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Cruel - Keith Hill

2 December 2018


Cruel - Keith Hill

2 December 2018

Rochdale were dealt the cruelest of blows on Sunday, exiting the Emirates FA Cup as the result of a late heavily deflected goal against fellow League One side Portsmouth.

Dale also had a penalty appeal turned down deep in stoppage time, as they searched for at least a deserved equaliser.

“It was cruel,” said Hill in his post-match interview.  

“We definitely had a penalty decision that has gone against us in the dying embers of that game. It was a penalty – we’ve had a look back.

“I though 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 in 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.”

There were also concerns over the positioning of the free-kick that led to the Portsmouth goal, with Pompey moving the ball infield by three or four yards from where it originally been awarded.

“I won’t complain about the award of the free-kick, but the referee has made a bad decision [in terms of the positioning]. Prior to booking Ryan Delaney, he should be marking out where the free-kick was given and where the ball should be. He goes chasing after Ryan without using the foam to mark it out, so straight away he has made a terrible decision. The fourth official doesn’t help him at all and they get it wrong.”

Watch the full interview on iFollow.

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