Huddersfield Town secured their Championship status this afternoon despite playing out a 1-1 draw with Coventry City at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Jordan Shipley (69) and Danny Ward (79) exchanged second-half goals, with results elsewhere in the Championship meaning that Carlos Corberan’s side will survive despite a woeful run of form in 2021.
Before today’s fixtures it felt unlikely that Huddersfield would be sucked into real trouble, but they can now join Coventry in planning for 2021/22 after a largely drab contest in West Yorkshire.
Yaya Sanogo, at least, did manage a bright start to the game for Huddersfield, leading the line with his usual physicality and also showing good movement to get on the end of a Duane Holmes pass on seven minutes. His shot, though, was erratic and off-target.
Viktor Gyokeres was equally busy at the other end of the field, making life uncomfortable for Huddersfield’s back-three. The Coventry forward would harmlessly flick a Matty James set-piece wide.
Josh Koroma’s breakaway led to Ben Wilson’s first meaningful piece of action in the Coventry goal on 14 minutes, with Mark Robins’ goalkeeper comfortably denying the forward’s scuffed shot.
Callum O’Hare’s impressive output this season has helped tee Coventry up for another season in the Championship, with the Sky Blues’ creative source producing their first shot on target on 18 minutes. Ryan Schofield, though, dealt with his curling strike as he sized up the top corner.
Chances were, in truth, few and far between in the opening half hour, with both sides lacking real quality when they built into the final third; the game summed up perfectly by Richard Keogh failing to connect cleanly when a corner fell his way with the goal gaping.
Lewis O’Brien and O’Hare traded shots on goal, with the latter’s frustrations growing at the heavy treatment of Jonathan Hogg and Holmes.
Fankaty Dabo then went from baffling to brilliant heading into half-time, launching an audacious volley into the empty seats behind Schofield’s goal, before his booming ball created a counterattack opportunity. Keogh handled Gyokeres’ shot but Keith Stroud waved away strong penalty appeals and a half-time whistle was blown on a low-quality contest.
Perhaps what the game needed was the introduction of Shipley, who teed up Gyokeres seconds after half-time. The striker’s shot required the finger tips of Schofield to keep it out.
Shipley helped alter Coventry’s lack of impetus in the first-half, with chances now coming their way regularly.
Gyokeres got the better of both Keogh and Naby Sarr but he was met by Schofield, who was quickly off his line to smother a shot that felt destined to beat him.
Corberan then turned to his bench, with Rolando Aarons and Pipa called for to try and add some quality to his side’s play. That had really been lacking since half-time, with Coventry pressing Town into error after error.
That didn’t materialise like Huddersfield would have hoped and, instead, it was Robins’ super sub delivering the goods following another mistake.
Harry Toffolo was foolish to cut into trouble looking for a route past the Coventry press, with Gustavo Hamer able to pick up possession centrally and feed Shipley on the right. His shot wasn’t perfect, but there was enough on it to beat Schofield and open the scoring.
That inspired Huddersfield, though, with Koroma winning a flurry of corners; Wilson made a mess of Carel Eiting’s delivery, allowing substitute Ward to fire through bodies to level the contest 10 minutes later.
Huddersfield’s play at this point was better, with Eiting and Ward linking well with Koroma and Aarons, allowing Corberan’s side to play their football in the right areas. Warnings, though, when Josh Eccles had Schofield stretching to collect his shot and O’Hare skipped across the penalty area to take a pop at goal.
There was a willingness from both to probe for a winning goal but the points were shared, allowing Robins and Corberan to shake hands on a job well done.
Coventry have been on the beach for a week, but the tension is lifted at Huddersfield now and Championship survival is in the bag.
Instead, it will be Rotherham United, Derby County, Sheffield Wednesday and Wycombe Wanderers fighting for their second-tier status in the next week after a mixed bag of results this afternoon.
FT: Huddersfield Town 1-1 Coventry City.