Hockey: Rochdale Men's 1sts 3 - 3 Didsbury Northern Men's 3rds

Date published: 28 September 2023

Following an away win in the cup the previous Saturday, Dale was keen to get off to a positive start in the League at home to Didsbury on Saturday 23 September but started the game on the back foot with Didsbury taking an early lead.

Dale struggled to get a hold of possession which led to the away team scoring a well worked goal at the far post after some incisive play. 

After going behind, Dale started to settle gaining possession of the ball and control of the game. This remained the case for the remainder of the first half. Dale were creating plenty of chances from open play but it took two penalty corners to turn the score line around.

The first was scored by captain Michael Waddicor who scored with a powerful finish from the top of the D. The second was scored by Affan Burki, a slip to the right from the push out and a neat finish being too good for the keeper. Dale 2-1 up with two minutes to half time. Dale couldn't hold on to their lead.

A number of sloppy errors made from the restart, turning over possession, failing to clear the ball and lack of composure gifting Didsbury their own short corner on the halftime whistle which they scrambled home to level the scores. 

Into the second half and Dale were back in control of the game for large parts, Didsbury looking dangerous on the counter attack. Dale put together some well worked passing moves and scored a third goal through Player of the Match Kieran Hunter.

A goal from another short corner where a D-top shot was saved by the keeper before being tucked away on the rebound by Hunter. Dale hadn’t learned their lesson from earlier on though and conceded straight from the restart.

Although it was a well worked goal, the team will be disappointed that their lack of concentration cost them a win.  

Pushing for a winner Dale still controlled the game and created chances but a lack of quality and poor decision making in the opposition 25 saw those opportunities squandered. A disappointing result for the team but overall a positive performance. 

Flying Horse player of the match Kieran Hunter said afterwards: “The result was disappointing because we worked really hard as a team today and created chances to win the match.

“On another day we come away with three points. It’s the opening game of the season and there is plenty to build on, but we’ll kick ourselves because we probably edged it in terms of overall play today.”

Dale’s next match is away at Wigan on Saturday 30 September where they’ll be looking to pick up all three points. 

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