Doncaster Rovers: Ref call aided by Keegan dismissal

Paul Dickov could not hide his disappointment after Rovers match at Charlton was abandoned
Paul Dickov could not hide his disappointment after Rovers match at Charlton was abandoned

Boss Paul Dickov felt Paul Keegan’s dismissal at Charlton ensured an easier decision for referee Lee Collins to abandon the game.

Keegan - who scored the first of Rovers’ three goals at the Valley - was sent off for a second bookable offence after 43 minutes.

And, along with Charlton pulling a goal back after play was resumed following a 30 minute suspension of play, Dickov felt matters played into Collins’ hands to strengthen his decision to abandon the game at half time.

“I thought it made it a lot easier for the referee to cancel the game at half time when they’d scored a goal and we’d had a man sent off than it would have done if we were at 3-0,” Dickov said.

“I think he should have let it go as long as he could until half time and make a decision then. Because of the way he did it the situation was shambolic.

“He said as a spectacle the game is getting ruined. I thought as a spectacle my team were fantastic, passing the ball well one and two touch and causing problems.

“I thought when Charlton came back out they got the ball down and passed it.

“As a spectacle, I don’t think it was a major problem.

“The other reason was player safety. I didn’t see one bad tackle in that game and the players deserve a lot of credit for how they went about things.

“Both sets of players wanted to continue; Chris honestly and openly being the guy he is wanted to carry on. But the referee has made the decision. I’m not stupid enough not to admit that if I was 3-0 down I’d want the game to be off myself but I think he could have let the game go on longer.”

Dickov says Rovers will explore whether or not a regular one match ban will stand for Keegan despite the game being abandoned.

But he failed to hide his annoyance at the suggestion his midfielder will be suspended.

He said: “If it stands and the result and goals don’t then it’s got to be the worst law ever. Talking about contradicting things.”

Dickov was keen to praise his players rather than merely focus on the decision of the referee. He felt the initial period before play was suspended showed further improvement in his side.

“The more they play together, the more they gel and the better they will be,” he said.