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REPORT: Rochdale 2-0 Coventry City - Ian Henderson twice on target as City lose out at Spotland

17 April 2017

A goal either side of the break enough to earn Rochdale three points in their quest for a play-off spot...

A brace from Rochdale's Ian Henderson gave the home side a commanding 2-0 victory, with Nathaniel Mendez-Laing the creator of both goals. 

The opening ten minutes were as lively as you’re likely to see for an end of season encounter, as the Sky Blues looked to bow out of League One with some potency. 

Jamie Allen had a chance for Rochdale early on, but Callum Camps had the home side’s best opportunity of the first quarter. Attempting to meet with a delivery from the left, Camps rose acrobatically in the area, but failed to make a meaningful connection with the ball.

Gael Bigirimana tried from distance in the ninth minute, which was charged down, before George Thomas was in behind the Dale backline but couldn’t capitalise. 

A superb recovery tackle from Jordan Willis halted the progression of Dale talisman Henderson down the left moments later, before Calvin Andrew sent a header inches wide of the far post, with Lee Burge rooted. 

But Henderson wasn’t to miss the target in the 17th minute, as the captain sent Rochdale in to the lead with a close range header. A purposeful run from Dale's brightest spark Mendez-Laing down the left crafted the chance, before an inviting delivery was turned home by Henderson.

And City were nearly caught on the break five minutes later, as Chris Stokes was left exposed. Rochdale had three men over, including Mendez-Laing, but the ball bobbled as the 25-year old looked to steer it goalward, and the chance was gone. 

K.Thomas had a sight of goal as the clocked ticked over the half-hour mark. The striker met with a cross from Reid, but couldn’t produce a header to trouble Conrad Logan in the Dale upright. 

As the half came to a close, a surging run from G.Thomas looked promising, but Harrison McGahey tracked the run of the striker and got goalside before Thomas could make an impact.

Ten minutes in to the second-half and Rochdale had doubled their advantage, making use of the same combination that orchestrated the opener. 

Mendez-Laing played an incisive pass forward, which Henderson latched on to, before sending Burge the wrong way and rolling the ball in to the back of the net.

Jordan Willis was in an advanced position in the 70th minute, connecting with a Bigirimana cross, but could only guide his volleyed effort over the bar. 

Second-half substitute Andy Cannon had a chance for a third in the dying moments, again teed up by Mendez-Laing, but headed over the crossbar.

Attendance: 3,202.

Yellow: Bigirimana. 

Teams:

Coventry City: Burge (GK), Willis (C) (Di. Kelly-Evans 75'), Turnbull, Rawson, Stokes, Bigirimana, Stevenson, Reilly, G. Thomas, Reid (Lameiras 54'), K.Thomas (Tudgay 54').

Subs: Charles-Cook (GK), Foley, Gadzhev, Folivi.    

Rochdale: Logan (GK), Rafferty, McNulty, McGahey, Andrew (Vincenti 90'+9), Camps, Mendez-Laing (Lund 89'), Keane, Allen, Bunney (Cannon 78'), Henderson (C).

Subs: Wilson (GK), Wilson, Rathbone, Morley, Kitching.

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