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Hill grateful for Lillis heroics

Last Updated: Sat, 08 Mar 2014 12:20

Rochdale boss Keith Hill was the happier of the two managers after his 10-man side ground out a point from a goalless draw at local rivals Bury.

The derby clash lived up to the hype and although Dale forward Ian Henderson was shown a second yellow card in the 44th minute, Bury struggled to break the visitors down.

Dale would have gone top of Sky Bet League Two with victory and still had chances of their own, but were pleased with a clean sheet after goalkeeper Josh Lillis made a stunning save in the closing stages.

"I thought Ian's first booking was harsh, he was trying to control it on his chest," said Hill. "It could have spoilt the game, but it was still worth watching.

"Josh Lillis was phenomenal - and he needed to be. But having said that, we looked dangerous on the counter-attack second half and had some good opportunities.

"It took us a while to get used to having 10 men, but once we did I thought were worthy of a point, which I think is enormous.

"There was a lot of courage from our players having gone down to 10 men.

"They'll take an incredible amount of belief from the knowledge we can trust one another to perform like that against a very good side.

"We've got 61 points, which is what we got last season, and we've still got 12 games to play so we're in a superb position."

Dale lost top scorer Scott Hogan to an early knee injury, but had the better of the first half as Jamie Allen and Henderson headed over.

Bury replied with Danny Nardiello firing over and after being booked for handball, Henderson was sent off for pulling back Jake Carroll just before the break.

Bury's Pablo Mills clipped the crossbar after the restart, while Michael Rose and Peter Cavanagh fired inches wide for Dale.

Lillis then denied Tom Soares and Nardiello before tipping over Carroll's last-gasp header.

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