Hill rages at ‘body beautiful’ ref
ROCHDALE boss Keith Hill blasted ‘body beautiful’ referee Stephen Martin after claiming his decision-making took an ugly turn in the draw at Southend.
The Shrimpers raced into a two goal lead in the first half with David Mooney and Ryan Leonard on target.
But Hill made three changes at the break and that decision proved inspired as Dale went on to secure a share of the spoils.
However, that did not lift Hill’s spirits at the end of the game, as he felt that his side should have had a penalty after Luke Prosser appeared to tug at Ian Henderson in the box.
“The penalty Southend got was a really, really soft decision and we’ve fallen foul of another referee who spends too much time in the gym,” fumed Hill.
“It’s all about body beautiful rather than getting the decisions right.
“We 100 per cent guaranteed should have had a penalty at the end as well. Nobody would have argued with it.
“It was a stonewall penalty and he 100 per cent bottled it.
“But we also shot ourselves in the foot in the first half, we were awful.
“I was really disappointed with that and I’m not best pleased after the match now.”
Southend were on top in the first half and opened the scoring in the 39th minute with Mooney firing home a penalty.
The spot-kick was given after goalkeeper Josh Lillis brought down Leonard in the box and Mooney made no mistake with an assured effort from 12 yards.
Two minutes later, Southend doubled their lead when Leonard collected a pass from Stephen McLaughlin before stroking a low, right-footed shot into the bottom left hand corner of the net.
After the break, Shrimpers striker Joe Pigott wasted a great chance to make it 3-0 when he fired straight at Lillis from 12 yards and Rochdale immediately began to take advantage.
Joe Bunney netted with a deflected volley after Southend had failed to clear a corner in the 63rd minute before he came within inches of the leveller.
But Rochdale remained on top and in the 79th minute Michael Rose curled home a low free-kick from 25 yards.
Another of the half-time substitutes, Calvin Andrew, then raced clean through on goal following an error from Prosser but his effort was well saved by Shrimpers shot-stopper Daniel Bentley.
Dale, who have not won at Roots Hall since 1985, then had strong shouts for a penalty on Henderson waved away.
The visitors had to make do with a fourth successive draw – but the fact they picked up any points at all infuriated Southend manager Phil Brown.
“In the first ten minutes of the second half we had two great chances and the game should’ve been put to bed there and then,” said Brown.
“We’ve chucked two points away, just like we did last week and the way we played in the second half just wasn’t acceptable, it’s as simple as that.
“We started to defend deep and I don’t know why we do it.
“It was naive and insecure and we just didn’t do the basics well enough.”
JUMPING FOR JOY: Southend went ahead in the first half, only to be pegged back by a resilient Rochdale side
OVER THE MOON: David Mooney scored from the spot