Hockey: Oldham Ladies 3 - 0 Rochdale Ladies

Date published: 21 December 2023

Rochdale Ladies final match before the festive break was a rescheduled fixture against Oldham 2nds on a surprisingly sunny Saturday morning, and a win would have been perfect for their last match of the calendar year.

Initially Oldham looked the stronger team, but their attacks came upon a stubborn Rochdale defence, who worked hard to close down everything they could. Partington was on especially fine form as she made a number of critical saves after Oldham created an overload in her D, giving her teammates a chance to clear the ball out of danger and regroup.

Even though Oldham started to pull ahead with the scoreline, Rochdale were by no means making it easy for them, and they generated plenty of their own chances. With Parton working hard on the left wing, and Hodcroft weaving her way through the middle they managed to get the ball in front of Oldham's goal several times. Burrell was throwing herself at the crosses - literally in one case when her stretch had her sliding to the floor - to try and get a deflection or time to have a proper shot. But Oldham's defence were too solid and able to see off every chance.

Collinson was in command of her centre ground, putting a shift in as she worked to intercept the opposition's passes but to also be an option as her teammates pushed up the field, and then tracking back to defend when Oldham turned the tables. After one particularly nifty tackle she cracked it from a few yards above the top of Rochdale's D and down the right wing where there was some open space for Hockaday to run onto. She drove it down the rest of the way before handing it off to Hodcroft as they worked it into the D, and crossed it to Yates on the far post, who was just unable to reach far enough to get her stick to it.

In fact, Rochdale's biggest chance came from a run of short corners where each ended with another being awarded. They switched it up every time, their first try was a shot from the top of the D, their second bring it round to the left, the third pulling it to the right before trying the fast shot again, but they couldn't find that elusive goal.

As a team Rochdale were bolder in the second half, trusting themselves to push higher and take more chances to try and break through their opponents, but despite their hard work and control of the ball, they weren't able to make a difference to the scoreline.

Final score was 0-3, with no Rochdale goal scorers.

Player of the match was Dionne Collinson.

Captain Collinson said: "That’s a wrap for our 2023 games. It was a well battled game against Oldham. The second half was brilliant as we adapted our play to work the ball around the opposition. Well done to Oldham on the win. We’ll be back stronger next time we meet!”

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

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