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Posh 0 Dale 1
Sunday, 15th Apr 2018 09:43 by Col

This team is trying to kill us. I'm convinced of it.

The referee show started in the first couple of minutes. They had a great shout for a penalty when Matt Done handled the ball - looked absolutely nailed on for me, and the ref must have given it strong consideration. It possibly played on his mind throughout as he had an absolute stinker from then on, with Evans and Raynor on the touchline reacting to everything. Evans did as Evans does.

Tactically, I wasn't sure quite what we were doing. We reckoned Rathbone started as left wing back with Done further forward, but Rathbone kept drifting into midfield. It gave Peterborough to run at us but they didn't really look threatening other than the odd little moment. We looked half decent going forward, and we were probably good value for the lead. Great finish from there by Hendo. Could have been two when Rathbone (I think) had an overhead kick which got blocked/saved.

The ref show carried on. One of the Posh defenders absolutely went through Kitching and it was the most yellow card you've ever seen. The ref played advantage as the ball spilled to Henderson but there was no advantage and I can't for the life of me understand why he didn't pull it back. Eventually he told the defender to calm down.

Kitching was then brought down in the box. Looked a bit engineered by Kitching and he was moving away from goal, but it looked a penalty. There was no immediate reaction from Posh to suggest he'd dived, and Kitching was incandescent that it wasn't given, but his reaction was worth a yellow.

Camps picked up a booking. I was a bit of a lone voice where I was stood, as I thought it was a yellow as he blocked off his opponent but there was a tussle between the two where their lad's arm was around his neck. Moments later, he panicked out of a challenge given he'd got the yellow, and Hilly brought him over for a chat.

Half time, relatively pleased with how things were going.

2nd half and down to ten. No idea what Hendo was thinking, he was chasing his opponent down the wing, but the gap between the two was consistent throughout the run, and the challenge was never there to be won. I'd assume just given the state of the season that we will appeal. in Hendo's defence, he wasn't off the floor, and you'd struggle to call it dangerous, but I'd call the appeal 50-50 at best.

The drop to ten men changed everything. Posh became brilliant and picked us off at will. They could have scored three or four times in the ten minutes following the sending off. They found space everywhere and we looked like we might have been in for a hammering. If anything, Posh looked to be a little bit too pure for the way they played, and they looked like they wanted to score the perfect goal to get back into the game.

The two yellow cards from the first half played a big impact. There was a real worry about dropping down to maybe 9 men. Kitching was fouled and it had Evans and Raynor howling gesticulating a dive, and I don't think Hilly had any choice but to take both off. It left us pretty much without any midfield at all, and we were massively under the cosh.

I don't think anyone thought sticking Joey T on was the right thing to do. But it made a difference. It allow Calvin to drop ten yards deeper and provided him with someone to work off his headers. Thompson was superb at getting past their back line, and when clean through he was clearly impeded but by staying on his feet, he was denied a penalty. Without doubt, it made the shot more difficult for him.

it just seemed relentless in that last half hour. it was wave after wave of attack, and there was even a stage that I'd have took the equaliser just to get it over and done with. A Posh goal looked inevitable, and after last Saturday, I don't think I could have coped with a late one again after last Saturday.

it was definitely a case of hanging on, but like I said before, it was as if Posh all wanted to score some curled beauty from outside the box. Much of that must come down to our defence by restricting them and giving them no other option.

it's not often a final whistle is celebrated more than a goal, but it brought to an end the most nerve wracking, finger nail biting, heart racing half an hour than I've known in years. It's taking years off my life expectancy. No matter what they might say, Bury have had it easy with their full on drive towards the bottom. We are getting put the wringer game after game after game at the moment, and there are real similarities with the 86-87 season when we were absolutely dead and buried yet pulled it back.

Lillis was outstanding. On the way home, I was trying to think of a similar goalkeeping display by a Dale player, and I'm struggling. The obvious reference point is Welch at Palace but I reckon Lillis might just have pipped that yesterday. He was on a different level and he must have made five or six saves that he had no right to.

But for that, what a performance by Calvin Andrew. He was a man mountain, and an absolute leader. He put his body on the line, time and time again, and if he can even walk today, I'd be surprised. He gave everything for the team, over and over, even when he knew he was being sent down blind alleys. He was a warrior, and he wasn't leaving that pitch without all three points.

Photo: Action Images

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