Rant­ing Hill fumes at ‘vir­gin’ ref­eree

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Tom Hold­croft To comment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

KEITH Hill could be in hot wa­ter with the Football League af­ter an of­fen­sive rant about new ref­eree Seb Stock­bridge.

Hill be­moaned the ref­eree’s lack of ex­pe­ri­ence af­ter Peter Ca­vanagh saw red and Rochdale suc­cumbed to an Oliver Lan­cashire own goal.

Stock­bridge, ref­er­ee­ing only his sec­ond Football League game, sent off the Dale skip­per af­ter a sev­enth-minute chal­lenge on Rob­bie Weir, a de­ci­sion Hill branded as ‘un­ac­cept­able’.

He said:“It must have been dif­fi­cult for the ref­eree be­cause he was caught in the head­lights.

“But he’ll be ref­er­ee­ing again next week – it will be his third game and he will still be bleed­ing, be­cause he will still be a vir­gin.

“It’s a shame be­cause the re­sult will stand in the his­tory books and the ref­eree’s de­ci­sion will get for­got­ten.

“We showed en­deav­our, we showed com­mit­ment, we showed char­ac­ter, at times we had the lion’s share of pos­ses­sion and over­all I’m pretty pleased with the per­for­mance.

“But I can’t leg­is­late for match-chang­ing de­ci­sions so early in the game. The ref­eree’s per­for­mance was un­ac­cept­able.”

The sev­enth-minute dis­missal of their skip­per put the vis­i­tors firmly on the back foot as they aimed to avenge the league dou­ble in­flicted upon them by Gary Rowett’s men last sea­son. Hill ap­plauded Ca­vanagh from the field and loudly bawled ‘that’s a joke.’ But he wasn’t clap­ping or laugh­ing when Bur­ton broke the dead­lock two min­utes from half-time.

Billy Kee’s through ball re­leased Rene Howe and the debu­tant’s ef­fort was de­flected over Josh Lil­lis’ de­spair­ing dive – and into his own net – by the un­for­tu­nate Lan­cashire.

Bur­ton, who had laboured against ten men for much of a for­get­table first half, were for­tu­nate not to con­cede an equaliser when sub­sti­tute An­drew Tutte’s 62nd-minute drive fizzed nar­rowly over the bar.

And – al­though Ian Sharps went close with a header five min­utes from time – the Brew­ers were rarely more threat­en­ing af­ter the in­ter­val.

Boss Rowett said:“It’s a great re­sult. I’m not too wor­ried about the per­for­mance.

“We didn’t play any­where near as well as we can be­cause we did things too slowly, but that’s go­ing to hap­pen.

“I was pleased with our shape and our de­fen­sive per­for­mance.

“We’ve got a lot of new play­ers and I’m happy with the way the squad is gelling.

“But we are ca­pa­ble of a lot more than that and there’s things to work on.”

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