Rochdale 1 - 2 Coventry City

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Rochdale 1 - 2 Coventry City

Postby dutchman » Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:37 pm

Sky Blues fans are in dreamland after Rochdale win

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Coventry City made it five wins on the bounce in SkyBet League One after a nail-biting 2-1 win away at Rochdale, but failed to climb top of the division after a last-gasp goal for Rotherham United elsewhere saw the Millers cling on at the summit.

Michael Rose and Matty Godden were on target for Mark Robins' side in the wind and rain, but Aaron Wilbraham's goal for the hosts kept Sky Blues fans sweating right until the final kick.

The hosts were down in 19th ahead of kick-off and had won just one of their last seven games, but they boasted an unbeaten record at Spotland that stretched back to Boxing Day and had only lost twice at home since the two sides last met in November.

The head to head between the two sides made for pretty grim reading for City, too. The Sky Blues had won three of the last five meetings between the two sides, but fans would have to cast their minds back to 1991 to remember the last win over the Dale. In 14 meetings, Rochdale had won ten.

The Sky Blues started by far the stronger side and were dealing with the water-soaked conditions with ease.

Rochdale, though, struggled and were a goal down after just four minutes when Rose became an unlikely opening goalscorer.

Liam Walsh's deep cross left 'Dale stopper Robert Sanchez in no-mans land and, as the ball sailed over his head, Rose was ready and waiting to force home the second goal of his City career.

Robins' side should have gone on to take complete control from there, but things are rarely so simple in the third division.

'Dale grew well at their Spotland home and forced a number of big chances as the first-half aged.

Marko Marosi has been brilliant for Coventry in recent weeks and was made to work for his money on the half-hour mark as he got down well to his right to force a close-range Ian Henderson strike behind for a corner.

Robins' side must have felt thankful when they heard the half-time whistle, but Rochdale were in the wars, forced into two changes just before the break with Eoghan O'Connell and Kwandwo Baah were both forced off injured.

City trudged down the tunnel ahead at the break. 0-1.

The second-half looked a case of protecting what City had and trying to punish their opponents on the break.

Their third and final change, the introduction of former Crystal Palace man Wilbraham, added something new for the hosts on the hour mark and they were left feeling aggrieved that they were not awarded a penalty moments before his arrival.

Henderson twisted and turned in the area before prodding an effort towards goal that he, and everybody of a Rochdale persuasion, felt hit a Sky Blues hand. The referee waved it off.

Coventry doubled their lead moments later to kick-start what would be a bizarre 60 second of football. Godden was the man on target for City, slipped in on goal by Jamie Allen, as he fired past Sanchez and into the far corner.

But from the resulting kick-off the Sky Blues were about to shoot themselves in the foot as they failed to deal with a long ball towards Wilbraham.

The pass fell from the heavens, caught in the wind, and landed right on the toe of their targetman, Wilbraham, who poked it past Marosi and into the net. This was not set to be as simple as first hoped.

Max Biamou and Jordan Shipley were both introduced in the final five minutes to add some grit as Coventry prepared for a late onslaught.

But City, far from their best, hung on to take all three points.

They will now head in Tuesday night's all-important clash at St. Andrews with table-toppers Rotherham knowing that a win could send them three points clear at the top.

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