Hill left to rue his wasteful strikers
KEITH Hill felt his goalshy forwards didn’t make the most of the chances that fell their way in a frenetic but quality-shy local derby.
A third straight scoreless draw for Rochdale featured three genuine scoring chances for the home side, the best of which Lewis Alessandra wastefully struck over the bar in the first half from Andy Cannon’s pull-back.
Ian Henderson saw his header from a Jamie Allen corner pushed onto a post by Oldham goalkeeper David Cornell, who also smothered well substitute Nathaniel Mendez-Laing’s angled drive in the second half.
At the other end, the best chance for Oldham – for whom this was a tenth draw in 15 games – fell to defender Brian Wilson, who was unmarked when directing a header from a freekick well off target from the middle of the penalty area.
“There wasn’t an awful lot in the game,” said Hill. “I thought we had one outstanding chance in the first half for Lewis Alessandra. But when strikers make mistakes you don’t lose points, when defenders make mistakes you lose points.
“At the minute our strikers are making mistakes in front of goal and that can change the outcome and momentum of the game.
“I can’t remember Josh Lillis making a save, but I can remember their keeper saving one from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and doing well to push one from Ian Henderson onto the post.”
Hill was also left unimpressed by referee Andy Madley, who produced eight yellow cards – five of which were for Dale players – in a contest that barely featured a truly bad tackle.
“The game was destroyed by an overactive whistle,” Hill added.
Rochdale drop to 11th in the table, while Oldham are down to 17th after preserving their unbeaten record away from Boundary Park.
While manager David Dunn was happy to collect only a third clean sheet of the season, he felt his team could have done more going forward.
“In derbies, it isn’t all about pretty football. It is about winning first and second balls and competing and trying to get the better of your opponent,” said Dunn.
“It was disappointing not to score, but overall I don’t think we should underestimate coming here and getting a point.
“We were perhaps a little bit disappointed with how we played when we did have possession of the with the ball, but Rochdale make it hard.
“Keith Hill’s teams always press high up the pitch and make it difficult for you. At times, with a bit of luck and more clinical finishing we might have nicked one.Today wasn’t the day.”
STAR MAN LIAM KELLY Oldham