Rochdale News | Sports News | Hockey: Stockport Bramhall 2nd Men’s 3 – 1 Rochdale 2nd Men’s

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Date published: March 22, 2022


This Saturday (March 19), Rochdale travel to Stockport to face Bramhall as the season draws to a close in the next two weeks. It looked like it would be a tough game going into the game with Stockport sitting third in the league, but Rochdale were hoping to cause an upset by having a lot more to play for than the home side. The weather was also exceptionally favourable, being a beautiful warm sunny day as spring begins to arrive.

The game started in earnest with the boys in orange playing a 4-4-2 due to having more defenders and fewer midfielders this week, but they had a substitute. Rochdale started the game much brighter, camping in the opposing half for much of the first ten minutes. Several good chances were created but the home side managed to block them and looked threatening on the counterattack.

That would be where Stockport’s first goal came from, as a Rochdale corner fell through. Bramhall attacked at pace, catching the Rochdale defense. The home side striker proved to be a good dribbler and he was able to round the Rochdale centre-back and insert him into the bottom corner to open the scoring for Stockport Bramhall, albeit against the course of the Game.

This gave the home team a little boost and they started to push higher, to put Rochdale under pressure. The team in orange soaked it up and it didn’t take long for them to be back in the spotlight again. One of the home team players however started to get a bit rowdy as he had to do more defense than he would have liked. A decisive point came when Andy Meanock passed him like he wasn’t there and the Bramhall midfielder hit Meanock after the ball passed him. Luckily the local referee took the strong decision and gave him a yellow card which had the desired effect as no more cards were required in this game.

As both teams calmed down, Rochdale went back to playing a lot of good hockey, constantly getting inside the 23-yard line and Bramhall’s D, but the away team wasn’t in. able to score, the final passes being just picked up. Unfortunately, a second goal would be added from another Bramhall counter as they made an interception. Catching Rochdale high up the pitch, good individual skill from the Stockport forward scored again to send the ball into the net to double the home side’s advantage. It was tough for Rochdale who largely controlled possession, but they would score two goals at half time.

Team talk was largely positive as Rochdale had largely been the better side, just lacking a clinical finish or two. If the visiting team had the best of the first half, they dominated the second. Possession stats show it was almost all Rochdale, but when Bramhall won the ball he quickly broke through Rochdale’s D or at least the 23-yard line. The next goal was to prove crucial in this game.

A powerful attack from Rochdale down the right was worked well into the D with speed and precision. Two passes to the left allowed Josh Robinson to slip in and sweep the ball into the backboard past the planted keeper. The score was now 2-1 and Rochdale seemed to add a second.

The away team kept attacking and creating chances, but couldn’t find a second as time started to tick. With the game almost over, Rochdale won a penalty corner and fired an excruciatingly wide shot from the post. Noticing that almost every player had come for the penalty, Stockport quickly escaped the 16th hit. Driving straight down the back line, they again worked deftly to add a third goal with 20 seconds remaining. It was heartbreaking for a Rochdale side who had given it their all and were so close to getting a well deserved point, but it wasn’t to be.

Rochdale have just two games left before the end of the season and relegation looks likely as they are currently bottom of the table. Hopefully going down a division will give the team a chance to regroup and come back stronger after England Hockey reshuffled the league last year.

The man of the match was Steve Hirst.

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