18 March 2023

Jim Bentley pays Charlie Austin tribute after Swindon striker’s four-goal salvo

18 March 2023

Rochdale manager Jim Bentley paid tribute to Swindon striker Charlie Austin, whose four goals in the 4-4 draw at Spotland denied his side a much-needed win.

Relegation-threatened Dale remain rooted to the bottom of Sky Bet League Two, six points adrift of safety.

And while Austin did nothing to help their push for survival, Bentley tipped his hat to the frontman, saying he was the difference between the home team earning three points and having to settle for one.

“It was just one of those mad games,” said Bentley. “We’re disappointed because we need wins, a draw is not good enough.

“There were loads of positives, scoring four at home, great – but also loads of negatives, conceding four at home to the same player.

“I have to say, Charlie Austin was absolutely outstanding playing at this level. You could see why he’s played in the Premier League and the Championship. Fair play, he’s playing for his hometown club and he’s doing the business for them.

“He had some nice words at the end, a real touch of class, a nice fella – conducts himself well on the pitch, scores his four goals, and, obviously, that was the difference between us winning and not winning the game.”

Austin fired Swindon into a two-goal lead with strikes in the second and 14th minute before the home side hit back to level by half-time via strikes from Devante Rodney on 22 minutes and Danny Lloyd’s 25-yard stunner three minutes later.

Abraham Odoh’s 71st-minute finish gave Dale the lead but Austin completed his hat-trick on 74 minutes and looked to have scored the winner with his fourth on 79 minutes.

However, Ian Henderson headed home Liam Kelly’s corner three minutes into time added on to earn Dale a deserved point.

Robins boss Jody Morris was less than impressed, saying: “We were poor.

“Analysing that would take too long because there was so much wrong with our performance. People might think we started well, going two goals up, but we absolutely didn’t. We made more mistakes in the first 15 minutes than we have in multiple games this year.

“The fact we scored twice was purely down to us having that little bit of quality in the final third, which we haven’t had of late.

“But there was so much wrong with the performance I wouldn’t have cared if we’d come in 4-3 winners, I didn’t enjoy watching that at all. There was a lot wrong with it.

“Apart from set-pieces, before this game there weren’t many teams creating chances against us in open play unless it was a glaring error from ourselves. And then you see it multiple times in this game with the goals they scored and the ones they maybe could have scored.”

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