Rochdale News | Sports News | Hockey: Rochdale Men’s 2nds 3 – 1 City of Manchester Men’s 3rds
Date published: October 26, 2022
Photo: Rachel Jackson
Josh Villas (in orange) scored the last goal
The Rochdale Men’s 2nds hockey team completed their rearranged home game against City of Manchester Men’s 3rds at the Oulder Hill Leisure Center on Saturday 22nd October. Both teams had full crews and the conditions were dry and nice.
Rochdale started with a half-court press, just like Manchester when they defended, with the opening rallies being cautious, but both teams looking to push forward and create chances. It was tight for the first fifteen minutes, but Rochdale started to have better chances as the half progressed. The first real chance came when a penalty corner was awarded for a backside push inside the circle.
The home team was determined to make it count. The ball came at the top of the circle, slid past Bjorn Brauns, then tucked back to Adam Massey who slotted it in with a pushing finish to give Rochdale an early lead. A well-executed exercise straight from the training ground.
It wasn’t going to prove to be as straightforward a game as last week, with Manchester bringing in a striker who knew his job. By making deep runs behind the defense (there is no offside in hockey) and then coming in front of the back line to collect the ball from their midfielders, Manchester began to gain possession higher up the field. ground. Thankfully, he was handled well in the first half by the Rochdale defence, making successful interceptions and tackles when the away team attackers received him.
Rochdale still enjoyed the best of chances in the first half and could have had a second goal on a penalty stroke, which was awarded after a shot from another penalty corner was blocked by the body. a defender on the line. Unfortunately, however, Rochdale failed to convert. This renewed Manchester’s energy and the momentum was starting to change, but just before half-time Rochdale were awarded another penalty corner. The ball was injected at the top of the circle and slid towards Brauns who slotted it in to give the home side a two-goal lead.
Rochdale went in two at half time but began to think this game was easier than it was. Rochdale gave up the half-court press in the opening minute of the second half. It was okay for the first ten minutes as they had more ball possession, but it caused a lot of problems as the half progressed and they failed to increase their lead.
Manchester managed to absorb the early pressure in the second half and began to break through Rochdale’s lines to win the ball higher, as the home side’s midfielder grew tired from expending too much energy too soon . For a good 15 minutes Manchester managed to keep the pressure high and keep the game in the Rochdale half with the home side unable to escape. Frustrations grew and Rochdale was reduced to nine men for a brief period following two of their players being shown a yellow and a green card.
Luckily, Rochdale’s back line largely held up, until the Manchester striker managed to receive the ball into Rochdale’s circle and earn a penalty corner. They managed to get a shot from the top of the circle, which was blocked, but spread to another striker who managed to drive it over the line to put Manchester back in an equal goal.
There were a few nervous moments as time ticked away, with Manchester coming close to equalizing on a few occasions. Luckily, with some good defending and some misplaced finishing, the home side managed to hold them off. They also managed to string together a few attacks and there was great relief when newcomer Josh Vallis collected a knocked down shot and snuck over the line to put Rochdale 3-1 up with minutes to go.
Captain Adam Massey said: “It was a better performance than last week and it had to be, against fitter opposition. Overall it was good, but we still have a lot of work to do on the training ground to get where we want to be.
“The man of the match was Kane Morgan for his tireless efforts in midfield. Next week we go to Brooklands MU with an early departure but we must make no apologies.”