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

KEITH HILL slammed Scott Ho­gan’s ad­vis­ers for al­most ru­in­ing the ca­reer of Rochdale’s top scorer, af­ter his hat-trick sunk AFC Wim­ble­don in style.

Hill left Ho­gan out of the Dale’s home de­feat to Da­gen­ham last week, be­cause “he was in no fit state to play” af­ter spec­u­la­tion linked him with a move else­where.

But post-trans­fer win­dow and re­stored to the start­ing line-up, Ho­gan showed ex­actly why he pro­voked such de­mand with a game-de­cid­ing hat-trick that crescen­doed with an exquisitely-taken third to fire Rochdale to an im­pres­sive vic­tory.

Hill said: “I’ve never rested Scott Ho­gan – for the last three weeks he’s been all over the place to be quite hon­est.

“I saw him smile for the first time last Satur­day when he knew the win­dow had closed.

“He never wanted to go any­where, but he’s had peo­ple pulling him from pil­lar to post try­ing to or­ches­trate a move.

“It's a les­son for him. Peo­ple who are sup­posed to be ad­vis­ing him can ab­so­lutely de­stroy him.

“All he’s ever wanted to do this sea­son has been to play for Rochdale, score goals and be free from any pres­sure.

“Let him be. Leave him to me and let him be happy and he will pro­pel us to some­where near the suc­cess that we need this sea­son.

“I’m not let­ting him talk to any­one now.”

For 66 min­utes both sides strug­gled with a blus­tery wind and crumbly pitch, but the hith­erto scrappy game burst open when goal­keeper Ross Worner gifted Ho­gan the cru­cial opener.

Matt Done’s loopy cross lured the keeper off his line, but the ball stuck in the wind and Ho­gan pounced in front of Worner to nudge the ball over the line.

Ho­gan’s sec­ond soon fol­lowed, round­ing Worner and slid­ing the ball into the empty goal af­ter Peter Vi­centi played him clear.

Ho­gan sealed a rare vic­tory against a fel­low top-half side for the Dale with his glo­ri­ous third, loft­ing the ball over Worner and in­side the far post.

It left Dons man­ager Neal Ard­ley claim­ing Rochdale’s first goal was the key turn­ing point in the match.

He said: “It’s very rarely just one mis­take that costs a goal and the first goal was a loose pass, a poor touch, a bad de­ci­sion, the fourth player switched off and let some­one run off him and the fifth player was beaten to the cross.

“It’s a catas­tro­phe. There wasn’t much in it, but af­ter their goal we’ve folded.

“Play­ers stopped do­ing their jobs and that is re­ally dif­fi­cult to take for me. We lost play­ers and had to change shape be­cause we didn’t want to put round pegs in square holes.

“But that shows why we don’t have the per­son­nel to play 4-4-2.

“We couldn’t get hold of the mid­field, but you can’t ex­pect that mid­field to do that.

“We were out-run, out-tem­poed, out-mus­cled, out-ev­ery­thinged out there.

“We went to pieces.We need to be bet­ter and that’s what we’ll be work­ing on next week.”

PIC­TURES: Paul Wil­latts


le CRUNCH: Scott Ho­gan scores for Rochdale. Inset: Ho­gan cel­e­brates

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.