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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 01:15 GMT
Rochdale upset Sky Blues
Paul Connor scores Rochdale's first goal
Paul Connor scores Rochdale's first goal
Rochdale 2-0 Coventry

Rochdale turned back time to pull off their second FA Cup upset against Coventry in front of a sell-out crowd at Spotland.

Paul Connor and Gareth Griffiths did the damage either side of half-time, as the lowly third division side emulated their giant-killing act of 32 years ago.

They were well worth their win.

Key match incidents
32: Connor coolly gives Rochdale the lead
47: Griffiths' towering header makes it two

After surviving some scares at the back during the opening exchanges, Rochdale emerged as the more attack-minded team.

And they had created their share of chances before Connor coolly slotted them into the lead on 32 minutes.

Defender Griffiths turned provider, superbly stopping a Sky Blues attack by Mo Konjic, before releasing Connor in the opposite half.

Gareth Griffiths (left)
Griffiths (left) headed home the second

Coventry, defending a 10-match unbeaten run, stepped up their game after that.

But striker Dean Holdsworth was guilty of missing a sitter three minutes later, when he shot horribly wide of Neil Edwards' left-hand post from 10 yards.

Griffiths made him pay for his profligacy in the second half, rising highest to meet a well-flighted corner to double Rochdale's lead.

The visitors' poured forwards in the last twenty minutes of a frenetic game and forced some sharp saves from Edwards.

But, in the end, they were well beaten and joyful Rochdale fans sang their deservedly victorious team off the pitch.


Rochdale: Edwards, Evans, Griffiths, Grand, Hill, Flitcroft, Melaugh, Oliver, Simpson (McEvilly 74), Platt, Connor (Townson 84).
Subs not used: Gilks, Hodges, Warner.

Coventry: Hyldgaard, Caldwell, Shaw, Konjic, Gordon (Fowler 77), Partridge (Davenport 61), Pead, McAllister, Bothroyd (Sara 48), Holdsworth, McSheffrey.
Subs not used: Debec, Osbourne.

Booked: Pead.

Attendance: 9,156

Referee: M Fletcher (Worcestershire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Ian Dennis
"The greatest day in Rochdale's history"
Rochdale boss Paul Simpson
"We throughly deserved this"

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