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League Two

Coleman blames players, not ref

23 September 2012

John Coleman criticised his players for a poor response to Kevin McIntyre's sending-off as Rochdale let a two-goal lead slip to draw 2-2 against Dagenham & Redbridge.

The home side were cruising to a third successive victory thanks to first-half goals from Dele Adebola and Bobby Grant. But McIntyre's 60th-minute dismissal for a challenge on Josh Scott in the penalty area changed the course of the game.

"The referee didn't head the ball in for the second goal or pass the ball through the middle of our defence for the first goal. So I'm not going to moan and gripe about anyone, we'll concentrate on what we can affect, and that's our players," Coleman said.

"I wasn't happy with our first-half performance, I thought we played in fits and starts as we did in the recent home game against Barnet, and the match was heading in a similar direction to that game."

Following McIntyre's sending off, Daggers skipper Mickey Spillane scored from the resulting spot-kick and, just minutes later, Sam Williams headed an equaliser.

Coleman added: "Once we went down to 10 men we were all over the place and Dagenham deserved to get back in the game."

Dagenham boss John Still felt Rochdale had been hard done by with the red card but was delighted with the second-half effort of his side to claim a share of the spoils.

Still said: "We said at half-time that if we score first then we'll score again. We don't lack endeavour but we do lack a bit of direction. We've got to build a new heart as we've lost the heart of our side gradually over the last 18 months.

"I thought they scored one terrific goal but we were slack on the other one. But at half-time I said we'd make chances and that's not easy here because they're a good side."

He added: "It wasn't really a sending-off for the penalty as he was going wide. I know it sounds silly but I don't want players sent off. I think a sending-off is for a really nasty tackle or a punch. The penalty is enough for me for an honest tackle."


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