The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Leigh Cur­tis

ROCHDALE boss Keith Hill lam­basted ref­eree Scott Mathieson for denying his side a win over play-off ri­vals Notts County as Garry Thomp­son’s late goal sparked chaos at Spot­land.

Thomp­son snatched a 2-2 draw for the Mag­pies in stop­page time of a feisty clash de­spite Dale claim­ing two play­ers were stood in off­side po­si­tions when he struck.

But ref­eree Mathieson al­lowed the goal to stand amid fierce protests which stopped Hill’s side from end­ing the Mag­pies’ un­beaten away record in League One.

After see­ing Ian Hen­der­son and Peter Vin­centi can­cel out Mike Ed­wards’ opener, Hill raged that his team had been de­nied all three points which stopped them from ex­tend­ing their lead over the Mag­pies in the top six.

“The play­ers have done their jobs and we all ex­pect the of­fi­cials to do theirs,” he said. “They haven’t done them and the decision is as clear as day.

“There are two play­ers off­side and for what­ever rea­son they haven’t given it. Those play­ers were off­side when the first ball came into the box so our play­ers have done their jobs.

“It’s not their fault we have dropped points. It’s not my fault, it’s not the sup­port­ers’ fault, the chief exec’s fault or the direc­tors’ fault.We can only do what we did and ex­pect to be sup­ported by of­fi­cials who can do the job ap­pro­pri­ately.

“Un­for­tu­nately it’s hap­pened far too many times that we are fall­ing foul of bad de­ci­sions.”

After tak­ing the lead through Ed­wards’ cush­ioned vol­ley from El­liott Whitehouse’s cross be­fore the break, the Mag­pies let slip their lead just 28 seconds after the break when Hen­der­son fin­ished su­perbly.

Matt Done also cracked the foot of the post as Dale threat­ened to run riot.

And they even­tu­ally took the lead through Vin­centi’s header , un­til Thomp­son popped up with an easy fin­ish into an empty net.

Notts County boss Shaun Derry ad­mit­ted his side could have played bet­ter but was pleased to keep the un­beaten away record in­tact.

“It was a fran­tic fin­ish, but that’s the first time in a long time that I can say the per­for­mance wasn’t good enough,” Derry said.

“I felt in the first half we com­peted well as did Rochdale.

“But the first real qual­ity mo­ment of the game con­jured us a goal.

“And then you go into the sec­ond half with a game plan and it goes com­pletely out of the win­dow in fewer than 30 seconds.

“You are on the back­foot and we didn’t look after the ball at all.

“But in the 95th minute to equalise typ­i­fied our spirit.

“We went right un­til the very end. I’ve not seen the goal, but I was just de­lighted it went into the net.

“It keeps the un­beaten record in­tact and the chal­lenge is now to keep it that way go­ing into the New Year.

“But the play­ers knew it wasn’t a good per­for­mance and they were sub­dued af­ter­wards.”

PIC­TURES: Dan West­well



le Rochda HEAD FIRST: Rochdale’s Peter Vin­centi heads past Roy Car­roll to make it 2-1

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