Rochdale 0-1 Coventry City
City: Stockdale,. Willis, Hyam, Sterling, Mason, Kelly, Bayliss (Shipley 48), Thomas. Hiwula, Enobakhare (Davies 89). Bakayoko. Subs: Addai, Grimmer, Chaplin, Westbrooke, Wakefield.
Rochdale: Lonergan, McNulty (Bunney 78), McLaughln (Done 83), Delaney. Ebanks-Landell. Dooley, Andrew, Camps, Clough (Inman 46), Hamilton, Henderson. Subs: Michael Williams, Wade, Wilbraham, Adshead.
Goals: Jordy Hiwula 68
Coventry City won for the first ever time at Rochdale with a Jordy Hiwula goal.
The Sky Blues trip to Scotland, where they have never won, came at the end of a week where Mark Robins was seen to be treating his players as ‘snowflakes’ rather than telling them to use the criticism from supporters who are forced to pay top dollar to support the team, to add to their determination to not waste chances or give away soft goals,
The game also came at the end of a week where City had their squad ravaged by illness and had to take David Stockdale on an emergency loan from Birmingham City.
Stockdale, went in goal for a City team that had for five changes from the one which drew against Gillingham.
Despite Storm Erik, there was an excellent turn out of City supporters who were noisy as the game started after Joe Thompson who is retiring was given a standing ovation.
Tom Bayliss kicked the game off on a sunny afternoon and City were positive early on. Two corners were quickly won by City in their white away kit with a third won by the hard working Sterling coming in the 24th minute.
In a half, where the referee is in his first season in the Football League started to show his inexperience, twice angering the City suppor, Stockdale, whose handling and distribution was excellent, caught a 27th minute corner for a City side whose players were wearing black armbands.
Luke Thomas won City a corner that led to another and was cleared, creating a run for Stephen Dooley who looked a threat and for me was Rochdale's best player
A Rochdale free kick sailed wide in the 35th minute allowing Thomas to attack and cross for Bakayoko to head wide.
The referee did caution Ebanks-Landell for a foul before Hiwula hooked at the keeper, David Stockdale saved from Henderson, allowing City to go up the end where the terrace is and win a corner that fell to Liam Kelly who hit a twenty yarder which was not far wide.
Jordan Shipley came on for Bayliss three minutes in to the second half which saw a Hiwula shot and an unbelievable miss by Calvin Andrew who curled over with all of the goal to aim at.
Again, City looked poor in the final third but they did have a corner and Kelly, the best City player for me, curling wide as "Twist N Shout" rang out from the City support, who had some early starts in order to make this game.
Shipley fired wide in the 62nd minute as the excellent noise from the City support continue.
Liam Kelly fired wide after Hiwula's touch let him down. But in the 68th minute, Jordy Hiwula atoned by getting through and keeping his cool to put City a goal to the good, sparking jubilation in the side stand which had the best views in the whole stadium and seeing a couple of City fans on the pitch before they were ejected.
Kelly just missed with a 72nd minute free kick as Sisu Out chants rang out and Stockdale saved after Willis let his marker go and Bakayoko flashed well wide.
An 81st minute foul gave City a free kick on the edge of the area, that came back to Thomas who drove wide and then went on a great run, hitting a shot that had to be pushed away by Lonergan.
There were a few scary moments towards the end but City kept going and when Stockdale caught a corner deep in the five minutes of stoppage, time, it was the Sky Blues who recorded their first ever win at Rochdale in ten attempts.