Hockey: Didsbury Men's 4ths 7 - 0 Rochdale Men's 2nds

Date published: 21 March 2024

Saturday 16 March saw Rochdale away in East Didsbury, in the last of their top three clashes against title hopefuls Didsbury 4ths.

It was always going to be a tough game, against a young fit side that train hard, but Rochdale were determined to give it a go and see what happened. The weather was cool and dry during the game, with a little rain afterwards.

​The match started with a Didsbury push back and the home team were soon on the offensive. They worked the ball well down the channels, creating well, but finding there wasn’t much gap between Rochdale’s defence and midfield early on. Didsbury were largely limited to top D strikes, which Dean Close did an excellent job of keeping out in the first half.

​Rochdale managed to create a few chances themselves in the first half. Some good breaks from playing out from the back found the forward line creating a few half chances, as well as a penalty corner. Unfortunately, the opening goal would go to Didsbury. After winning a penalty corner, they dispatched a fierce drag flick towards the top corner. The keeper got a stick to it, but the pace and angle took it into the net.

​This was the only goal of the half. It had been a good opening 35 minutes for Rochdale. The work rate had been good, they were organised and created a few decent chances to open the scoring. Considering what they were up against, it was good going. Optimism was high going into the second half.

​Sadly, it wasn’t going to be as good. A couple of early goals for Didsbury tipped the momentum in their favour. To give them credit, they were well worked routines, that involved a lot of off the ball running and good fundamental skills. However, the Rochdale centre back is kicking himself a little bit for not cutting those two crosses out, despite getting in the right position. Both the opening goals came from attacks down Rochdale’s left, being crossed to the back post for a tap in.

​Most of the rest of the goals came in similar fashion. Didsbury used the baseline well, committed defenders and found forwards free to slot it. They did also have a fantastic reverse hit undercut into the top corner ruled out for dangerous play, which saw their forward carded for dissent.

A couple of Rochdale players were also carded as things got heated and defeat became inevitable.

Final score Didsbury 7 - Rochdale.

Rochdale had a good first half, but superior fitness and training won out in the end. Man of the match went to Kane Morgan, for his tireless efforts in the midfield. It’s been a difficult series of games for Rochdale, playing all three top teams (who are miles ahead of everyone on points) consecutively. The players have put performances in though and now the team has an idea as to where they need to improve for next season, hopefully to finish higher in this league.

Saturday 23 March, Rochdale Men's 2nds are at home to Didsbury 6ths at Oulder Hill, support welcome.

Report by Graham Broadley

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