Hill: I’ve put Dale through the mill
ROCHDALE’S run without a win extended to ten games as MK Dons twice came from behind to salvage a point at stadiummk – and Rochdale boss Keith Hill said he “felt sorry” for his players.
Hill’s side twice took the lead through Steven Davies and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing’s strike five minutes from time, which looked set to end Dale’s winless run that stretches back to the turn of the year.
But Ben Reeves’ leveller in the 91st minute rescued the Dons a share of the spoils as they prepare to head to AFC Wimbledon’s Kingsmeadow for the first time in League One on Tuesday night.
“This is probably one of the hardest places to come in the Football League, never mind League One,” said Hill. “I’ve been here many a time and it’s always been difficult.
“I think this is the quickest we’ve reached 50 points with 12 games to go.
“But at this moment in time I actually feel sorry for my players because what I’m asking them to put themselves through is quite ridiculous.
“There are a number of our players who weren’t 100 per cent match fit yet, and I thought we played well and deserved to be 1-0 up.
“We absorbed a lot of their pressure without looking under too much pressure.”
Hill’s side had taken a 16th-minute lead as Calvin Andrew’s cross caused havoc in the Dons’ defence and allowed Davies a header that smacked back off the post, before the 29year-old was first to the rebound to head home.
The hosts clawed themselves back into the game as Kieran Agard was first to Harvey Barnes’ cross to bundle the ball home for his 13th goal of the season. And Dale thought they had ended their winless run thanks to Mendez Laing’s goal, but Reeves’ left-footed strike flew past Dale keeper Ben Wilson to salvage a point.
“I think we were lucky to come away with a point,” admitted Dons manager Robbie Neilson.
“Rochdale are a really physical and aggressive team, but it wasn’t good enough for us – you have games like this during the course of the season and it’s something we are going to need to work on.
“I didn’t think we were aggressive enough in our passing, we had a bit of possession but we just weren’t aggressive enough with it.
“We have to make sure that we rectify that for Tuesday because that’s going to be a real test for everyone.”
STAR MAN JOE WALSH MK Dons