Back on home turf Rochdale were playing Horwich, a new team to the league, and hoping that they could make it count for their goal difference.
Following on from a strong performance as a mid-field winger last week, and another defence heavy team, regular defender Becki Moon found herself playing out of position again. This week also saw defender Kate Brammer step up as captain for the weekend.
Horwich were starting without a couple of their regular players, which Rochdale was able to take advantage of, allowing them to showcase their skills and team work as they kept the attack strong with only a few breaks into Rochdale’s defence, allowing most of the team to push up to keep the opportunities for goals coming after an early short corner.
The first half let Rochdale accumulate a five nil lead. With Jenny Banks and Katie Burrell between them getting a total of three touch-and-go goals from multiple deflections and tackles within the D to finally slip it past the goalie. After some great work from the midfield getting around the Horwich players Gemma Hodcroft was able to take a clean hit into the goal. Jenny Banks was able to make use of a great hit out from defender Gill Owen that allowed her to bypass most of the Horwich defence before taking a clear hit.
Despite the great start Rochdale were feeling frustrated, but a half time team talk got their heads on straight. Which is what they needed when Horwich had a couple of regular players able to join their team at half time.
That additional experience on Horwich’s team meant that keeper Sam Partington had a bit more work to do in the second half, but she fended off their attacks well – something she managed so effortlessly. The entire Rochdale team tracked up and down the pitch to respond well to the game, working their socks off to keep the opportunities for goals coming and to help defend to keep a clean sheet.
Katie Burrell got her second goal of the game with an excellent reverse deflection as she covered post. Jenny Banks landed yet another goal with an opportunity after getting around the defence. The game ended just after midfield player Paula MacDonald managed to tap the ball in as the ball was passed to her across the D.
Rochdale played absolutely fantastically today as a team. With Molly Barker, Sarah Ransome, Jennie Ransome, Becki Moon, Gemma Hodcroft and Paula MacDonald doing an excellent job of driving up and down the pitch in midfield, playing tirelessly. Jenny Banks and Katie Burrell doing a great job up front to capitalise on the opportunities in goal. Defenders Dionne Collinson, Kate Brammer and Hannah Palmer switching play around and pushing up with the midfield for support, defender Gill Owen for being a strong force at the back to keep Horwich out of Rochdale’s D and keeper Sam Partington for her great saves.
Final score was 8-0 to Rochdale, with goal scorers Jenny Banks (4), Katie Burrell (2), Gemma Hodcroft (1) and Paula MacDonald (1).
The player of the match was Molly Barker and umpires player of the match was Paula MacDonald.
Vice-Captain Brammer said: “We have a group of great individual people at Rochdale, today they showed the force that comes from those individuals coming together in unity as a team with immense skill and strength showing passion for the game and each other. The ladies did themselves and their captain proud and I’m looking forward to seeing them dig deeper and take this fantastic momentum forward to next weeks top of the table clash, showing they’re a force to be reckoned with!”