Hap­less de­fend­ing is hurt­ing Hill’s men

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Joel Lamy

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.


MAN Peterbo


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