The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Lee Cor­den

ROCHDALE boss Keith Hill will have a friendly word with Bury man­ager David Fl­itcroft to thank him when the two come face to face next week­end.

The two man­agers chat­ted just 24 hours ahead of this fix­ture and the con­ver­sa­tion did not fill Hill with con­fi­dence af­ter Bury had lost 6-0 to the Sky Blues less than a month ago.

But he headed back from the Ri­coh Arena with a smile on his face af­ter Ian Hen­der­son bagged all three points from an 89thminute penalty.

Hill said: “David and I are foot­balling mates. I spoke to him about my game plan as late as Fri­day and to be hon­est all he did was scare me.

“He gave me some good ad­vice – he didn’t tell me to leave it un­til the last minute and get a penalty – but I told him about my game plan and he just said ‘woah!’

“I said it was the best game plan be­cause if you keep giv­ing the ball back to Coven­try they will re­ally hurt you.

“We have got a re­sult.We have taken four points off Coven­try and I be­lieve that on any given day they are the best foot­balling side in the league.

“They are go­ing through a rough patch at the mo­ment but I be­lieve they will be in the play­offs, no doubt about it.”

In a game where both sides tended to can­cel each other out, the de­cid­ing mo­ment was clearcut enough.

Hen­der­son moved into the area in the dy­ing mo­ments and when John Fleck tried to take the ball off his foot, he tripped him.

The Rochdale striker picked him­self up and coolly con­verted the penalty.

While Hen­der­son will take the plau­dits, Rochdale have their keeper Josh Lil­lis to thank for still be­ing in the game at half-time.

He pro­duced three ex­cel­lent saves in­clud­ing a full-length fly­ing stop to deny Adam Arm­strong.

That pro­vided the plat­form from which they could build in the se­cond half, and they did just that.

They could eas­ily have taken the lead in the 67th minute – twice. Jim McNulty tried his luck from 25 yards only for keeper Re­ice Charles-Cook to deny him at full stretch.

And when the re­sult­ing cor­ner came in, Niall Cana­van met it pow­er­fully with head.

It looked for all the world bound for the back of the net but struck Hen­der­son on the leg and bounced clear.

The re­sult sent Coven­try out of the top six and means they have won just one league game in their last nine.

Man­ager Tony Mow­bray said: “You have to take th­ese on the chin.

“It was not an ob­vi­ous penalty – Fleck just tried to nick the ball away from their player.

“I am not com­plain­ing and I am not say­ing it was the wrong de­ci­sion, it’s just the way things are go­ing for us at the mo­ment.

“It is a dis­ap­point­ing day. You can’t dis­guise it and there is no hid­ing that fact.

“We can’t make any ex­cuses, we just have to stick to­gether and dig in. We are low at the mo­ment but it would be strange it we were not low.”

PIC­TURES: Pro Sport


le LATE STRIKE: Ian Hen­der­son cel­e­brates his goal. In­set: He fires home from the spot

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