Sky Blues suffer narrow defeat to the Dale at Spotland after Ian Henderson penalty settles a closely contested League One tie
Coventry City suffered back-to-back away defeats after an Ian Henderson penalty proved enough to hand Rochdale a 1-0 win at Spotland.
The Dale skipper's 28th minute spot kick proved to be the difference between the two sides after Bastien Hery was brought down by Sky Blues shot stopper Ryan Alllsop.
City boss Steven Pressley made two changes to the side that suffered a 2-1 defeat to Scunthorpe United in midweek, bringing in Danny Pugh and Seb Hines to replace Ryan Haynes and the suspended Reda Johnson who picked up a three-match ban after a straight red card at the Iron.
It was stand-in skipper Andy Webster who got the first effort of the afternoon on target when an inswinging free kick delivery from Jim O'Brien picked out his countryman whose glancing header from ten yards was well saved by Conrad Logan.
Simeon Jackson went close two minutes later, twisting and turning on the edge of the area before flashing a shot just over the bar.
Strike partner Frank Nouble went even closer after 23 minutes when a neat interchange with O'Brien saw him charge at goal on an ever-narrowing angle. He squeezed a shot past Logan only for Joe Rafferty to punt the ball away from danger.
Nouble had another go, this time from the edge of the area, four minutes before the half hour which again rose over the bar.
City found themselves behind against the run of play just two minutes later when Bastien Heny tried to round Ryan Allsop and ended up being brought down by the Sky Blues 'keeper.
Allsop received a caution for the challenge and Dale skipper Ian Henderson made no mistake with the resulting spot kick, sending Allsop the wrong way.
Despite the disappointment of conceding the opener the Sky Blues remained lively up front with Jackson lashing a shot across the face of goal on 33 minutes.
The half time interval brought about a double change for City with Jack Finch and Danny Swanson replacing Conor Thomas and John Fleck.
O'Brien then wasted no time after the restart when, in the opening seconds of the second half, he tried to lob Logan off his line but saw his effort drift just over the bar.
Rochdale went a whisker from going two up five minutes before the hour though when Peter Vincenti's corner delivery trickled to Rafferty at the back post but the centre-back's hooked effort flashed across goal and wide of the far post.
It required a goal line clearance from Jordan Willis to prevent a second for home side four minutes after the hour when a through ball picked out Henderson to round Allsop and try to squeeze a finish inside the near post as the ball threatened to run out. Willis did well to track back and scoop the ball off the line.
Seb Hines embraced a rare opportunity to get forward on 70 minutes when he got on the end of a free kick delivery from Swanson which Logan got down to save.
Substitute Marcus Tudgay then had a great opportunity to level for City when a he did well to trap a long ball under pressure in the area only to see Logan equal to his low stabbed attempt at goal.
Swanson then went close with two minutes to go, his effort from long range being parried by Logan with Nouble a whisker away from scooping up a loose ball which would have led to a late leveller.
With four minutes of time added the Sky Blues continued to press for an elusive equaliser but were nearly caught on the break when Joe Bunney rushed forward on the counter attack and lashed an effort just wide with fellow sub Nyal Bell sliding at the back post in what turned out to be a vain attempt to poke the ball home.
It was the last real effort of the afternoon though as City slipped to a second consecutive league defeat.
Coventry City: Allsop, Willis, Webster (c) (Tudgay 76), Hines, Clarke, Pugh, O'Brien, Fleck (Finch 46), C Thomas (Swanson 46), Jackson, Nouble
Subs: Burge (GK), Miller, Phillips, Haynes
Rochdale: Logan, Rafferty (Bennett 76), Eastham, Vincenti, Dawson, Hery (Bunney 58), Done (Bell 90), Tanser, Allen, O'Connell, Henderson (c)
Subs: Musangu (GK), Lancashire, Rose, Kennedy