Doncaster Rovers: Dickov rues ref decision

Rovers goalscorer James Coppinger surrounded by the Fulham defence. Pic: Steve Uttley.
Rovers goalscorer James Coppinger surrounded by the Fulham defence. Pic: Steve Uttley.

Paul Dickov was left wondering ‘what if’ after seeing his side exit the Capital One Cup after a controversial night at Fulham.

Rovers gave the hosts a real scare with a superb second half performance after falling two goals down in the first period by Bryan Ruiz and Dan Burn.

James Coppinger did pull a goal back for Rovers in the second half before Theo Robinson missed a chance for an equaliser from the penalty spot.

Dickov was delighted with the response from his side after the break and felt Rovers could easily have found themselves in the fourth round draw.

“We feel as though it should’ve been different,” Dickov said. “We gave ourselves a mountain to climb at half time after not really getting started in the first half. But we changed things around in the second half and rather than being disappointed about not taking it to extra time, we’re disappointed we’ve not won the game because I thought we were outstanding. We were a lot more compact without the ball and I thought some of the stuff with the ball was fantastic.”

But it could have been a different story after referee Kevin Friend opted to only book Fulham keeper Marcus Bettinelli for handling outside the area just seven minutes in.
Dickov said: “I’ve been told it was not a goalscoring opportunity.

“Maybe it was a bit wide but Nathan Tyson would have been in control of the ball, running towards and empty net so for me it’s a goalscoring opportunity.

“You don’t want to see players getting sent off but so early on, that’s a massive moment in the game.”

“If their keeper gets sent off, they’re down to ten men and with the run they’ve been on, it could have been so different.

“But yet again, we’re talking about big decisions that haven’t gone our way.”