Rochdale News | Sports News | Hockey: Rochdale 2nd Men’s 2 – 5 Buxton 2nd Men’s

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Date published: January 20, 2022


Last Saturday Rochdale’s men’s 2nd team returned for their first competitive action in three weeks after the winter break and the first time they have returned to their sticks in 2022 for some as Tuesday’s training session was canceled due to frozen ground.

Similar weather fears lingered as the morning temperature was barely above freezing, but it dissipated in time for the match to be played safely. Hopes were high at the start of the match as when Rochdale last played Buxton they felt they were out of luck to get nothing with several key players missing and no substitutes, but in the end, it wouldn’t be Rochdale’s day despite a brilliant start.

With great enthusiasm, Rochdale applied their new style of play from the start, the defense pushing as high as they could and not letting loose at the back as had been the tactic in the last games before Christmas. The more aggressive style worked well in the opening rallies with the home side enjoying more possession deeper in the opposing half which put the opposing side under pressure early on which would lead to the first goal of the game.

New legs arrived in Rochdale’s midfield about 15 minutes before halftime and with the away team pushed back into their own half with a 16-yard hit, Rochdale transferred possession near the line median and worked it into the left channel. A quick back-and-forth at the top of the circle allowed the new central midfielder to dribble the ball quickly and engage the keeper in his near post while shooting for the long range. The keeper blocked with his leggings but he spread through the goal to Dean Close, who was continuously improving, who remained calm, remembered what his own keeper had told him and sent a film flying over the keeper diving into the roof of the net to give Rochdale the lead. .

It was well deserved, but it wouldn’t be long before warning signs began to appear as the opposition began to find ways around Rochdale and over the high line. Probably the closest they came without scoring was when their striker managed to gain a yard pass from the Rochdale centre-back and control the ball near the penalty spot in front of goal. He had to be denied not once but twice with two ridiculous saves from matchkeeper man Dean Colusardo, without even conceding a long corner.

Rochdale continued to attack and closed in on the other side as the half progressed, with their lethal weapon Bjorne Brauns back to the side. Facing a crowded defense as he approached the circle, he used his experience to try and score a nifty goal that has worked in the past. He drove to the left of the defender before coming back to his strong side and unleashing an early push for the bottom corner. With the ball going through a crowd of bodies, the keeper didn’t even see it until it hit the post, giving him a chance to escape and Rochdale didn’t have a shot. lucky not to be two.

The home side’s fortunes were to get even worse, as they failed to react to the danger posed by the oppositions changed press style. With just minutes to go in the first half and with their own 16-yard hit, Rochdale continued what had been a standard drive through the half and just played a simple push back. left open. This time, however, it was exactly what the visiting team wanted and they applied a press to quickly limit their options. The best ball was a pass inside the center but it was tight and unfortunately Rochdale couldn’t retain possession. The opposition now burst into pace with the unprepared defense and ruthlessly worked it at a ruthless pace for a tap, meaning the teams would come in at half-time at 1-1.

Tempers flared in the Rochdale camp, as emotions ran high because goals have been hard to come by this season and everyone has been gutted for conceding so easily and being level halfway through. A few wise words from old heads helped smooth things over and set Rochdale up for the second half, but plenty of players felt cold from standing still for five minutes on an almost freezing January day.

This, combined with heated opposition after their goal, would spell disaster for the home side and they then conceded four goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half. The first would come as Buxton crossed the high line again on Rochdale’s left, getting behind and leading him back to a midfielder who had been able to get in front of his man for another tap. The feud would rear its ugly head again as emotions got the better of people once again.

With the home side’s headers down again, Buxton was quick to add a third. This time the follow up was better and it took good play from an experienced and capable striker to steal a yard over his marker again and push the ball wide of the back post for another tap. Rochdale’s response was better this time around and he would take the opposition a bit longer to find a way to his next goal.

Another goal came as the home side began to tire slightly and Buxton again found a way through. The fourth goal required quick passing and smart dribbling, but they would find men again. With a choice of two players at fullback, there was always another touch with a frustrated goalkeeper at home who had no chance of stopping him.

Rochdale was gradually improving as the players remembered that they really enjoyed playing hockey with each other and managed to make a few attempts on goal themselves, giving home fans hope for a few moments that Rochdale might find a way to get back into the game. . That was not to be the case as the opposition returned another 16-year-old hit in the second phase by cutting right-back options. They again drove into the center of the Rochdale defense and with them again having to hastily set themselves up, the striker managed to receive the ball a few yards inside the circle and hit a vicious clearance into the net before the keeper could even see him, to give Buxton a 5-1 lead.

Even for the most optimistic, the game was now beyond the home side, but it wasn’t quite over. A consolation goal would come from the returning Brauns. With clever linking play and good passing, a ball was returned to Close down the right wing for an early cross which Brauns deflected around the goalkeeper for Rochdale’s second and final goal.

It was a frustrating day for Rochdale who had played the best hockey for much of the game, but in the end it was left to wonder what might have happened if Braun’s first half push had found the sign instead of the post. There were plenty of positives to take from the game as he was one of the best strikers Rochdale had managed in some time and another day could have earned some much needed points.

The opposition captain said afterwards that after the first half he was surprised by how the game ended and did not think the score line reflected the quality and effort Rochdale had shown. It was also noted by the home side that it was a much stronger performance from Buxton than the previous game this season and there is no shame in losing to good opposition.

Next up for Rochdale Men’s Seconds is Sale away on Saturday January 22 where hopefully the team can get a few points towards the goal of nine by the end of the season.

The player of the match was Dean Colusardo.

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