Hockey: Salford University Firsts 3 v 7 Rochdale Men’s Seconds

Date published: 04 December 2018

Rochdale took on Salford University Firsts this week, which had ended in a goalless draw in the reverse fixture. That was not the case this time out with Rochdale winning 7-3 at the finish.

Salford University started the game without a goalkeeper, and opting to use a kicking back, a fact Rochdale quickly took advantage of with Michael Bohanna putting it past the kicking back with a smart finish to a well work worked move.

Possibly due to the elation of scoring so quickly, Rochdale switched off and some quick, skilful play from pushback saw Salford equalise almost instantly.

Getting back in the groove Rochdale started to have some sustained pressure, which allowed Bradley Robinson to somehow sneak the ball through several bodies on the goal line to get his first Rochdale goal.

Another two were added by lead goal scorer Aaron Hunter before the break.

Unfortunately, a couple of green cards were shown to Rochdale for dissent and knocking the ball away, but they went in at halftime winning 4-1.

At the restart Salford’s umpire stated he had heard negative talk about himself during Rochdale’s half time team talk.

A claim denied by all the Rochdale players, but it forced the captain Imran Ansari, to take a yellow card (off for 10 minutes) for failing to control his players.

The re-shuffle unsettled Rochdale and Salford fought back to 4-3. But with good discipline from then on, Rochdale showed quality, with Aaron Hunter adding another two to his tally.

Although Rochdale did suffer two more technical green cards not normally given at this level, it couldn't stop Rochdale's flow.

Showing he wasn't totally playing for the home side; Salford umpire awarded a Salford player green for knocking the ball away and did award a penalty flick for a foot on the line. This was dispatched expertly by Bjorn Brauns to get his first of the season.

Vice-captain Graham Broadley said: "It was difficult to pick the man of the match this week with many strong performances, an obvious choice being Aaron Hunter for scoring four and showing an awesome display in the midfield.

“Or Bradley Robinson, who has shown great maturity since his comeback and as more often than not been a substitute, but someone who as always listened to the coaching staff and does exactly what has been asked of him and fully justified his reward this week with his first goal.

“However, I felt Bjorn Brauns really put a shift in, doing a lot of important things not as easy to spot and kept his discipline really tight despite provocation and so was awarded the Flying Horse Man of the Match.

“An all-round brilliant performance from all the lads earning three points to keep us at the good end of the table, sitting third by two points with one game to go before the break.”

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