After being snowed off last weekend Rochdale were looking to continue their excellent form they had produced during the second half of the season. Their opposition this weekend was Stockport Bramhall Ladies.
In cold and windy conditions the game began. It took Rochdale quite a bit to click into gear and Stockport could sense this. Within 10 minutes of the starting whistle Stockport were 1-0 up. Rochdale weren’t used to this pressure. Once they got settled they began to play the slick hockey they knew they could. Roisin Pickering was once again making some excellent runs on the right wing and it wasn’t long before Rochdale were back in the game. Lovely passing by Paula McDonald and Gemma Hodcroft found Pickering unmarked in the D. Pickering made a pinpoint pass for the ball to be slotted home.
Rochdale soon found their rhythm and before long they were leading. Some excellent unselfish forward play by Becky Knowles saw Katie Burrell get her first of the game. Rochdale’s defence were barely being threatened now and this meant central defender Becky Moon could roam freely up the pitch. Just before the half time whistle Moon made an excellent run up the pitch and found herself in the D area. She passed the ball to Burrell who slotted home her 2nd of the game. 3-1.
A few changes were made at half time and on came the experienced players Alexandra Bedford and Jenny Banks. Bedford took up her position in defence and Banks went upfront. With some fine link up play between Dionne Collinson and Pickering It wasn’t long before Banks found herself on the scoresheet. Pickering did all the hard work and crossed to Banks who hit the ball into the back of the net. 4-1.
Stockport did not give up and with an excellent counter attack they found themselves in the D area. Rochdale’s defence tried their best to clear the ball but somehow Stockport got the ball in the back of the net. 4-2.
Undeterred by this Rochdale knew they could score more goals. Hodcroft managed to find a Stockport foot in the area and they were awarded a short corner. Banks took up her position at the top of the D. McDonald crossed it in and Banks got it under control and then smashed it into the back of the net. 5-2.
Stockport were now tiring and tempers were getting a bit fraught. Their formation was failing and Rochdale capitalised on this once more. Banks scored her 3rd with a cheeky deflection off the defenders stick.
With 10 minutes to go Hodcroft continued to battle away in the middle of the pitch. She made an excellent pass to Banks in the D area. Banks took a touch and struck the ball at the goal. Stockport keeper got a foot to it but the ball lifted into the back of the net taking a Stockport defender with it. 7-2.
Captain Becky Knowles ‘A massive well done to everyone this end of the season! We are really showing the passion and fight we all have and it’s really paying off. Let’s hope we keep it up’.