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Jim Bentley bemoans ‘borderline’ offside decision as Rochdale lose to Carlisle

Jim Bentley’s side were beaten (Tim Goode/PA)
Jim Bentley’s side were beaten (Tim Goode/PA)

Jim Bentley bemoaned relegation-threatened Rochdale’s poor luck following a 1-0 home defeat against Carlisle in League Two.

John-Kymani Gordon scored the only goal of a scrappy contest in the eighth minute, latching on to Kristian Dennis’ ball over the top and slotting neatly past goalkeeper Jake Eastwood.

The home side thought they had equalised when Dale’s record goalscorer Ian Henderson found the net in the 88th minute.

The celebrating players had reached the halfway line before realising referee Ross Joyce had raced over to get assistant referee Mark Jones’ take on the incident – and between them, they decided Henderson was offside.

The sense of deflation around Spotland ran deeper than disappointment at the disallowed goal and spoke volumes for the club’s precarious position and the perceived run of poor luck they are enduring in the bid to climb out of the relegation zone.

“It was very tight, borderline,” said Bentley of the equaliser that never was.

“I think sometimes with the clever movement Hendo brings to the game, he gets called offside – we’ve had a couple of his ruled out recently and when you watch it back they have been onside.

“If the linesman gets it right then he has great vision. But the big thing for me was Carlisle hands went to their heads, they were on their knees, we’d equalised. Why do we have referees running over to the linesman to double check?

“We have made a couple of critical errors in the last couple of games that have cost us, but today we had no real luck.

“It was scrappy, it was bound to be with the position we’re in.

“I didn’t think there was much in the game, the goal was a punt over the top and we haven’t defended that situation.

“But when you need that little bit of luck, in the position we’re in, and you don’t get a penalty for a foul on Devante Rodney – and I’ve looked back on it and it was a penalty.

“I think we deserved something from the game so we’re disappointed and it leaves us in a difficult position.”

Carlisle boss Paul Simpson, who cut his managerial teeth with Rochdale two decades ago, is focused on the opposite end of the table, with his side a point off the automatic promotion places.

He said: “I’m really enjoying it, and even if my face is not showing that at the minute that’s because there are 19 games to go and I’m determined to keep them going and keep the standards right.

“We didn’t look troubled in the first half and we’d said whoever can eliminate mistakes would win the game.

“There were a couple of times where we created things but didn’t quite find the right pass at the end of it, but it was just about seeing it through and thankfully we did.

“We’ve got a monkey off our backs in terms of getting three straight wins – now we have to go and make it four, we have to get a run together.

“I was really jealous the other week when I heard about Manchester United winning 10 (nine) on the trot. I know that’s pie in the sky, dreamy stuff, but let’s go and try to get four on the trot.”