Hen­der­son last-gasp penalty is enough

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By War­ren Lucy

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.”


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