Dickov’s given up on the play-offs

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Ricky Charlesworth

PAUL Dickov ad­mits Don­caster’s play-off hopes are all but over af­ter their stale­mate with Rochdale.

The re­sult did lit­tle to aid ei­ther side's hopes of qual­i­fy­ing for the top six with a dearth of goalscor­ing chances in a game that had an end-of-sea­son feel to it.

Kyle Bennett opened the scor­ing for Rovers in the first half be­fore Ian Hen­der­son lev­elled up just be­fore the hour to seal a point for the vis­i­tors.

The re­sult leaves Rovers ten points adrift of Ch­ester­field and Dickov ad­mits he is al­ready look­ing to­wards next sea­son.

“When we broke we didn't use our width and we paid for it,” said Dickov.

“It's go­ing to be dif­fi­cult for us to get into the play-offs, es­pe­cially more so af­ter to­day's game.

“The only sav­ing grace is that we man­aged to get a point out of it.

“Usu­ally, when we don't play well we don't pick up any­thing.

“In the sec­ond half I didn't think we played par­tic­u­larly well.

“But, we have to give Rochdale credit be­cause they're a good team and they cause lots of prob­lems.

“With­out be­ing too harsh, we know where we need to strengthen next year. We're iden­ti­fy­ing peo­ple and look­ing at the ones we want to keep and we've still got five games to go.”

Reece Wabara cre­ated Don­caster's 17th-minute opener when he flashed a ball across the area which evaded ev­ery­one apart from Bennett, who picked out the bot­tom-right cor­ner to give Rovers a lead which they took into the break.

If ei­ther side looked like open­ing the scor­ing in the sec­ond half it was the hosts but they were caught with a suck­erpunch just be­fore the hour when Hen­der­son prod­ded home.

The vis­i­tors came clos­est to grab­bing victory but Peter Vin­centi spurned a hat-trick of late chances as spoils were shared.

Dale boss Keith Hill was un­happy with the de­ci­sion by ref­eree Gavin Ward not to award an early penalty to his side.

Joe Raf­ferty went down in­side the first minute but Ward waved away his ap­peal, to the dis­may of Hill.

“It was a stonewall penalty on Joe Raf­ferty, ”he said.

“Ref­er­ees don't help them­selves when they crouch down and try and sug­gest to the fans and play­ers that they can't see any­thing.

“That means that they're in a bad po­si­tion. We’ve seen it again but it’s part of foot­ball and we re­sponded well.

“We played well and prob­a­bly de­served a bit more. We ral­lied well in the sec­ond half, dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion and en­forced our style on the op­po­si­tion.”

STAR MAN KYLE BENNE TT Donca ster

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