Before I begin let me get a couple of things straight, I respect each and every one of you that boycotted the match today. I only went in because it would be pointless for me not to, having a season ticket means you will be counted on the attendance whether you go or not. However at this point I can say I won't give a penny more to SISU, nothing purchased in the ground. As for the march, I missed my train getting in to Coventry so I couldn't attend. Don't get me wrong, I wanted to go with all my heart but unfortunately wasn't able to. Now we have that out of the way on to the match we go.
Coventry City Starting XI:
Coventry City Substitutes:
An unchanged side from the one that beat Oxford on Tuesday night, I hoped Ben Stevenson could have another performance like that one because he was unbelievable. One thing that is different is the return of Andy Rose to the bench, but with ouAgyr midfield playing so well lately, who would you put him in for? The only real option is McCann as he leaves for America at the start of January and you'd want a more permanent side wouldn't you. Rochdale before Tuesday had won 7 on the bounce so certainly weren't going to be pushovers, meaning this side would have to be at their very best if they wanted to come away with 3 points.
Rochdale were the better side for most of the 90 minutes, they went through after 5 minutes via Henderson. It took an incredible block by Jordan Willis to stop us going down 1-0 early on. Chris McCann had to go off through injury a bit later and was replaced by Kyel Reid, meaning we went switched to a 4-2-4 formation which seemed to work.
Agyei should have put us into the lead when he turned the last defender and was 1 on 1 with the keeper, he side footed it on to the post. He could have been put down badly by this, instead, when Lameiras beat his man down the right wing and slotted it across the box he poked it under Lillis. Aside from Turnbull being booked, not much else happened for the remainder of the first half.
For a lot of the second half it looked as if it were only a matter of time before Rochdale equalised. They had a chance 8 minutes in when Henderson again was denied a goal, this time it was Bigirimana who headed it off the line. The pressure continued, Lund struck just wide from 20 yards on the half volley. Henderson carried on causing our defence problems, with 7 minutes remaining he nodded over the bar.
Rochdale were throwing everything forward, it looked like they were going to get that levelling goal. That was until on the counter, Lewis Page was running down the left wing, he beat his man and squared it to Andre Wright whom had lost his marker. He stretched out to stab it in the bottom right corner, putting us 2 ahead and sealing the victory.
A game we probably didn't deserve to win, but did. We took our chances whereas the Dale didn't, it's as simple as that. Previously we wouldn't have had the mentality to get the points here, so I'm glad we managed it. Roll on what was once cringily dubbed the "M6 El Clasico" which will be my 22nd match of the season.
My Man of the Match - Jordan Willis - He came through the academy, making his debut at age 17. 5 years later he is now captain as a 22 year old. Today though he managed to do everything right, he was a vital part of keeping the clean sheet. This is his first award of the season, hopefully of many more to come.