Hockey: Bowden Mens 5ths 3 - 0 Rochdale Mens 2nds

Date published: 21 November 2023

Saturday 18 November saw Rochdale Men’s second team away at Bowden Men’s fifths in Cheshire. Rochdale managed to take one substitute, but were a bit light on numbers against the top of the league side. The weather was a fairly warm for the time of the year and the rain held off until after the match.

​The match started surprisingly slowly, with Bowden playing backwards, to apply a more patient build up. Rochdale largely held firm, proving quite difficult to break down and putting some strong challenges in early doors. The home side gradually began to have the better of the opening exchanges, but Rochdale did manage to pose some threats on the counter, as well as stringing some good moves together from their own 16’s.

​A mistake from Rochdale playing out from the back, gifted Bowden their first real opportunity, as a forward pounced on a stray pass, drove into the circle and flicked it towards the corner of the goal. It was bravely blocked on the line by Mike Bohanna with his body and a penalty flick was awarded. This was well saved by in form goalkeeper Dean Close, who made himself big, guessed right and got a hand to it.

​The first half wore on and Rochdale were holding out well, but were conceding penalty corners. Eventually Bowden would get the opening goal from one of these, by forcing a second penalty flick for a foot on the line. This time they made no mistake and converted it to give Bowden a one goal lead.

​It was far from over though and the game could have still gone either way. Rochdale managed to break through Bowden’s press on several occasions, winning a few penalty corners, but unable to get a goal back.

​Rochdale had put in a good first half performance and could well have been level on another day. They were still in the game at the halfway stage against the top of the league side. The half time team talk was about them needing to switch the play more and keep making the interceptions.

​Rochdale started brightly in the second half, taking the game to Bowden and playing mostly in Bowden’s half. Creating some chances and forcing a few more penalty corners, but were unable to convert. Bowden managed to get some counter attacks going and forced some penalty corners, as well as some good saves from Close.

​The home side added another goal from a penalty corner, switching the ball to the right of the circle, a looping push went over the keeper and past the post man’s weak side, into the bottom corner. Bowden would add a third from another penalty flick, after the keeper was judged to have fouled a forward with possession of the ball in the circle.

​Rochdale mixed it up for the last ten, bringing Niall Baker out of midfield and into his usual place at right back. Liam Haywood had done an excellent job there, but the away team needed to try something else to try and get a goal back. There were some good attacks down both wings and Rochdale played well, but it was to no avail.

The final score was Bowden 3 - 0 Rochdale.

Man of the match was awarded to Dave Marlow for some excellent tackling, interceptions and distribution. The under 17 man of the match went to Liam Haywood (he almost got full man of the match).

Report by Graham Broadley

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