John Coleman was left disappointed after Rochdale lost to bitter rivals Bury in the third round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy last night.
Both sides could not be separated during the 90 minutes, as Bury’s Steven Schumacher converted a penalty rebound in the 52nd minute to respond to Ashley Grimes’ first-half effort.
So it was left to penalties to decide the winner and Bury snatched a 5-4 win to dump their old foes out of the clash, much to the disappointment of Coleman.
“I thought we were very, very good in the first-half, but didn’t really come out the blocks in the second-half,” Coleman told the official club website.
“But we were comfortably the better side tonight and the best team has lost.”
Appearing frustrated with the penalty decision, Coleman added: “He [the referee] said it was handball.
“He said it was two yards away and the lad [Phil Edwards] has no right to protect his face and that he should try to get his head out the way.”
From the 80th minute, the Dale played with ten after Craig Curran was dismissed for a challenge on Bury goalkeeper Trevor Carson.
Regarding the sending off, Coleman commented: “[Curran] has been injured, so he wants to try and score and he’s slid in and caught the keeper.
“They [Bury] reacted to it and tried to make sure he did get sent off.
“But if he has gone in with two feet, then he has got to go – that is the rules these days.”
However, Coleman was quick to dismiss the idea that his players are rough.
“We passed them off the park in the first-half, so that shows we are not a dirty team.”
Rochdale will host Morecambe on Saturday and Coleman stressed that the team must put their home form right.