Saturday saw Rochdale mens 2s take on Preston mens 5s, with much the same spirit as the previous week’s defeat, but this time, it all clicked under coach Aasim Chaudhry’s guidence to earn a thumping 8-2 victory.
Geed up by the home support and a fiery speech from captain Tim Liptrot, Rochdale started in earnest and soon had a 2-0 lead. This was largely due to a refreshed front 5 of Bjorn Brauns, Manny Ahmed, Dean Close, Adam Massey and leading with a measured controlled passion Sean Carney, which ultimately saw him bag 3 goals and The Flying Horse man of the match.
It was not entirely one sided however as a defensive mix up led to a Preston penalty corner which was struck in the bottom corner with well oiled precision. A clever goal from Brauns restored the 2 goal advantage but another Preston penalty corner brought them back in contention with a drag flick not out of place at county level.
Rochdale dug deep however and went in at 4-2 with a smart reverse stick finish from Close. Determined to do even better in the second half, Rochdale switched styles and played from deeper with some brilliant free flowing moves. This was exemplified by last season’s most improved player Liam Nutter showing his ambition had not lowered with a 1-2 around the Preston top-D top led to a first time reverse stick strike, which had it gone a little lower would have ending the gaol of the season competition just 2 weeks into the season.
Additional goals from Close and Brauns and Massey finished Preston off, but it was not as easy as the scoreline suggests and Preston showed some promising stuff and some youngsters who will most likely reach a higher level.
However the day was deservedly Rochdale’s and was a good performance from everyone.
The Flying Horse man of the match was Sean Carney.