Hill left to rue his waste­ful strik­ers

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Matt Cham­bers

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

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