Referee decisions leave Doncaster Rovers boss 'losing the will to live' in Bolton Wanderers defeat

Richie Wellens was ‘losing the will’ to live as big decisions from the match official proved costly in Doncaster Rovers’ defeat at Bolton Wanderers.

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 11:36 pm
The melee which followed Joseph Olowu's challenge which led to his dismissal at Bolton Wanderers
The melee which followed Joseph Olowu's challenge which led to his dismissal at Bolton Wanderers

Wellens insisted Bolton’s opening goal through Eoin Doyle was offside and that Joseph Olowu should not have been sent off moments later as the game quickly slid away from Rovers.

It had been a positive start at the University of Bolton Stadium with Rovers enjoying the better of the opening half hour - a period they should have capped with a goal when Jon Taylor blazed over after being put clean through.

But Doyle’s goal and Olowu’s dismissal quickly turned the game in the hosts’ favour, with Elias Kachunga netting in first half stoppage time and George Thomason scoring after the break to make Bolton’s win all the more comfortable.

“It’s really difficult for referees and assistants,” Wellens said. “It’s a difficult job. But we’re on the end of things every single week and the referee has a big impact on our scoreline.

“To top it off, a couple of minutes later, he’s sent Joe off for a professional foul. It’s in no way dangerous, he’s scooped around him and tripped him up. It’s a standard yellow card.

“He’s probably been influenced by their bench and the opposition players surrounding him.

“When you get decisions like that you lose the will to live as a football manager.”

Wellens expects to appeal the dismissal of Olowu in the coming days.

The Rovers boss was pleased with his side’s performance over the opening half hour as they enjoyed the better of the attacking play.

“For 36 minutes I’ve seen my team full of energy and passion, playing some really good football at times and the referee has killed the game and taken it away from us,” he said.

“It’s a game where we can take the first 36 minutes and build on that.

“But the last 55 minutes it’s a difficult situation to be in.

“It’s only really two periods of the game that you can assess it.

“For 36 minutes we were by far the better team both in possession and out of possession. We should have been two or three up.

“Jon Taylor has said sorry to the players and it’s obviously a mistake. That is an absolute guaranteed goal.

“There was a couple of other occasions where we should score.

“We were winning the ball back high up the pitch so many times and if the pass is right then we can take the lead.

“For me we should have been three up.”


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