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Cookie Laments Penalty Decision

2 February 2013

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Chesterfield manager Paul Cook revealed his disappointment that his side once again failed to turn their dominance into goals, after the Spireites were held to a 1-1 draw with 10-man Rochdale at Spotland.

Jay O'Shea gave the visitors the lead 10 minutes into the second-half after Danny Whitaker had found the former MK Dons midfielder in space on the left, but former Accrington winger Bobby Grant returned to haunt his former manager in the 66th minute with a wonderful curing effort.

Grant then received his marching orders in the dying minutes for an over-zealous lunge on Sam Togwell, but the Spireites couldn't use their numerical advantage to steal all three points.

The result means Chesterfield have now slipped six points behind seventh placed Exeter City, but did at least put an end to a dismal run of defeats on the road.

"It's disappointing," he told the club's media staff at full time.

"Rochdale's best attempts, including five minutes into stoppage time, came from our set plays. We have an achilles heel in trying to win games, we speak about it all week.

"Their goal - it's a great finish by Bobby Grant by the way with his left foot - comes from our free-kick and we give the ball away and it ends up in our net.

"No matter what you work on with the lads and talk about, for some reason they get caught up in the heat of the game. 

"It's hard, but you must be cold and calculated in what you do. If you draw today 1-1, there's no problem because today we have played well, we had some good performances and we scored a fantastic goal."

Irishman O'Shea clattered the frame of the goal in the opening exchanges, while former Port Vale hitman Marc Richards' frustrations were boiling over when his delicate back-heel was ruled out for an offside in the build up.

But Rico's misery was truly compounded deep into stoppage time when he looked to have been scythed down in the box when he looked destined to score, leaving the Liverpudlian apoplectic in the technical area.

"To be fair to Rochdale, they were always in it," Cookie added.

"It wasn't a case of us always being on top and going on to win the game, but I did feel that we shaded enough possibly to win and without being disrespectful to the referee, I haven't seen it again, but it's a penalty.

"It's not a hard decision, it's a penalty in stoppage time and I don't get involved in blaming referees, but it's not a hard decision."

"There's no complains from us for the offside.

"I'm not criticising them, but you expect referees to give decisions in games and i'd like to see it again. My first reaction was it's a stonewall penalty."

The Spireites welcome struggling AFC Wimbledon to the Proact Stadium next week, hoping to exact revenge for the 1-0 opening day defeat ahead of the local derby with Rotherham.

"I'm disappointed we haven't won, but pleased we haven't got beat," said Cookie, who ended his press conference with an ironic message to the club's supporters.

"I look forward right away to AFC Wimbledon at home, because there's no such thing as a must win game."

You can watch Cookie's interview in full exclusively on Spireites Player

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