Hockey: Rochdale Ladies 2 v 0 Prescot Ladies
Date published: 04 December 2018
Both teams started the game very tentatively as the rain was beating down. Even though Prescot were mid table they were proving to be a difficult side to break down. Rochdale’s defence of Gill Knowles, Nikki Mongan, Dionne Collinson and Becky Moon stayed strong throughout the first half, not letting Prescot anywhere near their D area for a shot at goal.
Rochdale also made several attacking runs but just couldn’t muster the attacking prowess they were so used to in previous games.
Katie Burrell probably had the best chance of the first half with a one on one against the Prescot keeper but her shot went wide of the post. Frustrations began to grow for the Rochdale team and this was showing in their passing. Rochdale needed the half time whistle so they could re-group.
At half time captain Becky Knowles made a few changes and on came the fresh legs of strikers Jenny Banks and Rebecca Newton.
The speed of Banks and Newton gave Rochdale a newly found confidence and Rochdale began to play the hockey they were capable of.
Roisin Pickering, Paula McDonald and Gemma Hodcroft lifted the team in the middle of the pitch and it wasn’t long before Rochdale were having chance after chance. Prescot were only just managing to cope with the pressure with some last ditch defending.
Rochdale were now dominating the game and it wasn’t long before they took the lead. Pickering had picked up the ball on the right wing and attacked the Prescot area. It was passed to Hodcroft who very cleverly pushed it into the path of Banks. Banks took one touch and smashed the ball into the back of the net.
Prescot tried to battle back but Rochdale wanted to keep a clean sheet, so the defence worked hard. Prescot could not get the ball into the D area for a shot on goal. This frustrated Prescot and this showed as tempers were beginning to fray. Captains were called over and the umpires tried to calm things down.
With ten minutes to go Rochdale found themselves on the attack again.
Hodcroft passed to Knowles who found Banks unmarked at the 25-yard area. Banks picked up the ball and expertly dribbled past two Prescot players and pushed the ball through the keeper’s legs to get her second of the game.
Captain Knowles said: “We made it hard work for ourselves in the first half and our passing was pretty poor. I had a few stern words at half time and this seemed to lift the team to playing the hockey I know they are capable of. Another win will see us maintain our position in the top three of the league table.”
Player of the match went to Dionne Collinson for an outstanding contribution.
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