Manager Steve Eyre laid blame at referee Gavin Ward's door after Rochdale were held to a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth following a controversial second-half penalty.

Dale looked to be heading for a rare away victory when captain Gary Jones had given them the lead with a first-half spotkick. The game ended all square, though, when Cherries substitute Michael Symes equalised after referee Ward adjudged goalkeeper Jake Kean to have tripped Wes Thomas.

Eyre said: "We are disappointed to draw and especially because of the manner of their equaliser. We needed the referee to be strong because he was getting a lot of abuse from the Bournemouth fans and we knew all eyes were on him. We are annoyed because when their player runs through and is taken down, he was two yards offside so it should have been our free-kick."

He added: "It is frustrating for us because over the 90 minutes, the tale of the tape is that we should have won. It was a game where we showed plenty of resilience, quality and created some good chances.

"It's progress from our form in recent games and if we can pick up a couple of wins now, we might look back on this as a decent point."

Both sides are looking nervously over their shoulders towards the relegation zone and Cherries manager Lee Bradbury believes his players need to show more consistency.

He said: "It was a game of two halves and we were nowhere near our best in the first half but improved in the second.

"I've told the players they need to be more consistent over 90 minutes, that's the secret to success."

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