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YOUTH: United 3 - 2 Rochdale

Match report from the Saturday youth game

4 March 2024

Club News

YOUTH: United 3 - 2 Rochdale

Match report from the Saturday youth game

4 March 2024

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United's under-18s got back to winning ways after three defeats on the bounce against Rochdale AFC after a brace from Romeo Park and a winning goal from Robbie Swinburn saw United win 3-2 on Saturday morning at Creighton Rugby Club.

Mark Birch's side came into the game on the back of defeats against Wrexham, Blackpool and Shrewsbury and would be looking to start strongly and impose themselves against Rochdale.

Things didn't go as planned for United as after a cagey opening 10 minutes between the two sides, it was the visitors who took the lead through Darren Ehimamiegho. Some nice play on left from Dale saw the ball land at the feet of Ehimamiegho, who fired past United 'keeper Thomas Randall at the near post to give Dale an early lead.

United heads didn't drop and they immediately applied pressure back on Rochdale with both Freddie O'Donoghue and Romeo Park causing the Dale defence some issues.

United's positive response to falling behind was rewarded eight minutes after the Dale opener. Some intricate interchanging passing between Anton Dudik and Park ended with Dudik laying the ball off for Park whose strike from the edge of the box took a slight deflection which wrong-footed the Rochdale 'keeper to draw United level.

Sixty seconds later United found themselves infront through Park again. Some excellent pressure from the United frontline forced the Dale defence to lose posession 20 yards out on which Park pounced on and fired it into the bottom corner.

With 30 minutes played, the fourth goal of the game was scored. United failed to clear a Rochdale attack after the United defence appealed that the ball had rolled out of play, the visitors took advantage of the poor clearance and Oscar Kelly drew the visitors level.

The half-time interval arrived and both sides headed into the break with the scoreline at 2-2.

United played on the front foot following the beginning of the second half creating several chances through Park, Robbie Swinburn and substitute Dan Hopper.

Eventually United's efforts paid off after Park found Swinburn who dribbled his way into the box before shifting the ball onto his left foot and finding the bottom corner to give United a 3-2 lead after 71 minutes.

United saw out the remainder of the game to record back to back home victories in 2024.

Speaking after the victory, Birch said: "I think we deserved to get the three points. We kept at it and it wasn't the greatest performance we've ever had but we defended well when they threw everything at us.

"When we went one-nil down I think we always had the belief that we could get back in the game. It was more disappointing that when we went 2-1 up, we allowed them an easy opportunity to get back into the game and we have a tendency to lack a bit of eagerness to close down sometimes, and we got caught out again with it and that is something we've got to be better at.

"I thought each one of the lads put in a good shift and it was nice to get a win again after the last few games we've played."

Starting: Randall, Chapman, Nicholson, Maddison (Atkinson 45'), O'Brien, Skinner (Lowes 54'), O'Donoghue (Hopper 54'), Murray (Rigby 88'), Dudik, Swinburn, Park.

Subs: Hopper, Lowes, Atkinson, Rigby, Hodgson.

United goals: Park (18',19'), Swinburn (71').

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