Football League 1
It's always great when your Mother-in-law lives a 20 minute drive from Rochdale's next opponents and it also being Mother's Day on the weekend. This was an ideal excuse for both me and my wife to visit her family and take in the Cov game.
Leading into the fixture Rochdale was having a strange, inconsistent run of form, where they would beat promotion contenders such as Sheffield United and Burton Albion, yet lose to relegation strugglers, such as Shrewsbury Town and Crewe Alexandra.
Coventry City however, would wish for inconsistent form in the run-in to facing Rochdale as they had lost 4 on the bounce before the match and were struggling to dominate like they had at the start of the season.
After a short spell away, playing at Northampton Town's Sixfields, Coventry City are back in the city, with their fanbase returning to a steady 10,000 strong and over time, should they match their ambitions with their expectations, Coventry City could one day return to the Premier League and fill the 32,000 seater stadium weekly...however for now it resembles an empty museum of history, with little atmosphere (on the day anyway) which was created by the ultras in the corner, under the score screen. It's ironic their songs prodominately criticised the size of our away fanbase who support an unfashionable, small town team yet they didn't really offer anything to get behind their team.
Having paid the money and my wife giving the attendants an ear full at the price, we parked up feeling that we deserved to win, just on the price of parking alone. I feel for the Coventry fans who have bought permits for the priviledge of seeing their team underperform this season.
With little direction or help from signs around the stadium, and zero presence of stewards to ask, a group of 6 Dale fans formed together to work out were we should enter (poor form by all accounts).
After the longer than expected journey to our stand, we took our seats for the match.
Rochdale's confidence grew into the match and at no point did I feel that Coventry would threathen us...which was bemusing and worrying from their prespective. Starlets such as Joe Cole and Darius Henderson made little difference to their performance, but then again it's 2016 and not 2006.
Rochdale kept plugging away at chances until finally, in the closing minutes, Ian Henderson (not related) was fouled as he entered the box, picking up the ball for a penalty, he smashed it low to the keeper's right and with that, Rochdale deservedly won a match that Coventry was disappointing in.
Sometimes, the mileage, the price of the ticket, the parking and the cost of refreshments is worth it when you see your team walk away with the 3 points.