It was a lovely sunny day on Saturday when Rochdale took on University of Manchester 3rds, with hopes of continuing their winning streak.
It was clear from the first whistle that UoM were hungry for a win and within minutes had bagged two goals in the back of the D.
Unfortnately both goals were questioned by the Rochdale, players as well as the supporters, as the umpire seemed to allow fouls throughout the play which ultimately led them to having a 2-0 lead so early on. Despite this being frustrating for the ladies they were determined to get what was there’s back.
With defence – made up of Nicky Monghan, Gill Owen, Becky Moon and Hannah Smith – working tirelessly it soon became clear UoM wasn’t having any more opportunities to get anywhere near the D.
With some changes at half time, Rochdale were ready to attack.
The first goal for Rochdale came from Gemma Hodcroft who took it to the top of the D and had a fantastic strike into the bottom right hand corner – stopping the keeper in her tracks. It was a brilliant display of skill and whole team effort as Owen passed to Collinson in the middle, who sent it to Roisin Pickering who had made a run down the right wing. Knowles and Burrell were waiting in the D for the tap in but Hodcroft ensured it was sent flying into the back of the net after a brilliant pass in. In the he last couple of minutes of the game Rochdale kept up the attack using short, sharp passes to travel up the pitch.
Rochdale went seeking that second goal but to no avail – they were unable to penetrate the opposition’s strong defensive line-up.
Despite Rochdale being unable to bag the three points the game showcased some improvements the team have been making. New players Becka Smith and Hannah Palmer also proved why they deserved a regular spot on the team. With some great encouragement from Captain Knowles morale ended high with the ladies looking forward to taking on the next team in the league.
Captain Becky Knowles: “We battled hard during the game and especially in the second half when we had most of the possession. We tried our best despite some questionable decisions from the umpire and the other team having so many subs. All in all it was disappointing but we played well, kept it strong and we will come out even harder next week”.
Player of the match went Gemma Hodcroft