Rochdale mens first team welcomed City of Manchester mens 2s to Oulder Hill on Saturday.
With several players back and have a full squad available it was a rare opportunity to really push the new style of play.
Rochdale started well enough but could not seem to make the impact there possession demanded. This allowed City of Manchester to have some chances of their own, boasting a mix of experience and youth Manchester were pushing the Rochdale defence to their limits. But as they had the week before they stood firm, this was helped by the returning Andrew Borritt who led the line well. Rochdale stuck to the task and opened the scoring through Sean Carney making 3 goals in 3 games.
A second goal was not far behind with Mark Eden and Michael Waddicor combining from a short corner to set up Barry Gumbley to lift the ball into the top right hand corner to make it 2-0 at the break.
The second half saw Rochdale suffer from a lack of fitness. This was compounded by the every energetic James Shepherd being sent off, reducing Rochdale to 10 men for 10 mins. Rochdale were also suffering from uncharacteristically poor play in the final 3rd and could not ram home their advantage.
Manchester were growing in confidence and managed to pull a goal back from a short corner leaving Rochdale holding on in the final moments of the match, with the last play of the game a short corner to defend after a shameful dive from the Manchester forward.
The game was to finish 2-1 to Rochdale.
Rochdale coach Aasim Chaudhry said ” What a great performance it had been from the Rochdale midfield and also pointed praise at Borritt, Jonathan Herreran and Danny Bowe for their heroic performance in defence.
The Flying Horse Man of the Match went to Andrew Borritt.