Hapless defending is hurting Hill’s men
CHARITABLE defending is costing Rochdale a topfour place according to boss Keith Hill, who was left frustrated at another first-half capitulation.
For the second time in a week, Dale found themselves two goals down in an away match after an early double from Harry Beautyman and Christian Burgess.
A long-range piledriver from Joe Rafferty gave Hill’s men hope, but backto-back defeats left the manager rueing his side’s lacklustre defending.
“We were charitable here. It’s unfortunate because we are making key individual mistakes,” said Hill.
“It’s such a shame really as we are pushing to make an impact in League One.
“We’ve made four or five mistakes which led to their two goals.
“The play can’t be enforced when we make such elementary mistakes. That’s five goals we’ve conceded in our last two matches.
“I know there’s a great spirit in the squad but you need to be responsible and disciplined.
“I said all along we would fight to retain our League One status. The current league table is false.
“We are scoring goals that should see us in the top four.”
Midfielder Beautyman opened the scoring on four minutes as he headed in Michael Smith’s right-wing cross.
A couple of minutes later an exact repeat saw goalkeeper Josh Lillis palm Beautyman’s header behind for a corner.
But Lillis made a hash of the set-piece as his attempted punch fell to central defender Burgess who bundled the ball in from close range.
Rochdale’s one moment of quality in the match came from Rafferty. The right-back was allowed plenty of space by Joe Newell to cut inside and smash in from 25 yards for his first league goal.
That was as good as it got for the visitors who saw striker Calvin Andrew limp off with 15 minutes left with no subs remaining.
The result, though, was a relief for Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson before his side’s Tuesday night trip to league-leaders Bristol City. “We could have had three or four goals at the start. The crosses were causing them problems,” said Ferguson.
“It was a hell of a goal by them but with a goal advantage we were comfortable.
“Bristol on Tuesday is a great test.
“There are not any teams who have torn us to shreds this season apart from Bristol City.
“In my mind they will probably get promoted, but we go there with a lot more confidence.”
And Posh announced the signing of 33-year-old free agent David Norris, two hours before kick-off.
STAR MAN HARRY BEAUTY