Ranting Hill fumes at ‘virgin’ referee
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.”