Hockey: Rochdale Ladies 1 - 1 Timperley Ladies

Date published: 24 October 2023

Rochdale played host to Timperley 4ths on Saturday 21 October, thankful that the rain from Friday had disappeared. After breaking their losing streak last weekend, the team were determined to use that momentum to grab themselves a win.

Rochdale started strong, making the ball work for them and open up the space for them to play how they liked to play. This paid off early when Cowdell fired it across the D for Burrell to deflect it into the goal. But celebrations were short lived when it was disallowed for a foul just outside the D.

Having proven to themselves that they knew how to break through the defence and score, Rochdale dug their heels in and kept their heads to continue their excellent work. With clear communication and a stellar effort from the team it was only a matter of time before they were back into Timperley's D. Both Cowdell and Hodcroft fired in several crosses into the D each, but even though Burrell put her body on the line by almost colliding with the goal post to make the deflection one time, Rochdale struggled to convert their myriad of chances into a goal.

Timperley were able to break for their own attacks, and in the first half were often able to hold play around Rochdale's D by giving them few options to clear the ball. However, Rochdale's defence stood firm to keep them at bay. Leech played brilliantly away from her usual position to aid Hoyle in the centre, channelling the runners towards Hoyle's blocks. And Moon stepped into the role of left back seamlessly with her relentless play to interrupt her opponents and worked well with Yates' equally tireless play on the left wing.

A short corner in Rochdale's favour was sent up to the top of the D, and this time passed sideways before a shot on goal. This was blocked, but Hodcroft was able to retrieve and control the rebound for another attempt on goal. The keeper saved it, but Cowdell was in place to get the next rebound and managed to tap it over the line to put Rochdale in the lead.

The second half progressed in much the same way as the first. Rochdale kept their communication strong and used their triangle passes between Collinson, Hodcroft and Pickering to get through their opposing midfield. On a few occasions Burrell was able to send a long ball into the D for Cowdell to run onto, and each time she took the shot, only to find it saved or herself crowded out of having an angle.

Both teams put in a staggering amount of effort trying to break the deadlock and get a goal, and it was finally Timperley who eventually managed to sneak in a goal from wide in the D late into the game. It was disappointing for Rochdale after how many excellent saves and blocks they performed throughout the game, even during short corners. They worked hard to get back into Timperley's D, but were unable to find their way past the defence, and time was not on their side.

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

Player of the match was Becki Moon.

Captain Collinson said: "What a game. Communication, recycling and some great attack from our upfronts. Timperley we’re lucky to get a goal in the last 3 minutes but nevertheless, it was a great display from Rochdale and I am very proud. Onwards and upwards to our next game”

Rochdale's team:
Keeper; Sam Partington.
Defence; Claire Hoyle, Kieran Leech, Becki Moon & Hannah Palmer.
Midfield; Dionne Collinson, Gemma Hodcroft, Roisin Pickering & Arabella Yates.
Forwards; Katie Burrell & Alice Cowdell.
Substitutes: Paula McDonald and Mish Hoyle.

Report by Hannah Palmer

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