Dickov fumes at Donny’s dis­play

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By James Owens

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.”


U PortVale

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