Hockey: Rochdale Ladies 3 - 1 Stockport Bramhall Ladies 2nds

Date published: 30 September 2021

Excited for the start of the new hockey season, Rochdale were playing away against Stockport Bramhall Ladies 2nds on Saturday 25 September. Unfortunately the weather didn't get the memo and the match was played in humid on/off drizzle.

It was clear from the first pushback that both teams were determined to start their season with a win. Stockport quickly made the first advance after gaining possession of the ball, but they were seen off by a clean tackle from Collinson who passed it off to Pickering. Pickering avoided the first defender in her way with a fast roll out, but her journey down the pitch was stopped just outside the D by the Stockport defence, who were able to intercept the side pass she made.

Another Stockport offensive was seen off by Collinson channelling the player down Rochdale's left wing, enabling Knowles to jab the ball into her possession and hit it down the wing to Newton. Newton ran it down the wing before passing it off to Yates. Stockport intercepted the pass, but Yates stole it back before they were able to capitalise on it, but her subsequent pass failed to find a Rochdale player in the D as Stockport crowded them out.

Stockport managed to snag themselves a short corner and managed to find a way around the Rochdale defence and into the top right corner of the net.

Rochdale picked themselves right back up again and closed down the next run Stockport made on their goal. Owen cleared the ball from the top of their D to McDonald, who tapped it off to Newton on the left wing. She drove it down before passing it off to Burrell, but the Stockport keeper ran off her baseline for a one-on-one and safely cleared the ball away from her goal.

Both teams had dug into the game, and despite the fact that Stockport were awarded another two short corners, they weren't able to score from either as Rochdale's defence worked out a solid plan and Partington made an excellent save enabling them to clear the ball. After the second Hodcroft received the ball and weaved her way through the midfield before passing the ball off to Parton when a defender came to tackle. Parton instinctively passed it back for Hodcroft to continue running onto, giving her a shot on goal, only for the keeper to deny her.

At half time Rochdale were still one nil down, but determined to come back. They knew that they could, given how well they were playing.

A failed Stockport attack gifted Owen a free hit that made its way to Newton high on the left wing, who promptly outran the player trying to mark her out. She tried to pass it off to the far post, but the Stockport defence intercepted it. Later Collinson was able to disrupt another Stockport attack and passed it off to McDonald, who hit it down the field to where Burrell had an area of clear space. She drove the ball the rest of the way up the pitch, only to be forced to take her shot wide by a Stockport defender. However, Yates was on post to deflect the shot into the back of the net to secure Rochdale's first goal.

Stockport won another short corner, but Rochdale were ready for them, and soon had it cleared to Hodcroft in the centre. She hurtled down the pitch around the players in her way to the top of the right wing then slammed it across the D, where Burrell received it and tapped it into the far post.

When taking a sideline free hit on the left wing, Knowles slammed it down the pitch diagonally to where Parton had found the right place to make a run into the Stockport D, making a valiant effort to run onto the pass, but unfortunately just missed being able to get her stick to the ball.

Pickering received the ball and drove it down the wing, peeling into the centre slightly to try and outmanoeuvre a Stockport player. Cut off, she turned as if to roll out only to use a sneaky reverse tap to Hodcroft who quickly took the ball up the right wing and around into the D. Hitting it towards the goal and Burrell once again was ready to guide it into the goal.

Both teams kept battling all the way to the full time whistle, but no more goals were secured in the remaining portion of the match.

Final score was 3-1, with goal scorers Burrell (2) & Yates (1).

Player of the match and umpire's player of the match was Becky Knowles.

Rochdale squad:
Keeper: Sam Partington.
Defence: Dionne Collinson, Becky Knowles, Gill Owen & Hannah Palmer.
Midfield: Gemma Hodcroft, Paula McDonald, Becca Newton & Roisin Pickering.
Forwards; Katie Burrell & Arabella Yates.
Subsitute: Daisy Parton.

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