Saturday 10 January 2015 19:41, UK
Phil Parkinson launched a scathing attack on referee Gavin Ward after his 10-man Bradford slid to a 2-1 defeat to Rochdale.Bradford played all but the first 12 minutes of the match with 10 men after on-loan goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was sent off for bringing down Matt Done. But Parkinson said: "It was an atrocious decision. The Rochdale lad has knocked the ball wide and it is probably running out of play and there were a couple of covering defenders. It was never, never a sending off. "We knew at the time it was a harsh decision and having seen it again it looks worse. It kind of summed up the rest of his performance. He was terrible. "If that is the best referee we can get and we have brought him up from Surrey then God help us. That performance was shocking. He is the worse referee we have had this season. "I think we will appeal against the sending-off - the FA have got to look at that decision again." Parkinson also disputed the free-kick that led to Rochdale's winner. Defender Alan Sheehan was penalised some 30 yards from goal and, when the home defence failed to clear substitute Michael Rose's free kick, Calvin Andrew scored with a header, the ball creeping into the net just inside the post. Rochdale went in front after 12 minutes through Peter Vincenti after Pickford had been sent off. The on-loan Sunderland goalkeeper was shown the red card by Ward for bringing down Matt Done after Vincenti had put him through. Andy Halliday made way for replacement goalkeeper Ben Williams and although Ian Henderson's spot kick hit the underside of the crossbar, Vincenti followed up to score before the Bradford defence could clear. Bradford equalised after 32 minutes. Filipe Morais's corner to the far post was headed back into the goalmouth by James Hanson and then flicked on by Alan Sheehan to Jon Stead, who nodded home from close range. Parkinson added: "We played tremendously well. In the first half we were different class and we played really well in the second half. James Hanson has had two great headers to win the game. "Our fitness level was great and it was a crushing blow when you lose a game like that. "Now we must make sure that this defeat doesn't knock us because we played very well, we are fifth in the league, we are having a terrific season and we have got a great chance to get into the fourth round of the FA Cup." Rochdale manager Keith Hill said his players showed character. He said: "On a pitch like that it was going to require physical and mental braveness. "The pitch was horrendous and without being disrespectful that is shooting Bradford in the foot. "I was really pleased with the result and the courage the players showed because we were playing against a really good side. "The way Bradford play it doesn't matter whether whether they have eight men on the pitch or a full complement - the pressure they impose is relentless. "I thought we rode our luck a little, but I am really pleased with the result. "There was no doubt about the penalty and unfortunately the rules say the keeper had to be sent off. "On another day if I was a spectator I would have asked for the keeper to stay on the pitch, but as an opposing manager results are important and he has to go."