The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Matthew Hay­ton

COVEN­TRY City boss Steven Press­ley could not hide his frus­tra­tion after watch­ing his side slip to their sec­ond away de­feat in five days.

Ian Hen­der­son’s first-half penalty was enough to move Rochdale up to sev­enth in the ta­ble with their youth­ful back four out­stand­ing as a unit.

The Sky Blues had their chances but failed to take ad­van­tage, leav­ing Press­ley to rue what might have been.

“We’re very frus­trated. I thought the open­ing 45 min­utes we ac­tu­ally started very well and we spoke about the ar­eas we had to utilise to get at them,” said Press­ley.

“In the open­ing 10-15 min­utes I thought we did that re­ally ef­fec­tively. After that we didn’t quite play with the flu­ency and I didn’t think we were in­tense enough.

“We looked a bit leggy, maybe as a re­sult of the play­ers’ en­deav­ours on Tues­day night with the ten men.

“In the sec­ond half I thought we re­ally ap­plied our­selves with long pe­ri­ods of pres­sure but in truth I thought our fi­nal pass re­ally let us down.

“I can’t fault the play­ers in the way they ap­plied them­selves in the sec­ond half, I thought we re­ally took the game to Rochdale but the fi­nal mo­ment and the fi­nal decision, that’s what let us down out there”.

The vis­i­tors’ Frank Nou­ble had the first clear chance but saw his close range ef­fort well saved by Con­rad Lo­gan in the home goal with 24 min­utes on the clock.

The dead­line was bro­ken just be­fore the half-hour mark when clever work by Matt Done played in Bastien Hery, who drew Ryan All­sopp be­fore be­ing brought crash­ing to the ground by the Sky Blues keeper eight yards out.

To the dis­may of the home support, ref­eree Phil Gibbs pro­duced only a yel­low card but Hen­der­son sent All­sopp the wrong way from the spot for his fifth goal of the sea­son.

Dale almost dou­bled the lead on 54 min­utes when the out­stand­ing Jack O’Con­nell volleyed nar­rowly wide from a Scott Tanser cor­ner.

Sub­sti­tutes Mar­cus Tudgay and Danny Swan­son were de­nied late on by Con­rad Lo­gan as the Sky Blues could not find a lev­eller.

And Rochdale As­sis­tant Man­ager Chris Beech paid trib­ute to both sets of play­ers.

“It was a re­ally good per­for­mance from both sets of play­ers,” said Beech.

“Coven­try con­tin­ued to probe, pass and move the ball, they had the bet­ter of the mid­field in the early part of the game and the play­ers re­ally had to earn the right to win that game.

“They had the bet­ter of the early stages in mid­field but at the back we con­trolled it.

“The sec­ond half be­came a box­ing match, it was un­be­liev­able. Strike for strike, punch for punch, and that’s why I’ve got a lot of re­spect for Steven and his team be­cause they re­ally gave ev­ery­thing for their man­ager.

“We matched them and pro­gressed beyond at times” added Beech.

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age Ltd

PENALTY: Rochdale's Ian Hen­der­son scores the only goal from the spot

SPOT ON: Ian Hen­der­son cel­e­brates his penalty

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