Rochdale were due to play Bury at home, however the snowfall and freezing conditions made the Oulder Hill pitch unplayable.
Fortunately, Bury were able to accommodate the game and it was moved to their home pitch. With this change all the Rochdale players were revved up and raring to play the first game back after the Christmas break..
Rochdale started strong with lots of pressure being applied to the Bury defence, however Rochdale were sometimes found wanting when the Bury team were making some very swift counters and occasionally got let off the hook when they took a few shots from just outside the D.
Rochdale however were able to apply a lot more pressure and were a lot more threatening by penetrating their d and letting off a series of shots coming very close on a few occasions.
The game kept see sawing backwards and forwards and Bury started to look more dangerous but with an effective break from Rochdale they managed to push forward and win a short corner. With a well rehearsed routine Bjorne Brauns skillfully slotted the ball home to give Rochdale the 1st goal and to settle some nerves after the winter break.
At the half time whistle the team talk was a simple one, “whichever team wanted this win the most would win it”. With these words ringing fresh in the mind of all the players Rochdale started to play much more effectively with the forwards coming back to defend and then pushing back up on the breaks. Again Rochdale would have to wait but with a well struck hit from top D by Aaron Hunter saved by the Bury keeper it fell kindly to Brauns to slot it in the back of the net to gain his second goal.
Bury weren’t happy with the manner of the goal but we’re assured that there was nothing wrong with it by the umpires. This however didn’t sit well with some of the Bury players who started to get a lot more physical and at one stage it hit boiling point with one player having to be shown a yellow card for being too physical.
This did settle the game as the umpires took control, however with the extra man Rochdale pressed forward and earned another short corner. Another well worked short corner routine saw Brauns earn his hat trick to seal the game once and for all.
Captain Dean Close ” The boys really impressed me with their desire to get this game played and this showed in the result. There were a few things that we can still work on to get better but this result keeps us in the running at the top of the table.”
Man of the match: Dave Marlow who controlled the defence all game.