Football - Evans blasts ref after defeat

Rotherham manager Steve Evans took a swipe at Port Vale striker Tom Pope and referee Rob Lewis after his 10-man team slipped to a 2-0 defeat.

After goals in either half from Louis Dodds and Gavin Tomlin had secured Vale victory, Evans accused Pope of feigning injury to get Claude Davis sent off early in the second-half and Lewis of getting the big decisions wrong.

The Rotherham boss wants to know why Vale defender Richard Duffy was not shown a red card after conceding a first-half penalty for a foul on James Tavernier.

And Evans slammed former Rotherham player Pope, who rolled over near the touchline after he was allegedly kicked by Davis.

Evans said: "I've just looked at the sending off on the DVD and Claude kicked the ball from underneath Pope and has not touched the player.

"The way Pope rolled around as though he had been smashed was disgraceful. To get a fellow professional sent off like that is very poor.

"I'm glad he's not at our club. I don't want players like that.

"We will appeal that decision and if we don't win that one we might all as well all give up this mad game.

"And how the Vale lad (Duffy) wasn't sent off was an even bigger mystery. If that wasn't a clear goalscoring opportunity I don't know what is.

"Vale's second goal was also two yards offside and they are big decisions which have gone against us and affected the game.

"The referee will probably get a Championship game now for a reward.

"We did start the game sloppily and conceded a poor goal, but we had come through that and were playing our way back into it until things conspired against us."

Vale were straight into top gear with Pope going close before Dodds fired the home side into an eighth minute lead.

Pope nodded the ball into his path and Dodds took a touch before blasting a left-footed shot past an unsighted Adam Collin from 16 yards.

Rotherham should have levelled in the 18th minute when Sam Johnson saved Kieran Agard's penalty after Tavernier had been tripped by Duffy.

Michael O'Connor also struck Johnson's right-hand post with a 25-yard free-kick right at the end of a full-blooded and entertaining first-half.

But the contest swung Vale's way eight minutes after the interval when Davis was sent for an early bath.

Pope then climbed to his feet to lay on the killer goal as Tomlin fired a low right-footed shot past the on-rushing Collin from 12 yards in the 68th minute.

Vale boss Micky Adams said: "It was a fantastic performance and I couldn't have wished for anything better.

"I thought the energy levels of our players were different class. Rotherham have got good players, but we stopped them from playing.

"We had a game-plan to deprive them of space in the middle of the park and for Louis Dodds and Gavin Tomlin to join up with Tom Pope in the attack as often as possible.

"That worked really well and Doddsy has scored a terrific goal.

"I was really pleased at half-time. The secret in the second half was for us to continue that work rate and keep our discipline. We managed to keep our discipline and Rotherham lost their's.

"I know Steve (Evans) will say our second goal was offside, but that means we would have still won the game 1-0 anyway.

"We've got a tough game at Preston next, but if we play like this we can go anywhere and give anyone a game."