The penultimate game of the season saw Rochdale Mens 2s take on bottom of the league City of Manchester Men’s 3s.
Rochdale began the game well with good spells of possession and confident passing going forward. As the D was being crowded, Rochdale were winning more penalty corners than creating shooting chances and the second penalty corner was converted after an unselfish slip from Aaron Hunter found Dean Close able to convert with a decisive slap finding the backboard.
Another goal soon followed for Rochdale with Kieran Hunter clearing up another well worked penalty corner. Rochdale’s domination was allowing the defence to press higher, with City of Manchester rarely breaking through Rochdale’s solid back line of Dave Marlow, Karl Wynn, Dave Jackson & keeper Brain Robinson.
Again after some clever Rochdale link up play inside the City of Manchester 23 allowed Aaron Hunter to add to his impressive tally for the season. One more Rochdale goal was added in the first half from a good shot from Kieran Hunter giving me two for the day.
Rochdale were deservedly 4-0 up at half time, but needed to avoid the temptation to take their foot off the gas as City of Manchester kept fighting to get something from the game.
They had a better second half and did manage to penetrate into the Rochdale’s D on a couple of occasions, though after lightning quick goalkeeper Robinson cleaned out the forward and the ball with a well timed challenge they wished they hadn’t.
In the main though Rochdale’s now second nature high press was working well, with the majority of the game played in Manchester half. Dean Close added another goal from a spill after a strong dragflick from Peter Ransome.
Close’s third was a little more impressive with a solid slap hit into the corner from new the top of the D. City of Manchester did managed to get a move going to win a penalty corner, but Rochdale’s defence were just too strong.
Vice captain Graham Broadley “It was important we turned up and did our job today and got a positive result after last week’s disappointment. A special thank you today for Imran Ansari for giving up his valuable playing time to umpire, otherwise we wouldn’t have had a game. Well done to all the lads, we’ve pushed ourselves hard this season to improve our standard of hockey and the stats prove it’s paid off. One more re-arranged game to play next week at South Manchester and then we can enjoy a well earned break.”
The Flying Horse man of the match was the ever improving Peter Ransome.