Ref­eree made key er­rors at cru­cial free-kick


KEITH Hill was bit­terly dis­ap­pointed with ref­eree Seb Stock­bridge and his team of of­fi­cials, par­tic­u­larly in the clos­ing stage of the 1-0 de­feat against Portsmouth.

Stock­bridge turned his back on Portsmouth’s play­ers as he ran to book Ryan De­laney in the free-kick which led to the win­ning goal. In do­ing so he al­lowed the Pom­pey play­ers pre­par­ing the set-piece to shift the ball in­field a few yards.

And to com­pound that mis­take, he later missed a foul on Andy Can­non in the Portsmouth penalty area which should have seen Dale awarded a spot kick.

“The ref­eree has made a bad de­ci­sion,” he said.

“Prior to book­ing Ryan De­laney he should be mark­ing out where the free-kick was ac­tu­ally given and where the ball should be. I think he got it up­side down. He goes chas­ing af­ter Ryan De­laney with­out ac­tu­ally mark­ing it out with the foam, so straight away he has made a terrible de­ci­sion. But if I’m the op­po­nent I am try­ing to do the same, I re­alise the ref­eree has made a mis­take, I re­alise he’s turned his back on where the ball should be placed, the fourth of­fi­cial doesn’t help him at all and they get it wrong. It was a cruel de­flec­tion. I won’t com­plain about the award of the free kick but the ref­eree seemed to have some sort of panic at­tack with re­spect to hav­ing to book Ryan De­laney.

“Him and of­fi­cials have missed the penalty and it’s such a shame be­cause I don’t think we de­served to lose.”

●●Keith Hill

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