The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Mike Vim­pany

TWO penal­ties de­cided the out­come at the County Ground – but vic­to­ri­ous Don­caster man­ager Paul Dickov did not think ei­ther should have been awarded.

Theo Robin­son’s suc­cess­ful first half spot­kick gave the vis­i­tors a sur­prise win against their pro­mo­tion-chas­ing hosts.

But Swin­don’s hopes of sal­vaging a pre­cious point were dashed when sub­sti­tute Michael Smith had a late penalty saved.

“I don’t de­fend the two penal­ties that were given,” Dickov said. “I think for our penalty Jor­dan Turn­bull got in a good tackle on Dean Fur­man, and after that it seemed the ref­eree couldn’t wait to even it up.

“But Sam Johnstone made a su­perb save from Swin­don’s penalty and that won us the match.”

Dickov was full of praise for the per­for­mance of his side, whose sixth away win of the sea­son wrecked Swin­don’s chances of leapfrog­ging Bris­tol City and top­ping the ta­ble.

The Scot added:“De­fen­sively we had to be se­cure, but not many sides will come to Swin­don and cre­ate as many chances as we did.

“I know they hit the post and had a penalty saved, but we cre­ated a lot and, but for a bril­liant save, Kyle Ben­nett would have scored a sec­ond and given us a 2-0 half-time lead.”

Robin­son’s penalty win­ner came mid­way through the first half and was awarded by ref­eree Kevin John­son when Fur­man took a tum­ble after a chal­lenge from Southamp­ton loa­nee Turn­bull, who es­caped a book­ing.

Robin­son, who put in a tremen­dous shift as Don­caster’s lone striker, drilled the penalty into the right-hand cor­ner.

Don­caster con­tin­u­ally frus­trated Swin­don who, un­able to get their nor­mal pass­ing game to­gether, im­proved after a poor open­ing half but frit­tered away a se­ries of op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Jon Obika thud­ded a shot against the base of the up­right, while Nathan Byrne, Andy Wil­liams and Ben Glad­win all shot wide.

Swin­don’s golden chance to equalise came with 12 min­utes re­main­ing when Wil­liams was fouled by Reece Wabara. But highly promis­ing Don­caster goal­keeper Johnstone, on loan from Manch­ester United, flung him­self low to his left to beat out Smith’s spot kick.

"When teams come and play and get every­body be­hind the ball and get nearly ev­ery­one back, the last thing you need is to give them any en­cour­age­ment," said Swin­don boss Mark Cooper, who saw his side slip to their first de­feat in six games.

"The ref­eree has made an atro­cious decision to give a penalty.

"The clue is usu­ally what di­rec­tion the ball goes in when the de­fender makes the tackle and it goes to­wards the cor­ner flag, so I've seen it again and it's a fan­tas­tic tackle from Jor­dan, but the ref­eree, for some rea­son, gives an amaz­ing decision.

"We give Don­caster some­thing to hang onto.

"Sec­ond-half we had enough op­por­tu­ni­ties or sit­u­a­tions to get some­thing out of the game. We had a penalty and then we had a clear one-on-one but we need to score one of those and we get some­thing out of the game.

"But, I was fine with the per­for­mance and some­times it hap­pens.”

PIC­TURES: Richard Parkes

PRE­CISE: Theo Robin­son steps up to score from the spot for Don­caster STAR MAN JAMES


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