Rochdale took on local rivals, Oldham, on Saturday with hopes of bagging the three points on the back of last week’s cup success against Bury.
From the starting whistle Rochdale attacked the Oldham side, displaying some quality hockey which set the tone for the rest of the match. Infamous for being a physical game, Rochdale were not deterred, instead this spurred them on as they were determined to walk away with the three points. This game also welcomed back Kie Leech who once again dusted off her shin pads in time for the local derby.
With Becki Moon, Nicky Monghan, Gill Owen and Kie Leech as our defensive line up it was clear Rochdale meant business as each time Oldham attacked the ball was cleared and penetration into the D was denied. With the defence taking no prisoners, it allowed the middle players Paula McDonald and Gemma Hodcroft to spend more time up the pitch attacking the Oldham’s defence. Dionne Collinson made her season debut on to left wing from defence and joined McDonald and Hodcroft in an attempt to get the ball into the back of the net – a decision made by Captain Becky Knowles which would pay off. Rochdale had many opportunities to score which began to break down Oldham’s confidence as Rochdale piled on the pressure. With Roisin Pickering doing what she does best down the right wing, using expert skills to take the ball around the defenders and passing into the D to Knowles.
The first goal came from Katie Burrell who calmly tapped it past the keeper after Hodcroft fired it into the D. It was 1-0 up but Rochdale weren’t satisfied, they were hungry for more. Within minutes Rochdale found themselves celebrating again as Hodcroft once again made a fantastic pass into the D which saw Collinson get her first goal for Rochdale.
At half time the score was 2-0.
Rochdale we’re eager to dive back into the second half and get some more goals behind them! The defence were able to push up the pitch and support the attackers as Oldham’s attack’s became sloppy and weak. Moon took on this role brilliantly and offered support which allowed Rochdale to pass back and reset when needed. Captain Knowles made some excellent substitutions throughout the game to keep up the tempo and the level of play wasn’t affected by fatigue. Hannah Palmer came on as right back and provided some brilliant sweeps out of the D after a couple of futile attacks from the tiring opposition. This allowed Rochdale to get another past the keeper as Hodcroft had her third assist of the game. After McDonald passed to Knowles, who took on the defence before skilfully smashing the ball to Burrell. Burrell sent the ball past the keeper after sitting on the back post.
The last ten minutes of the game saw last weeks man of the match Jenny Banks work tirelessly for the 4th goal however; it wasn’t meant to be.
The game finished 3-0, a brilliant day in the hockey office!
To watch the juniors fit in so well, especially a much anticipated match, was a testament to their hard work thus; their progress over the season.
Captain Becky: “Excellent game had by all, everyone worked together and gave 100% which paid off! Enjoyable game to have played!”
Player of the match was Roisin Pickering.