Rochdale went into the game feeling positive from last week’s narrow victory and knew that this could help spur them on. Southport started the game 3 points behind Rochdale, but with a game in hand, so today’s game was going to be tough.

Tough it was within the first 10 minutes Rochdale had conceded 3 goals from silly mistakes with players not putting in the necessary tackles or not sticking closely to the player they were meant to be marking. Rochdale’s head had sunk and this started to show in the composure of the team. With a few wayward tackles coming in from Southport, Rochdale were being easily wound up and this started to have a bearing on the game.

After the 10 minute nightmare the game began getting very even and Rochdale started to find their footing and  showed some very positive breaks coming from the wings, proving the game wasn’t over and done with. This perseverance is what characterises the whole team spirit and as a result the team managed to claw back a goal with a wonderfully timed run and dribble towards the D by Bjorn Brauns who passed to Josh Robinson at the penalty spot and from then on with a 1 on 1 with the keeper he managed to slide it passed and in to the net, to put Rochdale on the scoresheet. This put some much needed hope back into the game for Rochdale.

But a series of short corners, one of which was saved off the line by Captain Karl Wynn, only to be deemed an illegal save and a penalty flick awarded. Which, despite the efforts of Brian Robinson in the Rochdale goal, was scored. Meant going in at half time Rochdale were already 5-1 down.

The effort put in to the last 20 minutes of the first half, saw a much more even game and was sustained after the half time whistle, when Rochdale were constantly on the offensive with the majority of the game being played in the Southport half. This sustained pressure resulted in many chances for Rochdale which unfortunately were either stopped by the keeper or just wide of the goal. Rochdale did a break through with a great bit of play from Brauns, who managed to work it into the back of the Southport net to make it 5-2.

Unfortunately as quick as Rochdale got back in the game they soon were put out of it with a string of short corners, which finally led to them conceding another goal.

The end result was Rochdale had been thoroughly defeated 7-2 and highlighted some key areas in which they need to improve mentally and physically.

Captain Karl Wynn “It was a tough day today, we allowed an experienced team to mentally dominate us. Our discipline was not right and we paid the price. We must learn from this and take the positive out of the game. Two of which were Sam Wilkinson and Peter Ransome. Last year they were playing in out under 15, but have stepped up to the second team with ease and both are holding their own in each and every game. Its without hesitation that they should both be awarded the Atticus Man of the Match.”