Henderson last-gasp penalty is enough
IAN HENDERSON’S last-gasp penalty earned Rochdale a narrow victory at tenman Millwall.
Henderson stroked home in second-half stoppage time to lift Dale out of the relegation zone.
Visiting midfielder Callum Camps gave the visitors a dream start nine minutes in when he cooly scored on the half-volley.
But just two minutes later the Lions equalised as Aiden O’Brien scrambled home after neat work by Lee Gregory.
And Gregory got himself on the scoresheet soon after; slotting a penalty down the middle after O’Brien was felled in the box.
The hosts were relentless and Ben Thompson almost added to their tally, but his strike was blocked bravely by Harrison McGahey.
Getting in with only a one-goal difference was crucial for Dale boss Keith Hill, who admitted he needed a reaction from his side.
“I told them what I thought at half time,” he said. “(Steve) Morison and Gregory were bullying us and getting in the channels. I had to make a change with McGahey going off.”
After the break, both Steve Morison and substitute David Worrall were denied by Josh Lillis, while at the other end, Jordan Archer had to be alert to deny Dale substitute Steven Davies twice in quick succession.
On 65 minutes the equaliser did come, as Calvin Andrew powerfully headed home from close range.
The hosts were reduced to ten-men seven minutes later as Thompson picked up a second booking for a combative challenge.
And Lions boss Neil Harris believed it was a harsh decision.
“I have no complaints with Ben’s first yellow but the second one is a disgrace and not a yellow.
“The referee thinks Ben’s made an honest challenge but he’s prevented a counter attack.”
Henderson grabbed the winner for the visitors to spoil Harris’s mood further, as Rochdale returned north with the points.
Manager Hill added: “I thought we edged it.
“We’re three league games without defeat and for us to concede two and win a game at Millwall, you need to give a lot of credit to the players.”
For Harris, it was a case of frustration at not killing off Rochdale when his side were on top.
“I don’t think the red card changed the game, but it certainly had an affect on it. We had chances to win the game but we need a clean-sheet mentality.”
STAR MAN LEE GREGORY Millwall