FOOTBALL : Rioch rails at Gabbiadini

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The Independent Online
Derby County 2

Bolton Wanderers 1

Bruce Rioch, the Bolton Wanderers manager, launched a scathing attack on the Derby striker Marco Gabbiadini yesterday following an incident which left the Bolton defender Simon Coleman with a broken leg.

Coleman, a former Derby player, sustained the injury only 10 minutes into a match important to the promotion ambitions of both sides. He appeared to be the victim of a retaliatory kick by Gabbiadini, reacting to an apparent elbow in the face from Coleman.

Rioch was so incensed by what he witnessed that he left his seat in the stand and walked on to the pitch, speaking to both the match referee, Michael Bailey, and a policeman after checking on the condition of his player.

Still angry more than two hours later, Rioch condemned Gabbiadini's action. He told reporters: "You all saw the incident, which I thought was a nasty one." Asked if he felt the injury resulted from a deliberate assault, he said: "It is not the sort of question I want to answer."

Neither the referee nor the linesman took any action either for Coleman's challenge or Gabbiadini's response. Derby's manager, Roy McFarland said: "The referee and linesman were in a good position and a throw-in was given." Gabbiadini felt he had made a fair challenge for the ball.

The episode overshadowed a victory for Derby gained against expectation after Bolton, who were seeking to go second in he First Division, had led from the first minute to the 82nd.

Jason McAteer, their Republic of Irleland international, put them in front after only 54 seconds when Russell Hoult, Derby's on-loan goalkeeper, fumbled a shot from the Dutchman Richard Sneekes.

Hoult redeemed himself subsequently with several fine saves as a combination of stout defending by Derby, for whom Craig Short was outstanding, and poor finishing meant Bolton squandered half a dozen chances.

Sustained pressure by the home side brought its reward with goals, after 82 and 86 minutes, by their two newest arrivals, Dean Yates and Lee Mills.

Yates, signed from Notts County, stabbed home the equaliser from close range, and Mills, on loan pending the completion of a £450,000 deal with Wolves, capped a promising first game with a fine strike from 25 yards.

Derby County (4-4-2): Hault; Kavanagh, Yates, Short, Nicholson; Harkes, Carsley (Wrack, 39), Trollope, Simpson; Mills, Gabbiadini. Substitutes not used: Cooper, Quy (gk).

Bolton Wanderers (4-4-2): Davison; Green, Coleman (Patterson, 13), Stubbs, Phillips; Lee, McAteer, Sneekes, Thompson; Paatalinen, McGinlay (DeFreitas, 75). Substitute not used: Rhodes (gk)

Referee: M Bailey (Cambridge).