Bad weather conditions made Rochdale’s AD Plate Cup game against Bolton a scrappy affair. As soon as the whistle sounded Bolton pressed high up the pitch pressuring Rochdale to find space – something which proved difficult as they struggled to get out of their own third. However; Rochdale’s resilient defence, made up of Dionne Collinson, Nikki Mongan, Beckie Moon and Gill Owen, worked well as a unit to wear down the Bolton attack.

With Bolton maintaining a high press and increasing the intensity, Rochdale started to tire. Bolton were awarded a long corner, making short sharp passes around the defence, they found a gap and slotted the ball just past the Rochdale keeper Sam Partington, making it 1-0.

The second half saw much of the same with Rochdale making every attempt to penetrate the Bolton D and level the score line. Gemma Hodcroft worked hard in the middle but Rochdale was missing Paula MacDonald – and her pace. 

Bolton’s second goal came from a short corner, with a powerful hit from top D, searing into the Rochdale goal. Rochdale did have a few opportunities to break in the game, one saw Becky Knowles drive up the left wing before passing to Hodcroft in the middle. Roisin Pickering then took the ball down the right wing before crossing the ball into Katie Burrell, who shot first time, only for the keeper to save the shot however; it was pleasing to see Rochdale pass so well down the pitch with some good patterns of play.

The last goal came just before the final whistle was blown, after a valiant effort from superstar keeper Partington, the ball slotted into the lower left hand corner of the goal. Despite Partington’s efforts the shot proved to be too powerful as she was left doing the splits. After the goal Rochdale had one last attempt at closing the gap in the score when Molly Barker passed to Burrell down the left wing who drove a lovely ball to Pickering. Pickering tried to round the keeper one on one, but the keeper just managed cleared the ball wide.

This week’s game saw a marked improvement from last week with each unit working hard however; Rochdale just couldn’t seem to convert any of the chances they had. Next week Rochdale take on Bolton 2’s again in a league match which they hope to take the win.

Captain Kie Leech: “A well battled game where the 0-1 score at half time should have been the final score for how much effort the team put in. A big thank you and well done to our three junior players who stepped up to play in the cup match today.”

Player of the Match was Kie Leech.