Bury boss David Flitcroft slammed referee Peter Bankes after his side lost their derby clash at Rochdale 2-0.

David Flitcroft criticises officials after Bury beaten by Rochdale

David Flitcroft criticises officials after Bury beaten by Rochdale

Flitcroft was livid after the Shakers ended the game with nine men, criticising Bankes and Dale midfielder Matt Lund, who earned the hosts' first-half penalty.

There appeared to be little contact when Lund went down having rounded Jacob Mellis in the 38th minute, leading to Ian Henderson's successful spot-kick.

Mellis was later sent off for a second bookable offence, joining Kean Bryan in the dressing room after he had been dismissed for a rash challenge on Andy Cannon.

Both dismissals came after Nathaniel Mendez-Laing fired Dale's second goal in the 75th minute.

Speaking about the penalty incident, Flitcroft said: "Their bench accepted and told the fourth official that their player had dived.

"We see that in the Premier League and when we do we all go mental because it's supposed to mean more - but this game meant a lot to me, to the players, the staff, to our supporters. So when I see a player diving and trying to look for it, and the referee giving it, I find it disgusting.

"It needs taking out of the game. The linesman could have done more - he had a great view. It should never have been a penalty.

"When you look at the referee's record, it's more than fifty yellow cards this season and now seven or eight red cards. And they put him on for a game of this magnitude? It means a lot to us.

"Forget the fact it's a penalty, it was the motion of diving and then jumping about on the floor. They did it four or five times in the game to get our players booked and then it turned into an absolute farce.

"I have to work on the frustration from my players and make sure we get the discipline better and get them re-focused. But the players didn't deserve to walk off the pitch defeated today. The penalty just changed the complex of the game and I am gutted."

While Bury were guilty of losing their heads, Rochdale maintained composure and were good value for the three points, their sixth successive Sky Bet League One win.

Manager Keith Hill said: "It was just about the three points for us, it was all we spoke about.

"I was looking at what Sir Alex Ferguson said - when it comes to derby games, it's not about the football it's about the winning, simple as that. You have to run quicker, run harder, head more, tackle more and do everything you possibly can to win the game and we did that.

"It was a highly competitive game. The tempo in the first 10 or 15 minutes was electric and they are a good side. We had to play at our very best and I'm really pleased we got the result and the three points is all we're concerned about.

"The game had everything. The lads were up for it because they knew how important the game was, but we were confident as well, confident in selecting the right side."