Rochdale men’s first team were at home this week to a strong Lancaster University team and the speed Lancaster set off at in the first 20 minutes caught Rochdale off guard. Enabling Lancaster to quickly run up a 3-0 lead.

For these opening minutes the Rochdale back four were left exposed, something Jonathan Herreran made sure was put right quickly. Once Rochdale had changed things around they started to get a foot hold in the game creating several clear cut chances with strong attacking play. The Rochdale midfield of Michael Waddicor, James Shepherd, Rob Lees and Bjorne Brauns, who had been brought in from the second team, carved open the Lancaster team almost at will, however Rochdale failed to convert these early chances.

Just before the break, Rochdale scored a vital goal, pulling themselves back in to the game. Mark Eden had stepped up and smashed a bouncing ball from a short corner in to the back of the net, to make it 3-1 at the break.

The second half saw Rochdale come out the better team, but again failed to convert the chances created. But when Waddicor picked the ball up in midfield and ran direct at goal, causing confusion in the Lancaster defence. The ball ended up at the feet of Shepherd, after he refused to give up hassling the defender and he struck it across the face of the goal to find Brauns waiting unmarked.

At 3-2 Rochdale were right back in the game, but Lancaster turned the screw and scored quickly to reprieve a 2 goal lead. The game was ebbing to and fro, and it was Rochdale who struck next. Scoring after a quick break down the right and a quick ball into the box was met by Dave Gowers who put it away with one touch.

But that was the last of Rochdales luck and Lancaster proved to much in the end with a couple of quick goals after some questionable umpiring from the Lancaster umpire.

Captain Michael Waddicor “Rochdale can hold our heads high today, despite the score line, we have put in a great shift against a very youthful and skilful Lancaster side.”

Oulder Hill Sports Complex Man of the Match went to Michael Waddicor.