Rochdale re­duced to nine and Hill fumes

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Nick Bull

ROCHDALE manager Keith Hill blasted ref­eree Andy D’Urso and his two as­sis­tants af­ter his side’s play-off chances all but ended with a con­tro­ver­sial de­feat at Gilling­ham.

Bradley Dack’s first-half header earned back-to­back vic­to­ries for the Gills for the first time since Fe­bru­ary, but Hill took is­sue with D’Urso’s de­ci­sion to send off two of his play­ers.

On-loan goal­keeper Jamie Jones was dis­missed on 63 min­utes af­ter be­ing judged to have fouled Cody McDon­ald when the striker was through on goal.

Then, Matty Lund, mak­ing his first start since Boxing Day, re­ceived a straight red for a chal­lenge on Dack seven min­utes later.

“I’m not happy with Andy’s per­for­mance,” Hill fumed.

“There was one time I was con­tem­plat­ing get­ting the right num­ber of play­ers sent off to get this game aban­doned, but that’s not me.”

Lund was at fault for the win­ning goal, as Dack got the bet­ter of him to head home Doug Loft’s cor­ner at the near post on his 100th game for the Gills.

“It’s a fit­ting trib­ute, scor­ing the win­ning goal on his 100th game for the club,” said manager Justin Ed­in­burgh.

How­ever, Rochdale had the bet­ter of the chances af­ter that, yet some­how they failed to equalise.

Reuben NobleLazarus’s shot, fol­low­ing a quick break, was blocked by team-mate Peter Vin- centi, and lead­ing scorer Ian Hen­der­son saw his bril­liant chip come of the in­side of a post.

McDon­ald and John Mar­quis came close to dou­bling Gilling­ham’s ad­van­tage in the 15 min­utes af­ter half-time with headed ef­forts, be­fore Dale were then re­duced to nine men in quick suc­ces­sion.

“Jamie gets the ball,” said Hill of the in­ci­dent that saw on-loan goal­keeper Jones dis­missed. “It’s the lines­man’s de­ci­sion. It’s a dif­fi­cult one as the goal­keeper is the last man, but he gets the ball.”

Of Lund's straight red, the Dale manager added: “We’re go­ing to ap­peal it, there’s no ques­tion about it. It was an hon­est, fair chal­lenge. It wasn’t even a yel­low.”

The victory moved Gilling­ham up to ninth, and moved them closer to reach­ing Ed­in­burgh’s tar­get of 60 points.

“We owe it to our fans, our­selves and the foot­ball club to fin­ish strongly,” Ed­in­burgh said.“It's nice to be in the top half. It’s good to see where we can get to this sea­son.

“I think the two send­ings off dis­rupted the game, and took the tempo out of it.

“We lost our rhythm and we didn’t pun­ish Rochdale enough.

“How­ever, we got a clean­sheet, we took three points. It’s back-to-back wins at Pri­est­field so I’m pleased.”

STAR MAN BRADL

EY DACK Gillingh

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