IAN IS ON THE SPOT FOR DALE
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.
PENALTY: Rochdale's Ian Henderson scores the only goal from the spot
SPOT ON: Ian Henderson celebrates his penalty