Date: 26th August 2007 at 10:39pm
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The referee robbed County of what could prove to be two valuable points yesterday afternoon at Edgeley Park with some shocking decisions. County would have moved to the top of the league should they have won yesterday at Edgeley Park.

County twice took the lead at Edgeley Park, but both times errors from somebody on the pitch brought Rotherham United level again.

Rotherham brought a fair following from Yorkshire on a sunny afternoon in Stockport, and I reckon that most of the following would have been happy with the result they got.

County dropped Adam Griffin and brought Liam Dickinson into the team, sort of going 4-3-3 and looking to attack from the start. One of the captains decided to change ends, and County would be, unusually, shooting towards the Cheadle End in the first half.

Shooting towards the home end seemed to spur the County players on though, and chances came straight away from the start.

First of all David Poole found himself on the inside right, one on one with the keeper. He hit the keeper with his shot, but then put the ball back across goal, though it went behind McNeil. McNeil attempted an overhead kick, hit the ball into the ground and it bounced over the open goal.

Gary Dicker then played a great ball and put Dickinson one-on-one with Warrington, however Dickinson hit Warrington with his shot.

Dickinson was on fire, he was running past everybody and holding everybody off the ball, it was, however, another man who gave County the lead.

Jason Taylor took a throw in, the ball rebounded off the defence several times and on the third attempt he managed to find David Poole. Poole turned the Rotherham full back and put in a great cross for Elding, the Rotherham defence tried to play offside but Elding was onside and powered his header past Warrington to make it 1-0 to County. It was Elding`s first goal of the season, and he ran off to the side kissing the County badge in front of the Cheadle End. Clearly delighted by his first goal.

Rotherham were awful for the next ten minutes. Every pass went astray, every keepers kick went for a throw in. Everything was going for County, but then something clicked and Rotherham had found the right gear. A flowing move was the only product they got out of it in the first half though, as Derek Holmes headed over the bar in front of the travelling Rotherham fans. Rotherham had found a good shape and they were frustrating as they moved the ball about the park well, they had taken a while to start up but they were now moving freely.

Liam Dickinson suffered a hefty blow with the Rotherham right back and was clearly hampered by his wrist for the remainder of the half. Jim Gannon was prepared to bring Adam Proudlock on after half an hour, but Dickinson signalled that he was OK and County stuck with him till half time. Jim Gannon also took David Poole off who was hobbling around towards the end of the first half. Proudlock and Griffin replaced Dickinson and Poole.

Derek Holmes brought a good save out of Conrad Logan as Rotherham continued to impose themselves in front of the Cheadle End.

Then, controversy struck.

Rotherham had the ball in the net from a corner, but one of the Rotherham players had clearly shoved Logan over. The referee didn`t have a clue what to do, he just stood there and didn`t point anyway, the linesman then waved his flag to the delight of Logan and the County fans who applauded the linesman for having the balls to make the correct decision.

The referee then awarded a regulation free kick to Rotherham on the left hand side. He signalled that the whistle would be blown to begin play again. He walked towards the box and the Rotherham player took the free kick, when the ball was in the air the referee blew his whistle. Everybody stopped apart from Ian Sharp who headed into the bottom corner. Even the Rotherham players were confused but the referee pointed to the centre spot and appeared to laugh at the County players with their protests.

Jim Gannon then raised the point with the fourth official, he was going mental. The referee was called over and sent Jim Gannon to the stands as if to make it look like he thought he had made the right decision. He clearly hadn`t, Jim Gannon walked through the stand to a standing ovation from the Main Stand, he walked up and took his place in the directors box.

The atmosphere then raised as the County fans weren`t happy by this decision. Jason Taylor and Anthony Elding were trying to get the team fired up before the kick-off was taken. They could do this for their manager.

And County retook the lead completely against the run of play. An Adam Proudlock corner was met at the back post by Adam Griffin who headed home and made it 2-1 to County. Griffin was delighted and Proudlock ran all the way across the front of the Rotherham fans to celebrate.

But then again Rotherham were handed away back into the game. A 50-50 tackle was given Rotherham`s way, and the free kick in caused confusion among McNeil and Logan. McNeil powered a header into the County goal for some reason and it was 2-2.

County had one last chance in the game, Proudlock put a perfect ball into the box from the halfway line for Elding, Elding chipped the keeper and it hit the post.

The end of the game was greeted with boos, but only for the awful referee. Several of the County players looked puzzled but I`m sure Jim Gannon would soon sum up what the problem was as he was sat amongst the fans for much of the second half.

Jim Gannon didn`t go near the referee at the end of the game but shook everybody else`s hand, what a way to make a point. Here`s hoping he doesn`t get a touchline ban, if he did I`d hate to see the reaction.

 

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