Doncaster Rovers boss Grant McCann angered by refereeing performance of EFL rookie Scott Tallis - but why his side still deserved nothing in League Two loss to Harrogate Town

DONCASTER ROVERS manager Grant McCann was left angered by the performance of newly-promoted referee Scott Tallis – who awarded Harrogate Town a key penalty and rebuffed two home appeals for a spot-kick in the hosts’ surprise 1-0 loss to their Yorkshire rivals.

The only goal of the game arrvied midway through the second half when home defender Joseph Olowu was penalised for a challenge on Sam Folarin, with Jack Muldoon beating Ian Lawlor from the spot.

Before that, McCann felt Rovers should have had an award of their own when Tommy Rowe went down under pressure from onrushing Harrogate keeper Mark Oxley in the 52nd minute – with the ball eventually finding its way to Jon Taylor, who spurned a terrific chance in front of goal with Matty Foulds clearing off the line.

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Late on, the Rovers chief was again left dismayed after substitute Tyler Roberts went down in the box with Tallis, promoted to the EFL referee list ahead of the new season, again being unmoved.

Grant McCann. Picture courtesy of Heather King/DRFCGrant McCann. Picture courtesy of Heather King/DRFC
Grant McCann. Picture courtesy of Heather King/DRFC

Despite those controversial moments, McCann did stress that he felt Rovers did not deserve anything from the game due to their ‘poor’ first-half performance which left him distinctly dissatisfied.

McCann, who said that Kyle Hurst (thigh) missed out through injury, said: "It should not have really get to Tayls. I had a chat with the referee and we would have preferred a penalty and it was a clear and obvious chance for us.

"It was a penalty on Tommy Rowe.

"Their penalty is really disappointing for us as Joe Olowu clearly takes the ball and the ball deviates to the right. We felt it was a good tackle and then we had a similar one at the other end later when Tyler goes past their centre-half.

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"It was a similar sort of incident and if he is going to give that (Harrogate) one, that one should have been.

”But I am a firm believer you get what you deserve and I don’t think we deserved anything from what we showed in the first half.

“I thought we were poor in the first half. We just weren’t quite getting there to anything and they picked up more second balls and were more aggressive than us.

"Credit to Harrogate, I thought they were better than us in the first half. That’s disappointing for me to say.

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"We knew this would take a bit of time, but I didn’t expect a team to be that poor in the first half, I thought we were way off it in every aspect of our game. You don’t win football games if you don’t do the basics right.

“In the second half, we showed more fight, but still nowhere near where we should be and can be."

McCann resisted the temptation to make early changes, but has warned his players that he will not do that again if Rovers produce another insipid first-half showing.

He continued: "I will maybe give the boys the benefit of the doubt today, but that won’t happen again and if I see that again, I will change it earlier.”