Coventry 1-1 Huddersfield: Michal Helik nets 95th minute equaliser to snatch a deserved point for new Terriers boss Darren Moore… after Yasin Ayari’s bizarre opener for hosts
- Brighton loanee Yasin Ayari enjoyed a huge slice of luck to put Coventry ahead
- Ellis Simms’ shot cannoned off the bar and hit Ayari before rolling into the net
- Defender Michal Helik levelled late on, steering the ball home from close range
When Huddersfield owner Kevin Nagle made the decision to replace Neil Warnock with Darren Moore last week, the American, who completed his takeover in June, knew there would be significant scrutiny on his bold move.
While there was an understanding between Warnock and the club upon signing a one-year deal in the summer that he would step aside when required, the fact the legendary manager described himself as ‘being booted out’, along with his assistant Ronnie Jepson insisting they were ‘told to walk away’, suggests the 74-year-old wasn’t completely happy.
Nagle will therefore have thoroughly enjoyed the Terriers’ dramatic 1-1 draw with Coventry thanks to Michal Helik’s 95th minute equaliser, which cancelled out Yasin Ayari’s bizarre opener.
Mark Robins’ side have struggled to get going since their play-off final loss to Luton last season, winning just once this term to languish in 19th ahead of kick off.
But it was hard to sense any potential lack of confidence as they shot out the blocks and forced a succession of early corners.
Michal Helik scored a last-gasp equaliser in Darren Moore’s first game as Huddersfield boss
The Terriers defender was on hand to stab home from close range after the hosts failed to clear
The visitors – perhaps still showing plenty of traits of a Warnock side – defended resolutely with their back five until disaster struck midway through the first half.
A careless back pass from Ben Jackson, one of four changes Moore made, was seized upon by the threatening Ellis Simms.
The £8million summer signing from Everton is yet to score for the club but cut inside and thundered an effort against the crossbar, with the ball hitting Yasin Ayari on the rebound and going across the line in bizarre fashion.
It was the Brighton loanee’s first goal for Coventry and he is unlikely to score a stranger one. There were shouts of offside and Huddersfield’s protests weren’t helped by the ground’s big screen showing replays in which the Swedish forward did look to be ahead of his man.
Moore had plenty to ponder at the break and whatever he said seemed to have an impact as the Terriers were a completely different side in the second period.
Brighton loanee Yasin Ayari enjoyed a huge slice of luck in scoring his first goal for Coventry
Ellis Simms’ fierce shot cannoned off the bar, before hitting Ayari and flying into the net
Delano Burgzorg came alive and both the Dutch striker and Huddersfield’s top scorer Jack Rudoni forced Ben Wilson into action as they pressed higher and committed more men forward, with City forced into some last-ditch defending.
Wilson was then forced into a sprawling save from Sorba Thomas’ free-kick as the pressure began to tell, before Jack Rudoni was booked for diving in the box.
It looked as if Coventry had weathered the storm, with Sky Blues striker Haji Wright then firing over from two yards with the goal gaping which would have secured the three points.
However, Huddersfield broke in the dying embers of injury time and when Coventry failed to deal with Thomas’ cross, Helik pounced on the loose ball to fire home in the most dramatic of circumstances to secure a point as boos rang out from the home supporters at full time.
Coventry (3-4-3): Wilson; Thomas, McFadzean, Binks; Sakamoto (Latibeaudiere 89), Eccles, Kelly ©, Dasilva (Bidwell 89); Ayari (Allen 70), Simms (Wright 70), Godden
Substitutes not used: Collins, Kitching, Rus, Stretton, Obikwu
Manager: Mark Robins
Scorer: Ayari 27
Huddersfield (5-3-2): Nicholls; Jackson, Pearson, Helik, Nakayama, Headley (Thomas 64); Rudoni, Hogg ©, Wiles (Hudlin 84); Koroma (Harratt 78), Burgzorg
Substitutes not used: Maxwell, Edmonds-Green, Diarra, Edwards, Jones, Lees
Manager: Darren Moore
Scorer: Helik 90+5
Booked: Koroma, Helik, Rudoni
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