‘Stonewall penalty’ blow for Doncaster Rovers

On target: Doncaster's Jon Taylor celebrates his goal.
On target: Doncaster's Jon Taylor celebrates his goal.
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REFEREE Neil Hair’s refusal to award Doncaster a late penalty was not the only reason Rovers failed to claim victory, admitted manager Darren Moore.

Oliver Rathbone rescued an important point for Rochdale with a late equaliser after Jon Taylor had put promotion hopefuls Doncaster ahead inside the first minute.

Rochdale were much the better side in the opening half, although it took the relegation-battling visitors until the final 10 minutes to strike back.

Doncaster took the lead after just 46 seconds. Kieran Sadlier cut inside and clipped a cross to the back post where Taylor brushed it home with his shoulder.

Moore felt Rovers had a ‘stonewall penalty’ turned down in stoppage time but did not want to use that as an excuse.

Brad Halliday appeared to be dragged down as he ran to meet a cross but Hair waved away strong protests.

Moore said his side could have put the game to bed before Rathbone’s leveller, and said: “I don’t want to cry over spilt milk in terms of waiting on a referee’s decision to win the game.

“I thought we had enough chances before that to win the game. It was a penalty but I don’t want to be reliant on a referee’s decision to win the game.

“Everybody in the ground all felt it was a stonewall penalty because he’s pulled him back on a good run to meet the ball. But he’s not given it and whether you put it down to human error or mistake, it’s all part and parcel of the game.”

Doncaster Rovers: Timothy Dieng, Halliday, Wright, Anderson, Reece James, Whiteman, Taylor (Ennis 64), Ramsey, Gomes (Sheaf 85), Sadlier, Cole (Okenabirhie 64). Unused substitutes: Jones, Blair, Coppinger, John.

Rochdale: Sanchez, Matheson, O’Connell, McShane, Norrington-Davies, Lund (Wilbraham 71), Ryan (Dooley 78), Morley, Rathbone, Henderson, Done (Smith 65). Unused substitutes: McNulty, Williams, Lynch, Keohane.

Referee: N Hair (Cambridgeshire).