Half time pep talk in­spires ladies to win

Rochdale Observer - - SCHOOL NEWS -

THE weather wasn’t great for Rochdale Ladies fix­ture on Satur­day as they wel­comed Prescot Ladies for a 12pm push back.

Both teams started the game very ten­ta­tively as the rain was beat­ing down. Even though Prescot were mid ta­ble they were prov­ing to be a dif­fi­cult side to break down.

Most of the first half showed Rochdale’s de­fence of Gill Knowles, Nikki Mon­gan, Dionne Collinson and Becky Moon stay­ing strong and not let­ting Prescot any­where near their D area for a shot at goal.

Rochdale also made sev­eral at­tack­ing runs but just couldn’t muster the at­tack­ing prow­ess they were so used to in pre­vi­ous games. Katie Bur­rell prob­a­bly had the best chance of the first half with a one on one against the Prescot keeper but her shot went wide of the post.

Frus­tra­tions be­gan to grow for the Rochdale team and this was show­ing in their pass­ing – they needed the half time whis­tle so they could re-group.

At half time cap­tain Becky Knowles made a few changes and on came the fresh legs of strik­ers Jenny Banks and Re­becca New­ton.

The speed of Banks and New­ton gave Rochdale a newly found con­fi­dence and Rochdale be­gan to play the hockey they were ca­pa­ble of. Roisin Pick­er­ing, Paula McDon­ald and Gemma Hod­croft lifted the team in the mid­dle of the pitch and it wasn’t long be­fore Rochdale were hav­ing chance af­ter chance.

Prescot were only just man­ag­ing to cope with the pres­sure with some last ditch de­fend­ing.

Rochdale were now dom­i­nat­ing the game and it wasn’t long be­fore they took the lead. Pick­er­ing had picked up the ball on the right wing and at­tacked the Prescot area. It was passed to Hod­croft who very clev­erly pushed it into the path of Banks. Banks took one touch and smashed the ball home, 1-0.

Prescot tried to bat­tle back but Rochdale wanted to keep a clean sheet so the de­fence worked hard. Prescot could not get the ball into the D area for a shot on goal. This frus­trated Prescot and this showed as tem­pers were begin­ning to fray. Cap­tains were called over and the um­pires tried to calm things down.

With 10 min­utes to go Rochdale found them­selves on the at­tack again. Hod­croft passed to Knowles who found Banks un­marked at the 25 yard area. Banks picked up the ball and ex­pertly drib­bled past two Prescot play­ers and pushed the ball through the keep­ers legs to get her sec­ond of the game.

Cap­tain Knowles said: “We made it hard work for our­selves in the first half and our pass­ing was pretty poor. I had a few stern words at half time and this seemed to lift the team to play­ing the hockey I know they are ca­pa­ble of. An­other win will see us main­tain our po­si­tion in the top three of the league ta­ble.”

Dionne Collinson

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