Hockey: Rochdale Ladies 0 - 1 Moss Park Ladies 2nds

Date published: 10 October 2023

Rochdale might have been missing a few key players from their squad for their home match against Moss Park seconds on a surprisingly warm Saturday (7 October), but they had absolutely no intention of letting that hold them back.

Rochdale's defence stood firm as they saw off repeated Moss Park attacks. With Leech bogging down the opposition on the left and Hoyle and Owen ready to block the plays that got inside the D they created a lot of difficulties for Moss Park. Partington was in fine form making several excellent saves, including one high save that she dropped to her foot and kicked sideways to go out of play before Moss Park could try again.

Rochdale frequently found it difficult to make headway because their opposition were a quick team and very strong in the midfield, however, when they utilised their fast passes and made the ball do the work they were able to work their way up the pitch. With the ball bouncing between Hockaday and Hodcroft they were able to get up to Moss Park's D, but the pass to Burrell was deflected by the defence. Black scrambled to try and retrieve it as it went wide, but the opposition players got there first.

For a time it felt like most of the action was occurring in Rochdale's defensive quarter of the pitch as Moss Park kept intercepting and passing around the quarter line to try and find a new way in. The defence had to dig deep to keep up with the rebounds, but they rallied well, including an excellent midair save from Owen on a reverse stick and swiped the ball out towards the sideline.

At half time the scoreline stood at 0-1 to Moss Park from a short corner that was batted away twice by Rochdale before a lucky strike from Moss Park slipped through a number of players and into the corner of the goal.

The second half saw much of the same, with Rochdale's defence showcasing all of their skills to frustrate Moss Park when they were unable to find a way through. Leech, in particular, was in control of her area of left wing, whether that was charging down with the ball to create some space or hassling and holding the opposition trying to return the favour. 

However, this half Rochdale were able to find more time in the opposition's end of the pitch. Having learnt that Moss Park would set up a solid press around any free hit, they changed tactics to make better use of their triangles - Collinson, Hodcroft and Knowles used this trick effectively multiple times to get close to Moss Park's D - and some strong passes into space to try and create some goal opportunities. Their best chance came from a long ball to Burrell at the top of the D where she found herself in space, unfortunately however her shot was saved by the keeper and Moss Park cleared it before Rochdale had a chance to get support up.

The final score was 0-1, with no Rochdale goal scorers.

Player of the match was Kie Leech.

Captain Collinson said: "Well done girls. Building again from last week. Let’s keep going and keep up the morale. You all played excellent.”

Rochdale's team:
Keeper; Sam Partington.
Defence; Claire Hoyle, Kieran Leech, Gill Owen & Hannah Palmer.
Midfield; Dionne Collinson, Claire Hockaday, Gemma Hodcroft & Daisy Parton.
Forwards; Katie Burrell & Becky Knowles.
Substitutes: Lily Black & Becki Moon.

Report by Hannah Palmer

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