Blues got themselves a hard earned point against an inform Rochdale side at Spotland, but, ultimately drew back to back games 0-0 for the first time since March 2014.
Chris Powell made two changes to Blues starting line-up for Tuesday night’s game at Rochdale following Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Roots Hall against Doncaster with Shay Harrison and Anthony Wordsworth coming in for Simon Cox and Stephen McLaughlin.
Rochdale started the game the brighter of the two sides, as they had two efforts on goal in the opening 15 minutes; as firstly Dale sprung a quick counter attack down the left-hand side, which saw Matty Done bare down on goal, but, his effort was deflected just over the crossbar for a corner.
From the resulting corner, the ball dropped to an unmarked Andy Cannon, but, thankfully for Blues Jason Demetriou charged down Cannon’s goal bound effort.
In the 26th minute Dale striker Ian Henderson nearly gave the home side the lead, following the ball breaking free at the edge of the penalty area, however, Mark Oxley was equal to the striker’s effort and saved the ball well to his left-hand side.
It took till the 29th minute for Blues to have their first notable effort on goal, as they caught Rochdale on the counter, with the ball breaking to Marc Antoine Fortune on the right-hand side of the box, however, the Frenchman could only drill his effort into the side netting at the near post.
Dale went close twice within a couple of minutes towards the end of the half, as Andy Cannon saw an effort from the edge of the box well saved by Oxley towards his top right-hand corner; then shortly after, Brad Inman crossed a ball in from the right-hand side, which Ian Henderson met around 10 yards out, however, thankfully the Dale striker bulleted his header narrowly over the crossbar.
The second half had a rather scrappy start, as Dale nearly put Ian Henderson through one on one against Oxley, however, Blues goalkeeper Oxley did well to race out and clear the ball away from danger.
On the hour mark Blues had a good shout for a penalty turned down, as Fortune was tripped by Ryan Delaney just inside the penalty area on the right-hand side, however, to Blues surprise, the referee waved to play on.
In the 65th minute, Anthony Wordsworth tried his luck from around 20 yards out, however, Josh Lillis was equal to Wordsworth’s effort in the Dale goal.
With little under 15 minutes to go, Rochdale substitute Steven Davies tried an ambitious half volley from around 20 yards out, however, his effort went straight at Oxley who beat the ball away.
The final stages of the game were played out in unspectacular fashion, which saw Blues draw back to back games 0-0 for the first time since March 2014. Blues will be looking to end their small goalless drought on Saturday at Bloomfield Road against Blackpool.