Hockey: Bolton Men's 1sts 5 - 2 Rochdale Men’s 1sts

Date published: 15 September 2023

Rochdale played their second preseason friendly on Saturday 9 September, in the baking midday heat away at Bolton.

Having a slightly stronger squad than the previous week, Dale were looking to record their first win of the season, with this being the final friendly match before their first competitive game next week in the cup.

Rochdale started brightly and had most of the opening pressure but went 1-0 down following a quick break from Bolton which followed a clear foul missed by the umpires at the other end of the pitch.

The away pitch was dry with the heat, the ball bobbling around, Rochdale often taking too much time to get the ball under control. Dale struggled to adjust to these conditions throughout the game, but continued to pressure Bolton, with a number of short corner chances being missed for a second consecutive week.

Dale levelled in the second quarter with a penalty flick which was awarded following a Bolton foul in the D. Good work by right back Dan Bowe who looked to square a cross to an open Michael Waddicor at the back post, and with the goalkeeper beaten, the defender clearly kicked the ball to deny a clear goalscoring opportunity. The penalty was dispatched by Barry Gumbley.

Into the third quarter and all players were struggling in the heat. Bolton, who had more subs on the bench made this advantage count scoring two mores goals on the breakaway, both following long balls that went straight through the. Rochdale defence before being neatly finished Bolton.

Though Rochdale were playing some good hockey it wasn't quite connecting up front. Captain Waddicor scored a scrappy consolation goal which crept into the far corner evading the Bolton keeper.

Bolton scored their own scrappy fifth goal with a few minutes to play; the ball bobbling around in the D on a dry pitch before being tapped in by the Bolton striker.

With the teams to meet in the league later in the season Rochdale will have to tighten up their defence and be more clinical in attack. There were some good periods of play in the game, some obvious rustiness in the team as well which will need to disappear before the cup game away at Garstang next week. 

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