Hockey: Bolton Ladies 1 - 1 Rochdale Ladies

Date published: 18 October 2023

This weekend (Saturday 14 October) Rochdale were away at Bolton and in high spirits hoping to turn the tide on their run of results for the season so far.

They took that positive attitude straight into the match, as the midfield used quick passes to maintain control of the ball as they were able to press high and create several opportunities for themselves but unable to find that elusive goal. Such as the couple of times Hodcroft was able to work the midfield to open up some space for her to drive down the right wing and cross the ball into the D for her teammates, but one time the defence was able to block the shot and another went wide.

Bolton were able to break through into Rochdale's defence on occasion, but they held well, intercepting or blocking out most of the attempts early and tracking back to defend as required.

A free hit within Bolton's defensive quarter resulted in Hodcroft weaving between the defenders on the right wing before firing the ball across into the D. Burrell was able to get a stick to it, but she was unable to get a good angle on the goal with her deflection, fortunately Black had run in from the left wing to assist and was able to knock the ball past the keeper for the match's first goal.

Neither team had any intention of leaving the scoreline there, but Rochdale were disciplined and their strong defensive line was able to hold off most of the Bolton attacks, enabling them to return the ball back to their midfield. Yates was relentless as she ran to intercept the ball, create space and drive the ball. Across the pitch, Parton consistently gave her opposite number the run around to get into the D, but Bolton's own defensive effort was impeccable, closing down Rochdale and blocking their efforts.

The score remained one-nil until well into the second half, when a short corner in Bolton's favour was knocked back twice by Rochdale's defence, until Bolton's perseverance paid off and they were able to utilise a rebound from a save to finally land themselves a goal.

Despite varying levels of fatigue, Rochdale continued to push until the very last minute as a whole team, with the midfield especially putting in a shift to try and hold the ball in Bolton's end of the pitch in the hopes of manufacturing more opportunities to pull ahead again. Unfortunately, though, it wasn't to be and the game ended a draw.

The final score was 1-1, with Lily Black as Rochdale's only goal scorer.

Player of the match was Kie Leech.

Captain Collinson said: "A great game against a strong team. We managed to use passing round, recycling and strong communication to break down Bolton’s defence. Shame we didn’t get more goals but we had lots of opportunities which is positive.”

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

Report by Hannah Palmer

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