Moore's Huddersfield snatch late draw at Coventry

Published on: 25 September 2023

Darren Moore was taking charge of his 256th game in management following his time at West Bromwich Albion, Doncaster Rovers and Sheffield Wednesday

Michal Helik's 94th-minute equaliser earned new Huddersfield boss Darren Moore a draw at Coventry in his first game in charge.

Just when the home side looked set to claim only a second Championship win of the season from on-loan Brighton teenager Yasin Ayari's freakish 27th-minute opener, Helik levelled from close range.

Although Ayari's first goal for the club - on his first home start - owed a lot to luck, it owed even more to the explosive power of striker Ellis Simms, whose right-foot shot cannoned off the bar before hitting Ayari and flying into the net.

Huddersfield were a growing threat in the second half and had moments when they looked like they may equalise.

But they should have been finished off two minutes from time in a double let-off.

Goalkeeper Lee Nicholls somehow kept out a fierce close-range shot from Bobby Thomas, the ball rebounded to Haji Wright and the big American blazed over the bar from six yards - and Coventry were quickly made to pay.

Defender Helik came up from the back as the Terriers launched one last attack and was on hand to stab home after the hosts failed to clear second-half substitute Sorba Thomas' cross.

Ellis Simms congratulated Coventry goalscorer Yasin Ayari on his presence of mind for being in the right place at the right timeAll change for both bosses

In Moore's first game in charge following Town's second parting of the ways with Neil Warnock, it had for most of the evening looked as if another former Huddersfield manager would end up triumphant, Sky Blues boss Mark Robins.

Having been forced into one change by the loss of injured wing-back Milan van Ewijk, Robins made three other alterations from last Tuesday's 3-2 defeat at Cardiff.

As well as bringing in Ayari, he swapped Wright for Simms up front, while Tatsuhiro Sakamoto came in for the injured Kasey Palmer and defender Bobby Thomas replaced Joel Latibeaudiere, who dropped to the bench.

Huddersfield's new boss also made four changes, including the return of skipper Jonathan Hogg. But chances were thin on the ground throughout.

Josh Koroma looked to have engineered a great chance when he arrived in space, only to be denied by a great block from Liam Kelly, but then Simms was denied similarly at the other end.

The breakthrough finally came with the one piece of top-flight quality on show on the night.

Former Everton striker Simms seemed to have run out of options on a rampaging run down the left, but he cut inland to try his luck from the edge of the box and delivered a right-foot thunderbolt which bounced back off the bar, hit the watchful Ayari and trickled over the line.

It was a fantastic effort worthy of a goal from Simms, who is still to score since his seven-figure summer move from Everton.

But, while it was obviously a touch of fortune for Ayari it was also reward for being in the right place at the right time, ready for any rebound.

Other than a Thomas free-kick, turned aside by home keeper Ben Wilson, it looked like Huddersfield's improved second-half efforts were going to go unrewarded.

But the visitors kept going and Helik's scrambled equaliser proved that, just because the name Warnock is not on the manager's door any more, it does not mean Huddersfield are not going to fight like Terriers.

Who's next?

Moore's first home game in charge of Huddersfield will be against Championship leaders Ipswich Town on Saturday, when Robins' Sky Blues go to QPR.

Huddersfield climb one place to 17th, a place ahead of Coventry, who remain one point behind.

The Sky Blues are still unbeaten at home this season, but have drawn three of their four games at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

Coventry City boss Mark Robins told BBC CWR:

"It's so frustrating. We weren't calm when it mattered. It's about taking control of situations.

"There were so many things wrong with that late goal from our perspective. We were panicking trying to shift the ball when it shouldn't have been there because we hadn't done the right things.

"We could have won every game we've played in, but we're sitting here talking about eight points in eight games, when we could have had double that. It will turn around, but it's painful getting there.

"We bossed the first half. We weren't brilliant either but we were better than them. We're within touching distance of winning - but the game can kick you in the teeth if you make mistakes."

Huddersfield Town boss Darren Moore:

"It's been an incredible few days getting into the club and working with the boys. They have taken a lot of information on.

"The fighting spirit was incredible and they got their just rewards at the end.

"From the second-half performance, I've seen enough there. There's enough quality in the team to get more out of the players.

"Once we grew into the game we had to throw caution to the wind and change things up. Come the end we had to go all out to try and get something out of the game and I'm pleased we fashioned a really good chance and took it."

    Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text


Formation 3-4-1-2


    13Wilson4Thomas5McFadzean2BinksBooked at 82mins7SakamotoSubstituted forLatibeaudiereat 89'minutes28Eccles6Kelly3DasilvaBooked at 41minsSubstituted forBidwellat 89'minutes26AyariSubstituted forAllenat 70'minutes9SimmsSubstituted forWrightat 70'minutes24Godden




Formation 3-5-2


    1Nicholls4Pearson5HelikBooked at 79mins33Nakayama30Jackson8RudoniBooked at 85mins6Hogg23WilesSubstituted forHudlinat 84'minutes15HeadleySubstituted forThomasat 64'minutes7Burgzorg10KoromaBooked at 66minsSubstituted forHarrattat 78'minutes



Referee:Oliver LangfordAttendance:22,257Match StatsHome TeamCoventryAway TeamHuddersfieldPossessionHome59%Away41%ShotsHome11Away10Shots on TargetHome3Away4CornersHome10Away4FoulsHome12Away14Live Text Post update

Match ends, Coventry City 1, Huddersfield Town 1.

90'+6'Full Time

Second Half ends, Coventry City 1, Huddersfield Town 1.

90'+6'Post update

Corner, Coventry City. Conceded by Yuta Nakayama.


Goal! Coventry City 1, Huddersfield Town 1. Michal Helik (Huddersfield Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner.

90'+4'Post update

Attempt blocked. Kian Harratt (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Sorba Thomas.

90'+4'Post update

Offside, Coventry City. Liam Kelly tries a through ball, but Haji Wright is caught offside.

90'+2'Post update

Offside, Coventry City. Haji Wright tries a through ball, but Joel Latibeaudiere is caught offside.

90'+1'Post update

Josh Eccles (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90'+1'Post update

Foul by Sorba Thomas (Huddersfield Town).

89'Post update

Offside, Coventry City. Bobby Thomas tries a through ball, but Haji Wright is caught offside.


Substitution, Coventry City. Joel Latibeaudiere replaces Tatsuhiro Sakamoto.


Substitution, Coventry City. Jake Bidwell replaces Jay Dasilva.

88'Post update

Attempt missed. Haji Wright (Coventry City) right footed shot from very close range is close, but misses the top right corner.

88'Post update

Attempt saved. Bobby Thomas (Coventry City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Josh Eccles.

87'Post update

Corner, Coventry City. Conceded by Michal Helik.


Jack Rudoni (Huddersfield Town) is shown the yellow card.

85'Post update

Jack Rudoni (Huddersfield Town) has gone down, but the referee deems it simulation.


Substitution, Huddersfield Town. Kyle Hudlin replaces Ben Wiles.

82'Post update

Foul by Josh Eccles (Coventry City).

82'Post update

Ben Wiles (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Page 1 of 6rewindpreviousNavigate to the next pagenextNavigate to the last pageforward


This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.
Learn more