Delap is signing of summer, says Gary
BURTON ALBION boss Gary Rowett is convinced he has made the signing of the summer in vastly experienced Rory Delap after he helped inspire his new side back from two goals down to claim a point at Cheltenham Town.
Goals from Jamie Cureton and Byron Harrison put the Robins 2-0 up inside 32 minutes, but Delap’s long throw led to a penalty in first-half stoppage time, with Billy Kee converting.
Delap then calmly stroked in the leveller in the 56th minute from Alex MacDonald’s corner to rescue a point.
“Rory has a bit of everything and he played in a midfield two in the first half and then sat in front of the back four in a 4-5-1 later on, showing how well he knows the game, ”Rowett said.
“His throws are so hard to defend for the opposition and we need to work on them more because we haven’t done that much yet.
“But he has come in and he doesn’t look like a 37-year-old, that’s for sure.
“I am relieved we managed to come back from 2-0 down at a place like Cheltenham on the first day of the season, but I am disappointed in the end that we didn’t win the game.”
It did not look good for Burton when Cureton slotted in on his Cheltenham debut after a long clearance from Scott Brown deceived loan goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
Cureton had to be taken off on a stretcher having been clattered as he scored, but his replacement Harrison added Cheltenham’s second 14 minutes later.
But Russ Penn was adjudged to have handled in the box, giving Burton a lifeline before the break and Robins boss Mark Yates was not happy with referee Fred Graham’s decision.
“I spent two hours at a managers’ meeting at Walsall recently, with half an hour spent on handball decisions and how the referee has given that one against Russ Penn I will never know,” Yates said.
“We should have had one too, but he booked Terry Gornell for diving and he got them back in the game.
“It was a clear penalty because there was a noise and contact.
“Maybe the referee was ring rusty on the first day, but Burton got away with it and credit to them for fighting back.
“The goal deflated us and the second goal from a set piece was pretty awful.”
Burton had a goal disallowed for a foul in the second half, while Sam Deering crashed an effort against the bar for Cheltenham.
The final chance fell to Phil Edwards, who popped up to nod Delap’s huge throw inches wide.