Rochdale News | Sports News | Hockey: Brooklands 3rd Men’s 3 – 2 Rochdale 2nd Men’s
Date published: November 04, 2022
Kane Morgan (left) was named man of the match
On Saturday October 29, Rochdale played at Brooklands, which has top-notch facilities with a very good water pitch. Weather conditions were dry and pleasantly warm with some cloud cover.
The game started in earnest with the away team trying to play as high as possible from the start. It largely worked, taking over the opening trades, but Brooklands began to find ways through Rochdale’s press to create good chances on its own. One of Rochdale’s first attacks could have been a flick as he hit the body of a Brooklands player near the goal line, but the referee missed. Luckily for the visiting team, the Brooklands player recognized this and a penalty corner was awarded, as the goalkeeper was close enough to cast enough doubt that this was not a scoring opportunity. clear goal.
It wouldn’t be from this penalty corner but from another where the first goal came from. The ball was injected at the top of the circle and slid towards Bjorn Brauns, who played it back through some Dale players to find Kane Morgan at the back post who converted it to give Rochdale an early lead.
The lead would not last, however, as Brooklands began to gain possession further up the pitch by overloading the right wing to overtake the back team. This allowed them to start playing the ball inside the wing, but these were largely dealt with by the Rochdale back line. However, an early drop to the center allowed a cross from around the center of Dale’s 23m line to be deflected by Brooklands high forward into the backboard for an equaliser.
The scores were now level, as was play in the main game, albeit slightly in Brooklands’ favor for the rest of the first half. It would also be the home team who would score next before the break. They widened the gap between midfield and defence, which they managed to exploit with a long corner. Their skillful playmaker received a pass just off the top of the circle and a few yards away, before dancing past a few challenges, then cutting at the top of the circle before placing a precise reverse slash in a hard-to-save spot through a crowd of bodies. It was a good individual skill, but the defense probably felt he should have been tackled or shot closed before he took it away.
With Brooklands 2-1 at halftime, words had to be said. Much of Rochdale’s attack had been too channeled with the ball rarely transferred from wing to wing. When tempted, the temptation to go through the center got the better of them and only got picked leading to counters. The team was motivated for a better performance in the second half.
Rochdale again took the game to Brooklands and did well, with Morgan doing a great job of breaking up any counterattacks early. There were some good attempts on goal, which without a great goalkeeper would have resulted in an equalizer for the away team. Brooklands would score next, against the run of play.
They managed to get up the pitch by playing backwards and across, rather than just a direct counter. With some skill, their midfield opened up space and played the ball past Rochdale’s midfield towards the striker at the top of the circle. He hit it the first time and the ball deflected off a defender’s stick. He was going chest-high and wide, but the Brookland winger had snuck up at the back post and hit him with boyish enthusiasm to give the home side a two-goal advantage.
Rochdale dominated most of the rest of the match, but could only salvage one goal. It came from a great James Trainor cross at Dean Close to deflect the goalkeeper, who had his line of sight blocked by Rochdale captain Adam Massey to bring Dale back a goal. It was only a consolation goal, however, as the visiting side were reduced to ten men for a yellow card towards the end after a poorly timed challenge.
Captain Adam Massey said: “It wasn’t our best performance today and Brooklands were a good well trained team with some skillful players as well as a good goalkeeper. The second half was better from our point of view, but we had to be more clinical. We managed to draw 1-1 in the second half, but as far as the result is concerned, it shows how far we’ve come so far, to be disappointed to lose 3-2 against a team that beat about 6-0 last season. . We still have a lot of work to do on the training ground and also improve our mental discipline, to make sure we make the right decisions more often. A well-deserved man of the match went to Kane Morgan for a tireless work rate and a big goal.
Rochdale’s next game is at home against second men Bolton at the Oulder Hill Leisure Center on Saturday November 5, 2pm, supporters welcome.