Saturday saw Rochdale mens second team take on Golborne at Oulder Hill. Looking to put last week’s blip behind them, Rochdale came back stronger this week, with a well earned 6-1 victory.
The match started reasonably even with both teams creating some early chances. However due to some brilliant Rochdale short corner defending from Sam Wilkinson and man of the match Peter Ransome, Golborne’s advantage actually resulted in some brilliant counter attacks leading to Rochdales first goal from Kieran Hunter.
Not allowing themselves to get too carried away, another smart move with fast, decisive passing resulted in a second from Hunter to give Rochdale a 2 goal advantage. But, Golborne kept winning penalty corners and started to improve on them. One of them was dubiously converted with a reverse stick hit above the backboard, but the umpire insisted it was flicked in and the goal stood.
Keeping their heads up and staying strong, Rochdale looked to regain their advantage. Persistence paid of and some remarkable dribbling skill from the tireless Bjorne Braun’s, opened up a reverse stick strike for him which he slotted in from D top to restore Rochdale’s 2 goal advantage. The combination of good defending and maintaining pressure with good attacking allowed Rochdale to go in 3-1 up at half time.
The next goal was going to prove crucial and Rochdale pounced almost instantly after the half time break. With the ball being won in Golborne’s half, some decisive passing and on target shooting allowed Dean Close to sweep in a goal from the second phase. Another goal soon followed from Rochdale, after some hockey that was comparable to the Dutch national team who inspired the Rochdale kit, with numerous quick square passes involving all the front five and the half backs, saw an amazing flick from Aaron Hunter strike the post but followed in by captain Close for his second.
This paved the way for Rochdale to largely dominate the second half with some of the best hockey of our season so far. Not everything went Rochdale’s way, with some good attacks from skillful Golborne players, forcing Rochdale’s back line to stay strong and keep them out.
It always looked like Rochdale’s day and though and captain Close rounded the keeper to make it 6-1 after another well worked move to complete his hat trick.
Vice Captain Graham Broadley “All in all this was just what the team needed after last week’s disappointment. Strong in all areas of the pitch, this was a performance that made a talented Golborne side go home empty handed. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going and finish the season strong.”
The Flying Horse Man of the Match was Peter Ransome.