Dickov fumes at Donny’s display
DONCASTER Rovers boss Paul Dickov apologised to the club’s travelling support after a day to forget in the Potteries, where they were convincingly beaten by Port Vale.
Sam Foley could have put the hosts ahead from the penalty spot after ten minutes, when Gary MacKenzie was adjudged to have felled Enoch Andoh. But despite earning the Valiants a point with a stoppage-time penalty at Swindon in mid-week, Foley was unable to capitalise, his effort saved by Thorsten Stuckmann.
Vale continued to dominate, with Watford loanee Uche Ikpeazu’s strength and hold-up play proving too much for the visiting defence, but Stuckmann made himself a formidable obstacle in the Rovers goal.
The German stopper denied Louis Dodds with two outstanding saves in the space of a minute midway through the half, first diving right to push a fiercely struck drive away, then acrobatically clawing away a header.
But Rob Page’s side persisted, and were rewarded when Foley arrived in the box to atone for his earlier miss by glancing Carl Dickinson’s cross into the top corner.
The visitors’ task was made doubly hard within two minutes of the restart, when Ikpeazu cut inside his man and bent a leftfooted effort into the bottom corner. And Byron Moore piled on the misery for Dickov’s men with a nonchalant backheeled finish two minutes from time.
“We defended and played as individuals,” Dickov said. “I felt sorry for the fans. They were magnificent, so I’d like to apologise to them.
“And I felt sorry for big Thorsten, because he made some unbelievable saves.We were better in the second half, but to concede so early was criminal, really.
“We got into them at half-time and told them what we wanted in the second half, but when you go and concede a goal like that a couple of minutes in, it gives you no chance.”
But Vale boss Page could not have been happier after his side’s dominant display.
“I’m really proud of the players for the level of performance they’ve put in,” Page said.
“I don’t think there could have been any complaints if we had been three or four goals to the better at half-time.
“But we dominated that much that we knew it was only a matter of time before the goals came.”
But Page refused to be drawn on whether Ikpeazu had a point to prove to Dickov after an unsuccessful loan spell at the Keepmoat Stadium, adding: “That’s for him to talk about. But I know what he’s capable of doing. He’s a big, strong lad. They couldn’t cope with the physical side.”
STAR MAN UCHE IKPEAZ