Rochdale’s Hill happier with League Two defeat than FA Cup cheer

Rochdale AFC manager Keith Hill has expressed disappointment in his side despite a 2-1 win over Northampton Town last night which secured their place in the second round of the FA Cup.

Late goals from Reuben Noble-Lazarus and Olly Lancashire helped Dale come from a goal down to snatch victory in their first-round replay at Spotland Stadium.

Hill wasted little time in letting the players know his discontent with a below-par showing, and criticised the team for a lack of effort and endeavour.

Speaking to Rochdale’s official club website, Hill said: “I was embarrassed by our performance. I was happier on Saturday night after getting beaten at Port Vale than I am now.

“The supporters are not stupid and they’ll forgive us for not being as good as the opposition, but they won’t forgive us for not working as hard as the opposition.

“I thought we were very lucky at half-time only to be one down. I felt a little bit sorry for the opposition because I think they deserved to win.”

A fine strike from Noble-Lazarus levelled the tie with five minutes remaining, cancelling out Ivan Toney’s early header.

Returning centre back Lancashire then headed home Michael Rose’s cross to break Northampton hearts with a last-minute winner.

Hill was keen to stress the importance of the club to fans, and maintained that the players owed a certain standard of performance to their supporters.

“There are certain values and morals that we have to provide for the supporters,” he said.

“We’re an honest bunch and we have our flaws, but we get up and we fight. If we get knocked down we fight again and I believe that represents our public, but we didn’t see any of that and that’s my embarrassment of the first half.

“I’m happy going through to the next round for the supporters, for the Chairman and for the Board of Directors. It’s increasing our revenue stream but that’s the only thing I’m really happy about.”

The win means Rochdale progress to the next round and a meeting with either Aldershot Town or Portsmouth, who play their own replay this evening.

Next up for Hill’s team is a visit from Doncaster Rovers on Saturday, with an improved performance expected against Paul Dickov’s men who are currently sat 17th in League One.

Main image courtesy of Official Rochdale AFC via YouTube, with thanks.

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