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Match Reports

REPORT: Sky Blues 1 - 0 Rochdale

Sky Blues end winless run in the North West...

9 February 2019

Mark Robins and his Sky Blue side traveled to the Crown Oil Arena in search of their first Sky Bet League One win since New Year's Day.

Six minutes in and the two teams were still battling for any sign of ascendancy in the game, and City were the first team to carve out a half-chance.

Good play between Thomas and Bayliss allowed Bayliss to look up and pick out a low cross across the box. Hiwula was on the end of it who tried to pull the ball back to Bakayoko in the middle, but the ball was deflected out for a corner.

A succession of corners followed but the Sky Blues could not make the most of their early chances. 

However, following a Sky Blue freekick, Lonergan came and claimed the ball comfortably and then played a superb 70-yard pass out of his hands aimed towards Stephen Dooley.

Dooley controlled the ball well and looked up to find Henderson, but Liam Kelly tracked back brilliantly and was on hand to intercept and play the ball back to Stockdale who cleared the danger.         

With 20 minutes on the clock, the home side had a strong shout for a penalty as Calvin Andrew looked to deliver a cross into the Sky Blue box. 

It was Hyam who stood the striker up and deflected the incoming cross. The large majority of the home fans were on their feet shouting for a handball, but the referee waived away their protests.

Following a bit of pressure from the home side, the Sky Blues worked their way back into the game and Luke Thomas was lively on the right wing.

The bulk of City’s play was coming through the Derby County loanee as he was looking to either thread the final pass through or deliver a dangerous cross with a number of his efforts being cut out at the last.

On the half-hour mark, the winger opted to cut inside his marker and let a shot fly which seemed destined for the back of the net before a Rochdale defender, crucially, got in the ball’s path and blocked the shot.

The home side were next to carve out a decent looking chance as Dooley delivered a dead-ball from the right into the box. On the end of it was Ryan Delaney whose header was inches wide of Stockdale’s goal.

Minutes later, and City were up the other end and should probably have been celebrating.

Thomas delivered a great ball to the back post after beating his marker. Bakayoko was waiting and rose highest to nod the ball downwards and wide of the home side’s goal – similarly to Delaney, Bakayoko should have been wheeling away in celebration. 

Hiwula was up next to test Lonergan as Kelly deftly lifted the ball over Ebanks-Landell to play the winger in.

The bounce of the ball was awkward and Hiwula did well to get a shot off on the half volley, but the shot was straight at the ‘keeper.

 

HALF-TIME: Rochdale 0 – 0 Sky Blues

 

The first sign of a chance in the second period went the way of the Sky Blues as Shipley received the ball in the middle of the park and turned superbly to open his body out. The midfielder looked up and slipped Hiwula in on the left wing. 

Hiwula cut inside and got a shot off but the ball rolled wide of the Dale goal.

Two quick-fire chances for the home side put City on the back foot who were lucky to escape still on level terms.

The first effort came through Dooley whose effort was destined for the bottom corner of Stockdale’s goal but for Kelly who was well placed to deflect the ball away.

The second ball then fell to Andrew on the edge of the box who looked to curl a left-footed shot into the top corner but saw his effort fly over the crossbar.

Luke Thomas was immediately back on the attack. The winger earned himself a yard from his defender as he pulled the back to Bakayoko from the byline.

Bakayoko got to the ball ahead of his marker and flicked the ball goalward, but his touch was intercepted and knocked away for a corner.

The pass of the game came from Sky Blue’s debutant David Stockdale. The ‘keeper kicked the ball out of his hands and found Thomas 80-yards down the field and immediately set the Sky Blues away on a swift counter-attack. 

Thomas collected the ball and laid the ball of Kelly who was on the edge of the Dale box. The midfielder unleashed a shot but miscued it as it flew wide of the goal. 

However, seconds later, the Sky Blues were in the lead.

A long ball up from the back was superbly flicked on by Bakayoko and was latched onto by Hiwula who found himself one-on-one with Andy Lonergan. 

The winger held his nerve and calmly lifted the ball over the diving Lonergan and the ball just about had enough legs on it to cross the line.

With 15 minutes left on the clock, the home side had a golden chance to get back on level terms as Ian Henderson had the goal in his sights.

Henderson received the ball on the edge of the City box and chopped inside of Willis. The striker fired the ball towards the bottom corner, but Stockdale got down superbly and pushed the ball away from danger. 

Five minutes left on the clock and a brilliant save from Lonergan denied Thomas from doubling the Sky Blue’s lead.

Thomas received the ball on the right, cut inside and danced past three Dale defenders in the box before aiming his low effort to the bottom right corner. 

Lonergan was equal to the winger’s effort as he got down low and palmed the ball away.

The Sky Blues stood strong in the final minutes after the game after to fourth official’s board showed five minutes of added time. 

Jordy Hiwula’s solitary goal proved enough for City as they travel back to Warwickshire with their first three points since New Year’s Day.

 

FULL-TIME: Rochdale 0 – 1 Sky Blues

 

Sky Blues Xl: David Stockdale (GK), Dujon Sterling, Jordan Willis, Dom Hyam, Brandon Mason, Liam Kelly (C), Tom Bayliss (Jordan Shipley '48), Luke Thomas, Bright Enobakhare (Tom Davies '89), Jordy Hiwula, Amadou Bakayoko

Unused Subs: Corey Addai (GK), Jack Grimmer, Zain Westbrooke, Charlie Wakefield, Conor Chaplin

 

Rochdale XI: Andy Lonergan (GK), Ryan McLaughlin (Mathew Done '83), Jimmy McNulty (Joe Bunney '79), Ryan Delaney, Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Stephen Dooley, Calvin Andrew, Callum Camps, Zach Clough (Brad Inman '46), Ethan Hamilton, Ian Henderson (C)

Unused Subs: Brad Wade (GK), MJ Williams, Aaron Wilbraham, Daniel Adshead

 

Yellow Cards: Ethan Ebanks-Landell '38

Red Cards: 

Goals: Jordy Hiwula '69

Attendance: 3,661 with 898 traveling Sky Blues


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