I’ve been saying this quite a lot lately, but I can feel nothing but disappointment around today’s result. You may think a point against a top six side is quite sufficient, but in our current predicament we need to turn these draws in to wins. We’ve drawn way too many games this season, mostly in games we should of really won. Most fans of other clubs would be confident of holding on to a 2-1 half time lead, but at Coventry City we’re always a bit pessimistic if you like, thinking that we are going to concede… And most the time we do.
The first half was one of the best 45 minute displays of the season…but a game can’t be won after 45 minutes, that’s my point. Chances were coming in good number in the first half, with huge credit going to new signings Sanmi Odelusi and Dominic Samuel. They brought a spark to the team with pace, something we have been lacking all season. They were direct in their attacking and made things happen, running at players at will which again is very pleasing and this gives me great hope for them. Yes, they aren’t our players, but let’s forget that for a bit and get behind them… Who knows, they may be the missing pieces to the jigsaw.
Anyway, back to the game… It was like a different side to what we’ve seen lately, players looked much more confident (probably knowing we now had some pace in the side) and were looking to get the ball forward quickly, and in turn creating chances. Two of these chances were converted and both of the new boys bagged a goal on their debut. Dominic Samuel’s finish for the first was excellent and Odelusi’s, what a strike that was! Brilliant feet allowed him to turn inside out and leave the Dale defender’s on their arses, before curling a beautiful effort in to the far corner.
His goal came after Camps had equalised for the away side with another well placed curling effort which beat the fully stretched Jamie Jones. The defence was fairly solid in all honesty in the opening 45 as Aaron Martin and Andy Webster looked solid together and the two full-backs, Reda Johnson and Jordan Willis also looked fairly comfortable and restricted Rochdale’s chances. This allowed the Sky Blues to go in to the break with a 2-1 lead and looking fairly competent.
However the second half was a bit of a different story. Reda Johnson was replaced by Ryan Haynes at the interval as the big defender seemingly went off injured (again) which took a bit of physicality out of the City back line, and with Rochdale’s capability of scoring goals, leaving a possible problem. The way we played second half is the thing that annoyed me again, and after the Gillingham defeat I thought Pressley would of learnt that sitting back and trying to defend a lead doesn’t always work. Another goal to make it 3-1 before sitting would of been more suitable, but no. More negativity.
Yes we still created a few chances in the second half, and Samuel was flagged offside God knows how many times, but we allowed the away side back in to the game. There was a period where the game opened right up, but in truth Dale deserved their point after controlling the half. They were allowed too much time on the ball as the Sky Blues seemed to camp at times, as if Pressley was trying to play on the counter, but it didn’t work. Rochdale created a few chances and Jamie Jones made a couple of good stops, but he couldn’t keep out a set piece goal from the Visitors. A deep corner was headed back across goal from the back post (where Reda Johnson would of been marking) and striker Calvin Andrew headed home unmarked to equalise in the 67th minute.
The game seemed to slow down from then on as both teams seemed fairly happy with a point, and other than Dominic Samuel’s penalty appeal which was waved away late on, City created very little and looked the complete opposite to the first half. The game ended 2-2 with 2 points dropped in my opinion, but at least it’s two games unbeaten I guess, it’s better than losing! I just hope we pick up 3 points next week, but Deepdale is a very tough place to go, and Preston are a very tough team to beat… But who knows, Crawley beat them today, why can’t we?
Jones – 8
Willis – 7
Webster – 7
Martin – 8
Fleck – 6
O’Brien – 7
Finch – 5
Odelusi – 8
Nouble – 9
Samuel – 8
Jackson – 6
Haynes – 6