HILL GRATEFUL TO PAL DAVID
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.”
STAR MAN JOSH LILLIS Rochda
le LATE STRIKE: Ian Henderson celebrates his goal. Inset: He fires home from the spot