English sum­mer sab­o­tages Don­caster

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Matt Wright

THE Great Bri­tish Sum­mer claimed a sur­prise vic­tim as a wat­ter­logged pitch ended Don­caster’s game at Charlton just as it was hot­ting up – send­ing Rovers boss Paul Dickov’s tem­per­a­ture through the roof.

Tor­ren­tial rain be­fore and dur­ing the match at first led to a 30-minute de­lay af­ter 27 min­utes but with con­di­tions re­main­ing far­ci­cal and danger­ous, ref­eree Lee Collins de­cided enough was enough at half-time with the vis­i­tors 3-1 up.

The ac­tion that was pos­si­ble – four goals and a send­ing-off – was en­thralling, but th­ese teams must do it all again at a later date.

Don­caster had raced into a 3-0 lead and, not sur­pris­ingly, were en­thu­si­as­tic about car­ry­ing on with the sec­ond half and Dickov felt the qual­ity of the match hadn't been af­fected.

He said: “I was dis­ap­pointed, ob­vi­ously – we were 3-0 up away from home, play­ing some ter­rific stuff and look­ing as if we could score again.

“For the ref­eree to pull the play­ers off when he did and sus­pend play was dis­ap­point­ing.

“The fourth of­fi­cial came up to us 15 min­utes be­fore that and said he was go­ing to mon­i­tor the pitch, which is fair enough, but 15 min­utes later it was no worse.

“The way he has done it has turned out to be sham­bolic.

“He said, ‘as a spec­ta­cle it was get­ting ru­ined,’ but I thought as a spec­ta­cle my team were fan­tas­tic.

“We passed the ball well, we caused them prob­lems and when Charlton came back into the game they brought it down and passed it.”

Don­caster got off to a dream start in the sec­ond minute when Paul Kee­gan’s header from Reece Wabara’s cross flew into the top cor­ner.

Donny were slic­ing through the home de­fence all too eas­ily and this soon led to a sec­ond goal as Robin­son gave Chris Brown a sim­ple tap-in.

The Val­ley crowd were then left stunned for a third time as Charlton failed to clear a cor­ner, lead­ing to the ball ric­o­chet­ing in off Brown from close range.

But all this threat­ened to be ir­rel­e­vant as the heavy down­pours of rain led to ref­eree Collins tak­ing the play­ers off the field a few min­utes later with the pitch wa­ter­logged in sev­eral ar­eas.

Af­ter a con­certed ef­fort that saw Don­caster’s play­ers pitch in to aid the Charlton ground staff, pro­ceed­ings got back un­der­way with 18 min­utes of the first half still to play.

Charlton were to pull one back and es­tab­lish a foothold for them­selves as the ball ran loose fol­low­ing a free-kick to al­low Wales in­ter­na­tional for­ward Si­mon Church to slot into the bot­tom cor­ner.

And the hosts re­ceived a fur­ther boost just be­fore the break as Kee­gan was sent off for a sec­ond book­ing as he tugged back Rhoys Wig­gins.

But all that ac­tion now means noth­ing af­ter the ref­eree put player safety first and called the match off.

Charlton boss Chris Pow­ell claimed his play­ers were ready to get on with the game, say­ing: “My play­ers cer­tainly re­sponded to the po­si­tion they were in.

“We should never have got our­selves in that po­si­tion – only one of their goals could be put down to the con­di­tions, but in­di­vid­ual mis­takes got us there.

“They then showed a bit of brav­ery and I had pre­pared my team to go out again at 3-1 be­cause I felt it was the right thing to do.

“If I was in his (Dickov’s) po­si­tion, I’d feel de­spon­dent, but we were ready to go out and play on for the rest of the match.

“But you've got to re­spect the ref­eree’s po­si­tion be­cause if there is an in­jury, the blame’s at his feet.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

BAD NEWS: Ref­eree Lee Collins talks to Paul Dickov and Chris Pow­ell be­fore sus­pend­ing the match

SINGING IN RAIN: Chris Brown cel­e­brates his goal

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.