Rochdale Ladies first game of the season on Saturday was against Didsbury Greys who are always notorious for being a strong side.
With regular goalkeeper Sam Partington out of action (Jenny Banks took on the responsibility ) and the combination of new players and some of our junior section stepping up to the seniors, it was always going to be an interesting game.
Didsbury were strong from the first whistle and Rochdale knew they would have to step up if they were going to get anything out of the game. A number of jinking runs by Didsbury saw them enter the D on several occasions but as usual the Rochdale defence with Moon, Mongan, Knowles and this seasons captain Becky Knowles stood strong and kept them at bay.
At the other end of the pitch the attack were putting together some excellent intricate passing but unfortunately to no avail as their shots on target were easily cleared by the Didsbury defence.
In the first half Didsbury managed to get 4 short corners awarded. This was putting pressure on the Rochdale side but nerves were settled when each one was cleared with ease.
The second half started much like the first half. Didsbury attacked several times but just lacked that killer instinct in front of goal. They did finally score their first when they took advantage of a broken down attack by Rochdale which meant the defence had committed up the pitch. The Didsbury centre forward found herself unmarked in the D with only the stand-in keeper Banks to beat, she knocked it under Banks’s kickers and hit the back of the net.
Rochdale soon hit back with a brilliantly worked short corner by Pickering and Knowles which found Paula McDonald at the back post to slot it home. 1-1.
Rochdale worked tirelessly all game but with 10 minutes to go a lapse in concentration saw Didsbury through on goal once again, the goal all but sealed the game and it finished 2-1.
Captain Becky Knowles said “This score was undeserved as Rochdale had played well for their first game of the season. It was great to see the new players getting involved and seeing the increasing confidence of the junior players. We can learn a lot from today’s game though and I know with the excellent team spirit we will bounce back next week.”