Perfect weather conditions on Saturday saw Rochdale Ladies playing hosts to Didsbury Northern Ladies. With confidence gained from last weeks win Rochdale knew they were capable of kicking on with another win today.

Straight from the whistle Didsbury piled on the pressure and Rochdale knew that even though Didsbury hadn’t won a game yet this season they were not going to be a pushover.

It seemed to take Rochdale a good 10 minutes to wake up and get up to speed of the game. Didsbury took advantage of this and they soon found themselves 1-0 up with some slick passing between their forward players and an easy shot on goal.

Once Rochdale had woken up they started making some great passing up the pitch and they had most of the possession for the next 15 minutes but they just couldn’t convert their chances. Pickering was working tirelessly on the wing and Hodcroft and McDonald were attacking well together. Knowles was also making plenty of attacking runs into the area but nothing seemed to be falling for them.

Within the final minutes of the 1st half and completely against the run of play Rochdale seemed to be caught off guard and Didsbury scored an easy goal to make it 2-0 at half time.

Substitutions were made and a few position changes were made in the 2nd half and this proved a good move by captain Knowles. Banks was brought on to have her first run out of the season. The half time break and change of clientele seemed to lift Rochdale and within minutes they were playing the attacking hockey that they were capable of. Jinking runs by Collinson and Pickering saw the ball played through to Banks who stretched her legs and sprinted down the wing and into the area. She then very unselfishly passed the ball to the brilliantly positioned Richardson who slotted it home.

This did not deter Didsbury and they continued to play some really good hockey but Rochdale were now gaining more and more confidence. They piled on the pressure and soon enough they found themselves level with a run into the D by Pickering and a strike which rather fortuitously hit the defenders foot and looped up into the goal. 2-2.

Rochdale attacked and attacked in the final 10 minutes but just couldn’t get the ball past Didsbury’s goalkeeper who was nominated by Rochdale as being their player of the day.

1 minute left on the clock and somehow Didsbury mustered one more attack. Pinging the ball around at the edge of the D they eventually hit it into the area and in very slow motion Didsbury’s left wing player pushed the ball towards the goal and it snuck into the corner.

This was the final touch of the game. Rochdale were so deflated as they did not deserve this result.

Captain Knowles ‘myself and the team are gutted about this result. I thought the fight back we put in during the 2nd half was brilliant absolutely brilliant and we deserved a win today. We proved we are capable of playing some great attacking hockey. We have a double header this weekend so we will dust ourselves off and hopefully get back to winning ways in the cup on Sunday’

Player of the match – Richardson