‘Composed Captain Takes Chances’
This weekend saw Rochdale Mens 1s take on Fylde for only the 2nd time in their history, and were looking to get revenge after being on the losing end earlier in the season, even though Rochdale had a bare 11 squad. Captain Michael Waddicor choose to mix things up and opted for a 4-5-1 formation which proved to be Fyldes undoing.
Rochdale’s midfield took early control of the centre of the pitch breaking Fylde’s play down, and created in the opposite direction. James Shepherd gave Rochdale an early lead after intercepting the ball in the Fylde half and fumbled the ball past 3 players with sear determination not to give the ball up, before stretching out and tapping the ball past the Fylde keeper on the inside post.
Rochdale forward Dave Gowers found himself looking for the ball on the half way line on several occasions, rather than his usual hunting ground in the oppositions D. It was Gowers dropping deep and holding the ball up that allowed Rochdale to successfully begin to counter and break through the Fylde defence with timely runs made by Waddicor, Shepherd and Rob Lees.
After a few earlier good runs by Waddicor, he found himself on a 1 on 1 with the Fylde keeper who was no match for the skill and pace of the Rochdale Captain. Waddicor skipped around the keeper, but as he went to tap the ball in the back of the net, a returning Fylde defender desperately kept the ball out of the goal by illegally kicking the ball off the line.
All was not lost as Waddicor was awarded a penalty flick, who put it past the keeper to claim a 2-0 lead.
Before half time Shepherd was harshly brought down by the Fylde keeper when he found himself 1 on 1 after a pin point pass from Mark Vynne. Rochdale were awarded a 2nd penalty flick and with confidence after scoring the earlier flick, Waddicor stepped up gave the Flyde keeper no chance by placing it in to the side of the goal and gave Rochdale a 3-0 lead.
Rochdale were unlucky not to score more before half time, as well worked plays down the wings from Vynne and Lees unfortunately were not converted by Gowers who uncharacteristically smashed several shots wide of the goal.
With no substitutes available for Rochdale, Fylde had the fresher legs in the 2nd half and started to put more and more pressure on as they pushed forward. However the Rochdale defence of Andrew Borritt, Jonathan Herreran, Danny Ramsbottom and Tim Liptrot stood strong and gave Fylde very few clear chances.
Fylde did eventually score a consolation goal with 10 minutes to go after a mistake made by the now tired Rochdale defence. However inform keeper, James Deacy, made sure that was the only shot to get past him for the rest of the day. It only spurred Rochdale on to create several more chances before the game was finished, but the score remained 3-1 to the good.
Captain Waddicor said “Today was an enjoyable day. Every single one of the lads worked hard, and we left it all on the pitch. We fought for every ball, we countered in style and we were worthy winners. I really couldn’t have asked for more”
Oulderhill man of the match went jointly to Michael Waddicor and Jonathan Herreran.