‘We let them score to protect the good name of Doncaster Rovers’ - Dickov

Paul Dickov in conversation with referee Eddie Ilderton.
Paul Dickov in conversation with referee Eddie Ilderton.
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Paul Dickov said he allowed Bury’s ‘walk-in’ equaliser to protect the good name of Doncaster Rovers.

Harry Forrester sparked controversial scenes at the end of Saturday’s League One opener by inadvertently scoring after attempting to give the ball back to the Shakers following an injury to one of their players.

Dickov signalled straight away to his team to allow the visitors to equalise.

But only after a lengthy melee between players, management and the officials did Leon Clarke - who had time and time been denied by the excellent Thorsten Stuckmann - walk in an equaliser.

Dickov said afterwards: “Harry caught it a little bit too sweet and it was one of those moments when I’m thinking ‘no, don’t go in, don’t go in’. After it has done I felt the assistant referee could have flagged for a foul throw and it would have nullified the whole thing. There’d have been no commotion and it would not have put both managers in an awkward position.

“The officials could have sorted it out a bit better.

“But the one thing we didn’t want to do was to do something unsporting.

“People might be surprised to hear me say that, if they watched me play!

“But I just felt the right thing to do in the fantastic name of Doncaster Rovers, and Bury, and both sets of players, was to let them score.

He added, with a wry smile: “There was a split second when I thought ‘should I take the three points?’

“But from a wider perspective Mr Neville [Bury’s former commercial director] lost his life yesterday. We recently lost a Doncaster Rovers fan.

“The biggest thing for me is that this football club’s got a fantastic name within football. I think it was important we kept it.”

Clarke had plenty of opportunities to find the net prior to his walk-in goal but came up against an inspired Stuckmann.

Rovers struggled to get going but should have been awarded a penalty in the closing stages when Nathan Tyson was hauled down in the box by Peter Clarke.

Paul Keegan (knee) and Dany N’Guessan (foot) both missed the game and will be monitored this week ahead of Thursday’s Capital One Cup first round tie at home to Leeds United.

Rovers have been drawn at home to Burton Albion in the first round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.