Hockey: Urmston Ladies 3 - 1 Rochdale Ladies

Date published: 13 February 2018

Rochdale Ladies travelled to Urmston Ladies on Sunday with hopes of getting another win behind them but returned home without the points.

With Gill Owen and Nikki Mongan unable to play, Becky Knowles made her season debut in defence for Rochdale. Jennie Ransome also made her debut, playing upfront alongside Katie Burrell.

As soon as the whistle blew Rochdale attacked the Urmston team with high intensity – something Rochdale have lacked in previous games.

Rochdale’s defence – made up of Kie Leech, Dionne Collinson, Becky Knowles and Becky Moon – worked tirelessly to move the ball up to Gemma Hodcroft and Paula Macdonald in the midfield.

The new defensive line up showed grit and determination as a unit despite its change in formation. Collinson and Knowles worked well together, communicating effectively to direct other members of the team.

However, with Urmston attacking relentlessly, they eventually broke down the Rochdale back four, slipping the ball around them and into the back of the net.

Rochdale had a lot of opportunities to score, with Roisin Pickering pushing down the right wing and driving the ball across the D, but fell short at the back post, which was repeatedly left unmanned and opportunities for the tap in went unpunished.

Ransome and Burrell worked well together to try and even the score, but it just was not to be.

In the second half Rochdale pressed the Urmston players and turning over possession.

However, it was Urmston who scored a second, their up front player broke from the 25 line, took the ball around defence and slotted it into the left hand corner of the net.

Collinson took a quick free hit to Macdonald who passed into a space for Ransome to meet. With Pickering making her way to top D, Ransome passed square, Pickering connected with the ball and sent it flying into the back of the net before the keeper could react, and Rochdale were on the score sheet.

Urmston were quick to respond and pushed down the pitch. With three consecutive short corners awarded to them Sam Partington, in the Rochdale goal, stepped up and saved the ball on the line twice.

Urmston took another opportunity to attack the D and scored a third goal.

With time running out, Macdonald and Hodcroft continued to work from one D to the other, with full back Leech and Moon, pushing further up the field, but Rochdale did not convert any of their opportunities and the game ended 3-1.

Captain Kie said: “Despite having to make up the teams’ numbers and some team members playing out of position, we worked brilliant and tirelessly from start to finish. Great game, well done ladies.”

The player-of-the-match was awarded to Sam Partington.

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