Another tough test for Rochdale saw them take on a slightly off form West Derby. The game opened fairly evenly, with both sides trying to establish a quick passing game. There were a few good chances at both ends, with a couple of goal line clearances from the Rochdale defence and some near misses from the attack. The balance was tipped in Rochdales favour when Dean Close cleverly mopped up a rebound.
This angered West Derby, who responded with some very aggressive tackles. Fortunately level 4 umpire Steve Woolley was quick to respond, sin binning the West Derby player. Unfortunately a further sin bin was required for the West Derby captain for persistent verbal abuse.
A continued sin bin into the second half brought the game into a reasonable level of safety. After several threatening attacks, West Derby were rewarded with some good fortune in front of goal and got themselves 2-1 up with 10 minutes to go.
Rochdale dug deep and after a few penetrations won a penalty corner. A well executed switch routine saw Close add an excellent equaliser with a cool finish. All was not over and it required some resolute defending from the Rochdale defence to keep the scoreline even, especially with a time stopped penalty corner to defend.
The Flying Horse Man of the match was difficult as it was a good all round team effort to get a well earned point. After much deliberation it went to Sam Wilkinson for another solid performance. With a special mention for the umpires for keeping the game safe as hockey can be, despite poor lighting due to a lack of floodlights. All in all a well earned point that keeps Rochdale 3rd in the table.