it wasn’t meant to be, great effort by all!”