Dickov out­raged at of­fi­cials

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Ross Marti­novic

DON­CASTER man­ager Paul Dickov raged at the per­for­mance of ref­eree Chris Sar­gin­son and his as­sis­tants af­ter Jake Hessen­thaler’s con­tro­ver­sial goal handed Gilling­ham vic­tory at Pri­est­field.

Dickov and his play­ers were in­censed at de­ci­sions to call Andy Wil­liams back for off­side when clean through at the end of the first half, to not award Rovers a penalty for a sec­ond-half foul on Cedric Ev­ina and to rule that Hessen­thaler’s win­ner had crossed the line.

And un­der-fire Dickov, whose side have still won just once in the league this sea­son, felt the match of­fi­cials played a key role in Donny’s fail­ure to take a share of the spoils.

“We didn’t start very well in the first 15 or 20 min­utes,” said the Scot. “We caused our­selves lots of prob­lems by not re­tain­ing pos­ses­sion, and then through­out the course of the game af­ter that we’ve had the bet­ter chances.

“Their goal­keeper has been named man of the match for a rea­son and we’ve had a stonewall penalty on Cedric turned down. It’s get­ting to the stage where it’s ridicu­lous.

“The lines­man’s had two, we feel, game-defin­ing de­ci­sions that are both wrong. Andy is two yards on­side. How can he give off­side when he’s one-on-one with the goal­keeper?

“They are game-defin­ing mo­ments – just be­fore half-time you go in one-nil up. Cedric’s penalty, game-defin­ing mo­ment at nil-nil, and then the no-goal that they’ve got to win the game – it’s flab­ber­gast­ing.

“There’s no way the lines­man can be 100 per cent cer­tain be­cause he’s got a player in front of him and the whole ball is clearly not over the line. It was a mas­sive de­ci­sion that they’ve got wrong.

“We’ve got to be very care­ful with what we say be­cause we get in trou­ble for that sort of thing, but it’s just not good enough.”

Gilling­ham en­joyed the ma­jor­ity of pos­ses­sion in an easily for­get­table first half, but the best two open­ings un­doubt­edly fell to Don­caster.

Wil­liams first set Curtis Main free shortly be­fore the in­ter­val, with the lively striker de­nied by Gills stop­per Stu­art Nel­son, be­fore Os­car Gobern fired into the sidenet­ting sec­onds later.

The sec­ond pe­riod brought a mar­ginal im­prove­ment and both Gills’ Cody McDon­ald and Rovers’ Richard Chap­low went close.

In be­tween, Ev­ina ap­peared to have been tripped in the box as he cut in­side home right-back Ryan Jack­son, but Sar­gin­son brought play back for a throw-in.

Just as Don­caster seemed to be gain­ing the as­cen­dancy, Gilling­ham took the lead in con­tentious fash­ion. First, the visi­tors’ ap­peals for off­side against Bradley Dack fell on deaf ears as he raced away on the right and his sub­se­quent cross found Hessen­thaler.

His pow­er­ful half-volley ap­peared to have been blocked su­perbly on the line by Mitchell Lund, but the ref­eree’s as­sis­tant flagged for a goal to leave Don­caster out­raged.

As for Gilling­ham man­ager Justin Ed­in­burgh, he said: “It was a tough game, very phys­i­cal. We’ve had a lot of dis­rup­tion to the team in the last 24 to 48 hours, los­ing three of our back four, so to keep a clean sheet and win the game was a fan­tas­tic achieve­ment.

“I think what we’ve shown here is that we haven’t got a group of play­ers here who are just happy to be a part of the squad.

“Ev­ery­one wants to play and I think that’s shown how good we are as a group.”

TIMELY STRIKE: Jake Hessen­thaler scores the cru­cial goal for Gilling­ham

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