Hockey: Sale Ladies 1 - 0 Rochdale Ladies

Date published: 17 January 2024

After last week where Rochdale Ladies hurtled straight out of the blocks to score a goal in under a minute, they were hoping to capitalise on the progress they've made in this Saturday's away match against Sale 2nds. They kept their heads, and - except one notable blip - they communicated well, allowing them to create chance after chance after chance.

Sale were also fighting back hard, battling for control of every ball and breaking through to try and get their own chances on goal. But for the most part Rochdale had a solid defence. Partington was on fine form, especially when called to make several key saves from reflex alone, and kicking away some balls back to her defenders to fully clear.  Hoyle was the one in control of Rochdale's D, not only organising some of her teammates but also blocking a lot of Sale's attempts to pass or score. Collinson and Leech were both battling and running for any chance to regain possession or find a way through the presses that Sale set, covering a lot of ground. They were also effective in the short corners against them, where none resulted in a goal.

The midfield had a hard job, Sale were a strong team, and deployed themselves to choke out as many routes through as possible. Pickering and Hodcroft managed to weave their way through. Parton and Yates were trading the left wing, and both taking advantage of Leech as a partner to one-two with to get around their opponents. Hockaday and McDonald put in a shift to put pressure on the player with the ball to force mistakes, or to tackle to get the ball.

The forwards were backing up the midfield well. Knowles kept moving to open up the space to allow Collinson to pelt the ball down the pitch. Black was generally causing a nuisance to the Sale defence as she kept moving to not only be difficult to track, but to open up space and receive the ball. Burrell was acting as a very useful pivot and also to blast the ball across the D towards far post for her teammates to run onto.

In the end the only goal came from Sale as their player hung post and somehow managed to find the one gap of space between Partington and her goalpost. However, Rochdale had several chances. Many of them came from balls crossed into the D at pace for Black or Yates to try and run onto. A couple of short corners had Pickering and Knowles taking shots and coming close to scoring, but ultimately were up against a well organised defence. An excellent team offensive from Rochdale started by defence passing to McDonald, who fired it to Yates on the left. She hit it down her wing to Knowles, who turned and switched it across to Pickering on the right wing. Pickering ran it into the D and crossed it for Black, but the keeper was able to get in the way of Black's deflection and prevent the goal.

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

Player of the match was Kie Leech.

Team captain Dion Collinson said: "An epic performance today. Well in ladies!” 

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

Report by Hannah Palmer

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