Cruel fash­ion

Middleton Guardian - - LEISURE -

But still Dale looked the more likely scor­ers in the sec­ond half, Ian Hen­der­son go­ing close with a dip­ping volleyed shot from 20 yards af­ter an­other ef­fec­tive knock down from An­drew.

Dale still had time to al­most carve out an equaliser in the fi­nal of five min­utes added on when Hen­der­son was de­nied by a su­perb save from MacGillivray, be­fore shouts for a penalty on Andy Can­non were waved away, Hill later in­sist­ing ref­eree Seb Stock­bridge got that one wrong and his side ought to have been given a spot kick.

“It was cruel,” said Hill. “We def­i­nitely had a penalty de­ci­sion that has gone against us in the dy­ing em­bers of that game. It was a penalty.

“I thought the ref­er­ee­ing stan­dard was poor, but poor from a spec­ta­cle point of view. But with re­spect to our­selves, I’m happy with the per­for­mance and the level of per­for­mance con­sid­er­ing the op­po­si­tion that we were fac­ing.

“There were one or two teething prob­lems n the first half with re­spect to what I asked for and had planned for, but in the sec­ond half the play­ers, in­di­vid­u­ally, worked them out. We grew into the game and we didn’t de­serve to lose in the sec­ond half.

“We worked it out well in the sec­ond half and we cre­ated op­por­tu­ni­ties. Portsmouth didn’t cre­ate too many op­por­tu­ni­ties in the sec­ond half, so I was rel­a­tively pleased that we were in con­trol to a cer­tain de­gree but when you look at the op­po­nents’ team, you’re never quite com­fort­able and you shouldn’t be. Un­for­tu­nately, we con­ceded a very cruel de­flected goal.

“But we can’t take any­thing away from our per­for­mance and we’ve got to lead into the game on Wed­nes­day and then on Satur­day with that type of at­ti­tude to­wards ap­pli­ca­tion. If we ap­ply our­selves in the man­ner that we have done to­day, then I think we’ve got a very good side.”

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