DAY OF HELL FOR SHAMED RED DEVILS

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Niall Kelly

JOHN GRE­GORY was left red-faced with anger after Craw­ley’s hu­mil­i­at­ing home de­feat to Rochdale – a re­sult the for­mer As­ton Villa boss de­scribed as the worst in his ten­ure.

Dale were only a goal up at half-time through Matthew Done, but a sec­ond-half dou­ble from Peter Vin­centi and a Calvin An­drew goal con­demned Craw­ley to their fourth league de­feat on the bounce.

With the home support mak­ing their feel­ings known to Gre­gory, the Craw­ley man­ager pulled no punches.

“The fans were singing that they were em­bar­rassed, “he said. “I am more em­bar­rassed than they are. I can only apol­o­gise for that per­for­mance and it was down to me.

“Dur­ing the game it was hard to recog­nise too many of my boys. We can’t af­ford to have re­sults like that.

“It’ll be a long week now. It’s by far the worst per­for­mance we’ve had since I’ve been here.

“Over­all it was a very poor per­for­mance. I don’t think I’ve ever been in­volved in a game where I’ve lost at home by that score.

“Rochdale have only lost twice this sea­son and this was a game we shouldn’t have feared.

“A cou­ple of our se­nior boys re­ally should have done bet­ter. I’ll take this one on the chin, pick ev­ery­one up and get them ready for next week.

“It’s a very dif­fi­cult league and ev­ery game in it is tough. There’s no easy op­po­si­tion and it’s a very phys­i­cal league.

“There are no pos­i­tives from that game. They had five op­por­tu­ni­ties at our goal and four of them went in.

“I wish we had the same kind of ra­tio at the other end.”

Rochdale had an early penalty shout as Done went down in the box, but ref­eree Gra­ham Scott waved away their ap­peals.

Soon after, Done put Dale in front with a ter­rific ef­fort. The for­ward cut in from the right­hand side and ham­mered his shot past Brian Jensen into the top left cor­ner.

Craw­ley nearly re­sponded as Matt Har­rold’s header was tipped bril­liantly tipped over by Con­rad Lo­gan.

Craw­ley had a penalty shout of their own just after the half-hour mark as Izale McLeod took a tum­ble in the box, but the ref­eree again dis­missed the claim.

In the 54th minute, the vis­i­tors dou­bled their lead. Done turned provider this time as he crossed to Vin­centi for his sec­ond league goal of the sea­son.

Just over ten min­utes later Vin­centi scored again with a glanc­ing header fol­low­ing another good ball from in-form Done.

Sub­sti­tute An­drew made it a ter­ri­ble af­ter­noon for Craw­ley as he nod­ded in Rochdale’s fourth with lit­tle un­der 15 min­utes left.

Hav­ing gained pro­mo­tion to League One, Keith Hill feels his Rochdale side have set­tled into the third tier nicely.

“At the minute, ev­ery­thing seems rosy in the Rochdale gar­den,” said Hill.

“We’ve won at Craw­ley, we won dur­ing the week, we won at Crewe twice and drew at Bris­tol City, so we’re mak­ing progress this sea­son and that’s the aim isn’t it?

“We’re mak­ing big strides with a num­ber of play­ers and I think there are more goals from more ar­eas of the pitch.

“It’s been a dif­fi­cult start to the sea­son and Craw­ley is a good place to come and play.

“It looked com­fort­able on pa­per but it was far from com­fort- able, like ev­ery game. This league is ob­vi­ously a step up.

“The minute you make a mis­take you will be pun­ished. I can hon­estly say we’ve been in ev­ery game we’ve played.

“There’s been times where we’ve played sim­i­larly to this game and we haven’t won, so it is dif­fi­cult but I’m ab­so­lutely de­lighted with the win.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

BLUE PETER: Peter Vin­centi (left) scores the third goal for Rochdale In­set: Calvin An­drew (cen­tre, in blue) scores the fourth goal for Rochdale

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