Rochdale had to play a second game this weekend against Urmston, who are currently 2nd in the league, and were defeated by the Rochdale, earlier in the season.
Rochdale started the game strong with good pace and passing initially but did concede a lot of possession and allowed the Urmston players to have plenty of time on the ball without going unchallenged. However it was on the counter that Rochdale caught Urmston napping. With a great run into the D, Rochdale won a short corner. The ball was injected with pace by Dean Close to Imran Ansari who received the ball and took a first time shot, which he drove straight at the bottom corner of the goal, hitting an Urmston foot on the line, the ball was deflected into the center of the goal to provide Rochdale with a lead early on.
Rochdale continued to absorb lots of pressure coming from Urmston, who were showing why they were 2nd in the league table but Rochdale were showing great resilience in the face of this pressure and were cutting out many passes and took them to half time with a narrow lead.
When the second half started Rochdale put a lot of pressure on the Urmston defence and were constantly overloading with the Rochdale defence pushing high up the field. However, this allowed Urmston to be able to counter in greater numbers and that led to a goal to even things up.
With the score line level Rochdale felt like this game was there for the taking and threw everything at the Urmston defence. Eventually finding a way through and Close hit a wonderful strike from top right of the D to score the second goal for Rochdale and give them the lead back at 2-1.
Urmston once again we’re doing everything they could to break down the midfield and at one point two Rochdale players were shown a green card (sent off for two minutes). Despite being temporarily down to 9 men, Rochdale were being the dominant side as they had been for most of the game and earned a short corner. This one resulted in a retake due to another foul in the D. The ball was injected by Graham Broadley to Imran Ansari who scored for the second time finding the far corner, 3-1 Rochdale.
With Rochdale back to full strength the play was flowing well but Urmston managed to claw a goal back to keep them in the game at 3-2. Rochdale however were not down and out and continued the way they had been playing and started to use piercing balls into the D to the two forwards. This proved particularly useful when one of the balls found its way to Broadley, who tapped the ball into the goal at the far post to give Rochdale a commanding lead 4-2 and a goal on his birthday.
As the time was wearing down the play started to become scruffy from both sets of players and the game started to lose its flow and when the final whistle came the relief on the Rochdale players was evident.
Captain Dean Close “The gents played excellently all game and with having two games in one weekend it was always going to be tough especially against a team much higher than us in the league. On the day though the Rochdale players clearly wanted this win more than the Urmston players”
Atticus Promotions Man of the match goes to both Sam Wilkinson and George Rogers who were both excellent all game and nothing could split them.